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Columbia Won $150,000 Contract From Customs And Border Protection This May

Bwog has obtained details of a contract between U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), the federal law enforcement agency which enforces immigration regulations and whose facilities house detained migrant children, and The Trustees of Columbia University in the City of New York, the official corporate name of Columbia University.

The contract, a screenshot of which is embedded below, is a purchase order worth $150,000 from May 29th, 2019, with the description “SME medical protocols for assessing individuals trying to cross our Southern border.” It is unclear what service Columbia is providing to CBP in exchange for the $150,000.

Harvard University also received a contract worth the same amount, with the same description, on the same day; however, CBP canceled the purchase on June 13th with the description “P00001 is issued to remove all funds – services to be moved and ordered through Brigham and Women’s Hospital – no contractor staff changes or SOW changes made with this modification.” Harvard and Columbia were the only two universities to receive contracts on this date; Columbia’s was never refunded.

We’ve reached out to Columbia for comment on the nature of this purchase and who in the Columbia community was aware of its existence; we’ll update this article with the statement if and when we receive it. Thanks to Twitter user @juan_diego0o and Ana Barrios, CC ’21,  for originally spotting the purchase. If you know anything more about this contract, please contact us.

Updated June 28th, 2019 4:30pm: A spokesperson from Customs and Border Protection told us “our agency is actively, with the humanitarian crisis, we are contacting people to help provide medical screening support,” and guessed that “SME” stands for “Subject Matter Expert.” The spokesperson clarified that  “Our border agents aren’t doctors; a lot of them have EMT training but not anything more than that.”

Documents were obtained through the Federal Procurement Data System. Cover image via MaxPixel.

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16 Comments

  • Anonymous says:

    @Anonymous Fantastic reporting, Zack Abrams!

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    1. Anon says:

      @Anon Fantastic reporting? This is public information . There are many more important things going on at the university this summer than this.

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      1. Zack Abrams says:

        @Zack Abrams If there’s something going on at Columbia we haven’t covered that you think we should, please email tips@bwog.com!

  • Anonymous says:

    @Anonymous Not surprised at all. Columbia knows better but does this kind of shit anyway.

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  • marriane williamson says:

    @marriane williamson So they’re getting doctors from esteemed medical institutions? What’s the issue here?

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    1. Anonymous says:

      @Anonymous No way you’re the real Marianne Williamson. I’m calling troll

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  • veg says:

    @veg FUCK THESE GUYS. zack you’re killin it

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  • f galton says:

    @f galton What a laughable and juvenile article. You just barely skip around saying “we should be angry at Columbia for providing medical aid to migrants”. What kind of mental gymnastics does it take to think like you. Grow up.

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  • Anon says:

    @Anon This is great of Columbia and Harvard to provide medical care and supplies to migrants. I know Bwog and spec are trying to find something negative in this, but there isn’t.

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    1. i am confusion says:

      @i am confusion Neither the bwog story nor the spec story is “trying to find something negative in this” and anyone who thinks as such is doing some mental gymnastics in their head. Both stories merely discovered this fact and supporting evidence and reported them, and if you think it’s a good thing that columbia’s providing medical aid to migrants, then neither bwog nor spec ever said you’re wrong to think that

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  • Anon says:

    @Anon Should Columbia not be giving aid and medical supplies to immigrants? I thought this is what the SJW want. Ridiculous article.

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  • Anonymous says:

    @Anonymous Imagine hating Trump so much that you think Columbia should deny medical care to migrant children.

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  • Anonymous says:

    @Anonymous You are exactly correct. Trump wanted Columbia to build their expansion campus on his land in the railyards rather than Manhattanville. He said, ‘no one would want to ever go to Harlem.” This ended up being one of Columbia’s best decisions ever made.

  • Anonymous says:

    @Anonymous At least we got something. Trump seems to prefer Yalies: Steven Mnuchin ’85, Ben Carson ’73, Wilbur Ross ’59, Alex Azar LAW ’91, Stephen Schwarzman ’69, Christopher Wray ’89 LAW ’92 — and now, John Bolton ’70 LAW ’74.

    1. Anonymous says:

      @Anonymous Ross, father and son, are not known to treat their Columbia wives well

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      1. Anonymous says:

        @Anonymous Michael Obama treated his Columbia wife very well

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