Southwest Key officials earned more than $1 million running migrant child shelters

By MARK BERMAN | 7/22/2019, 10:01 p.m.
Six high-ranking employees at a nonprofit organization housing thousands of migrant children for the federal government made at least $1 ...
Southwest Key headquarters in Austin. – Photo by Rachel Zein/The Texas Tribune

In addition to Sanchez, other top officials who made more than $1 million in 2017 and have since left included Jennifer Sanchez, his wife, who had been a vice president, along with another vice president and the chief financial officer.

Brooks said the nonprofit was “moving in a new direction” with a new chief financial officer and that she has asked top officials to reevaluate how they approach compensation.

“These retirement and life insurance programs were designed and implemented by executives no longer with us,” Brooks said. “Those who participated in this program and have left are required to return a significant amount of the retirement portion of the funds that are not vested. We’ve recovered hundreds of thousands of dollars so far.”

In its tax filings, Southwest Key describes itself as “an integral partner in the U.S. response at our southern border, sheltering immigrant children under 18 years of age who arrive in this country without a parent or guardian and reunifying them with their parents, relatives or a sponsor.”

The nonprofit also said most of the children in its shelters last year came from Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador and that most were teenage males “fleeing violence and gang threats in their home countries.”

Under a section asking for a brief description of its mission, the nonprofit stated, “The mission is opening doors to opportunity, so individuals can achieve their dreams.”

Maria Sacchetti/The Texas Tribune contributed to this report.

This article was first published at https://www.texastribune.org/2019/07/16/six-southwest-key-officials-earned-more-1-million-2017 by The Texas Tribune, a nonprofit, nonpartisan media organization that informs Texans – and engages with them – about public policy, politics, government and statewide issues.