Durbin Statement on Additional CBP & Former Loyal Source Whistleblowers Alleging Systemic Failures at Agency to Ensure Proper Oversight of Medical Care Contractor

SPRINGFIELD – U.S. Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL), Chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, today released the following statement regarding additional Customs and Border Protection (CBP) employee whistleblowers, as well as former Loyal Source—the agency’s medical care contractor—staff whistleblowers, alleging years of deficient medical care at CBP facilities and CBP’s failure to ensure proper oversight of Loyal Source. 

In November, Durbin issued a statement after an initial report by a CBP employee whistleblower alleged years of deficient medical care at CBP facilities and CBP’s failure to ensure proper oversight of Loyal Source.  In December, Durbin pressed for further investigation into systemic failures at CBP to ensure proper oversight of Loyal Source.  Durbin sent a series of three letters to CBP, Loyal Source, and the Government Accountability Office (GAO).  Durbin has yet to receive a response from CBP after requesting information and responsive answers no later than January 18.

“The whistleblowers’ disclosures continue to demonstrate CBP’s failure to oversee the provision of medical care to individuals in custody and indicate the agency has not pursued needed changes, including those necessary to respond to the dangerous conditions that led to the death of Anadith Danay Reyes Álvarez, an 8-year-old child with sickle cell and congenital heart disease who died in CBP custody in Harlingen, Texas, last May.

“Whistleblower disclosures from CBP employees and former Loyal Source staff allege poor operational and management decisions by CBP and Loyal Source prior to and in the aftermath of Anadith’s death that impacted CBP’s ability to improve medical care.  These allegations include disturbing examples of individuals receiving substandard medical care in CBP custody, documentation of government waste and mismanagement within CBP’s Office of the Chief Medical Officer, and a hostile work environment.

“As Chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, I will continue to press CBP foranswers, as well as continue our investigation of this issue in order to better protect migrants in government custody.”

The Committee has held three DHS oversight hearings under Durbin’s leadership, as well as under the Biden Administration, the latest in March last year.  In 2021, Durbin and the Committee held the first DHS oversight hearing since January 16, 2018 – the lone occasion that the Republican-controlled Committee held a DHS oversight hearing during the four years of the Trump Administration.