NASA reportedly sent an email to employees seeking volunteers to help staff facilities for unaccompanied migrant children

NASA reportedly sent an email to employees seeking volunteers to help staff facilities for unaccompanied migrant children
A US Customs and Border Protection agent stands guard on the US side of the US-Mexico border fence.PEDRO PARDO/AFP via Getty Images
  • Federal agencies have reportedly begun asking employees to volunteer to assist at border facilities.
  • According to journalist Ken Klippenstein, NASA is the latest agency to join the trend.
  • The Biden administration is dealing with near-record high numbers of unaccompanied migrant children.

The federal government is reportedly turning to its own employees, as the Biden administration continues to grapple with near-record numbers of unaccompanied migrant children at the US Southern border.

NASA reportedly sent an email to employees Tuesday seeking volunteers to help staff facilities for unaccompanied migrant children, according to a tweet from The Intercept reporter Ken Klippenstein and a USAJobs posting.

Klippenstein posted a photo of the apparent internal email provided to him Tuesday afternoon that appears to be delivered to staff on behalf of NASA Acting Chief Financial Officer Steve Shinn and Chief Human Resources Officer Jane Datta.
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Neither NASA nor the Department of Health and Human Services immediately responded to a request for comment.

According to the photo of the email, the Department of Health and Human Services is seeking interested candidates to "serve up to 120-day voluntary deployment detail" at facilities along the Southwest US border area, including Dallas, San Diego, San Antonio, and Ft. Bliss.

The Office of Personnel Management and HHS are "calling upon our Federal Agency family of exceptional public servants to lend support to this humanitarian effort through this detail opportunity," the email reads.
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But this isn't the first time the federal government has reportedly asked workers to volunteer. Last month, CNN reported that the Biden administration was asking federal employees to assist with "urgent efforts" caring for and placing unaccompanied children at the border.

The requests come amid an ongoing government struggle to find adequate space, leaving thousands of children stuck in US Border Patrol facilities unsuitable for children. Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas also reportedly asked department employees to volunteer to help "support the surge," last month, CNN reported.Earlier in March, ABC News reported that the federal government was considering using a NASA facility in California to house the growing number of children.
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According to the photo of the email, the government is seeking two types of support: Line of site support for youth care that includes ensuring children's needs are met; and case management, which requires conducting and translating intake information during interviews with the children.

Travel, lodging, and per diem will reportedly be provided for chosen employees, according to the email, and individuals working directly with children will be required to undergo a "Childcare investigation." Staffers who are chosen will be compensated at their current rate, according to the job posting.

Klippenstein tweeted that "several" officials at other agencies told him they also received similar emails.
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Border authorities encountered nearly 10,000 unaccompanied children during February, which represents a 30% increase from 2019, according to NPR, and experts expect records set in 2019 and 2014 to be broken this year.

Immigration has been a weak point for the Biden administration, thus far, according to an AP-NORC poll released Monday. Just 42% of Americans approve of Biden's handling of immigration in general.

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