“It was shocking to all of us.” In this episode of the Whistleblower of the Week podcast, FBI whistleblower Jane Turner talks with Lauren Reinhold and Kait Hess, two federal employees who answered the call to serve as volunteer detailees at an Emergency Intake Site at Fort Bliss, Texas. The site was set up by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Refugee Resettlement to serve an influx of immigrant children.
Hess and Reinhold talk about the detailee job postings and why they applied. They then outline their experiences at Fort Bliss, describing horrific and inhumane conditions that the children were forced to endure and the mismanagement they witnessed at the site.
Lack of proper shoes, socks, and undergarments. Children who hadn’t seen their case managers in weeks. Unqualified individuals working at the site and a wildly unclear management structure. In conversation with Turner, Hess and Reinhold break down the issues they brought to light through their whistleblower complaints. They also talk about updates to their whistleblower cases and express frustration that this critical issue seems to have faded from news cycles and public consciousness.
WNN also published a video version of this podcast: you can view it here.