Originally Published in Fox News
Talia Kaplan - March 23, 2021
A formerly homeless veteran blasted the Biden administration's "heartbreaking decision" to award Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) an $86.9 million contract for hotel rooms near the border forillegal families crossing into the United States, arguing on Tuesday that the current administration is "turning their back" on American veterans.
"What I don't understand is why we can allow our greatest heroes, our American veterans that have gone to fight for this country, that have gone and put their lives on the line and then they come back home and have nowhere to go," Hathcock told "Fox & Friends First" on Tuesday. "And this administration is putting more money into people that have never contributed to this society and to me that is very heartbreaking."
Hathcock, a recovered drug addict who went on to become a VA nurse, went on to say that "being a homeless veteran myself, I needed all the help I could get."
Hathcock noted that some veterans are disabled and have mental issues and the money should go towards helping those who have served our country.
The Biden administration has awarded the money to ICE to pay for hotel rooms near the border to provide temporary shelter and processing services for families who have not been expelled from the United States but have been placed in immigration proceedings for their removal.
The contract, through Texas-based nonprofit Endeavors, provides 1,239 beds and "other necessary services." The families will receive a comprehensive health assessment, including COVID-19 testing.
Endeavors president and CEO Jon Allman confirmed the contract with DHS to provide "critical services to migrant families, which is a continuation of services we have delivered to the migrant population since 2012." Allman deferred questions regarding specific details about the contract to ICE.
When asked if the U.S. does enough to care for veterans, Hathcock said he believes "we could do better."
"We're giving $86 million to people that have never contributed to this society and yet, we let the people that have given the most be homeless," he continued.
"That shows a lot that we need to do more."
Fox Business' Lucas Manfredi contributed to this report.
Talia Kaplan is a reporter for FoxNews.com. Follow her on Twitter @taliakaplan