Former Trump Chief of Staff Joins Board Overseeing 'Prison-like' Facility for Migrant Children

Illustration for article titled Former Trump Chief of Staff Joins Board Overseeing 'Prison-like' Facility for Migrant Children
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Former White House Chief of Staff John Kelly has joined the board of Caliburn International, owners of Comprehensive Health Services Inc., which operated a Florida facility for children described as “prison-like” by congressional Democrats.


Kelly, who left the White House in January, was already on the board before his stint serving under Trump. He stepped down in January of 2017, according to CBS News. Between July of last year and last month, Caliburn has been awarded at least $222 million to operate their Florida facility.

“With four decades of military and humanitarian leadership, in-depth understanding of international affairs and knowledge of current economic drivers around the world, General Kelly is a strong strategic addition to our team,” said James Van Dusen, Caliburn CEO. “Our board remains acutely focused on advising on the safety and welfare of unaccompanied minors who have been entrusted to our care and custody by the Department of Health and Human Services to address a very urgent need in caring for and helping to find appropriate sponsors for these unaccompanied minors.”

The Caliburn board includes other former high-ranking military personnel, and their portfolio includes work in various defense sectors.

Though Kelly is not prevented from sitting on the board, he is prevented from trying to influence government policies in any way that would benefit the company, according to the Associated Press.

Democrats were predictably outraged by the naked opportunism.

“This is unforgivable,” tweeted Rep. Debbie Mucarsel-Powell, whose district houses the facility. “It confirms what we knew about the President—that he and the people he surrounds himself with, like John Kelly, are willing to profit off the cruel detaining of immigrant children.” She was joined by presidential hopeful Cory Booker, who took to Twitter to call the move “disgusting.”


Kelly was spotted at the fenced-in Homestead, Fla. site in April when local news recorded him touring the grounds from the back of a golf cart.


Comprehensive Health Services has obtained licenses to operate three shelters in Texas for migrant children along with their lone Florida facility, according to CBS News. Their shelter in Florida is not subject to routine inspections from child welfare experts, the only such facility excluded from such oversight in the nation.

Contributing Editor. When he's not pullin' up, he's usually jumpin' out. You can find him in the cut.


Brown Rose

He’s worse than scum. But this should surprise no one. And I am sure he’s sleeps well at night just fine.