Obama brought McKinsey and Co, the giant management consulting firm, into ICE to effect an “organizational transformation,” so they were already in place when Trump took office, and as Trump pivoted to concentration camps, McKinsey had some suggestions to save money: cut back on food, medicine and supervision.
Propublica sued the US government and obtained 1,500 pages’ worth of McKinsey/ICE memos thanks to the Freedom of Information Act. They document how McKinsey’s sole focus was lowering costs and accellerating deportations, even if it meant inhumane conditions and gross miscarriages of justice, including some that certainly sent some asylum seekers to their deaths.
One official Propublica spoke to said that ICE‘s senior management found the suggestions inhumane, and argued against them, only to be shouted down by the McKinsey people. McKinsey drafted its own federal consulting contract — ghostwriting it for ICE — and cut themselves in for an additional $2.2m (they made more than $20m off the contract).
In 2018, Kevin Sneader — McKinsey’s global managing partner — sent out a memo to all staff in which he lied about the work the firm had done with ICE, falsely claiming that the firm was not involved in developing immigration policies and that it would not “under any circumstances, engage in work, anywhere in the world, that advances or assists policies that are at odds with our values.”
The ICE gulags today still run on principles established by McKinsey, and the undertrained sadists who staff them were hired in McKinsey-designed “super one-stop hiring” centers.
Within months, McKinsey was making significant strides toward advancing the Trump administration’s policy goals. The firm’s work showed “quantifiable benefits,” ICE officials stated in an October 2017 contracting document, “including increased total removals and reductions in time to remove a detainee.”
As some McKinsey consultants worked on the staffing challenge, others took aim at the logistical hurdles posed by an expected influx of detainees flowing from the Trump administration’s directive to enforce immigration laws more strictly.
The consulting team became so driven to save money, people involved in the project said, that consultants sometimes ignored — and even complained to agency managers about — ICE staffers who objected that McKinsey’s cost-cutting proposals risked jeopardizing the health and safety of migrants.
How McKinsey Helped the Trump Administration Detain and Deport Immigrants [Ian MacDougall/Propublica]
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