U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement spent $100,000 renovating the suite not only of director Sarah Saldaña, but also her assistant’s office, according to an internal document obtained by The Daily Caller News Foundation.
In response to a query submitted by a Senate Committee on Appropriations staffer regarding the cost of office renovation, ICE confirmed that it had modified the director’s suite “to improve the workflow and usable desk space.”
The original question from the staffer included a humorous quip about the state of the director’s suite, which implied redoing the space would constitute waste.
“The Director’s space was quite nice the last time I saw it, so, if this is true, I imagine these funds could have been put to better use in the field,” the staffer wrote.
The document indicates that renovations were requested starting in March of 2015 and continuing all the way until February 2016, at which point construction was completed. ICE explained the reason for upgrading the suite by saying the initial layout allowed too many people “unfettered access” to the director.
“Specifically, the Special Assistant’s work space was positioned in a way that rendered her unable to see approaching guests prior to their entry into the Director’s Office,” ICE argued. “This often resulted in unscheduled guests interrupting the Director’s work or meetings.”
Part of the construction included installing a storage and new towel bar in the director’s bathroom. Workers also tried to put in a new mirror and medicine cabinet, but ended up finding it “functionally unacceptable.” A “sound attenuation system” was also installed to mask conversations in the director’s office.
Cost of renovation for the director’s suite totaled exactly $101,135.91.
ICE has recently undergone scrutiny for the way it spends funds. In 2015, ICE deported 43 percent fewer illegals compared to 2012, despite an increase in the agency’s budget from $2.75 billion to $3.4 billion. Part of the reason for this decline is the Obama administration’s reluctant stance on deportations.
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