The Pentagon is beginning “site assessments” of six military bases, some as far north as North Dakota and Massachusetts to house a new wave of illegal immigrants that have entered the U.S. via Mexico illegally.
A Pentagon memo to Rep. Martha Roby, Alabama Republican, detailed the Office of Refugee Resettlement’s plans to expand its shelter capacity.
“This temporary increased shelter capacity is a prudent step needed to ensure ORR meets its statutory responsibility to provide shelter for the unaccompanied children referred to its care and to assist [U.S. Customs and Border Protection] in ensuring that the U.S. Border Patrol continues its vital national security mission to prevent illegal migration and trafficking, and to protect the borders of the
United State,” the memo said, according to the Washington Examiner.
Other bases being considered for expanded shelters include Tyndall Air Force Base, Fla.; Grand Forks Air Force Base, N.D.; Naval Support Activity Philadelphia, Penn.; Hanscom Air Force Base, Mass.; and Travis Air Force Base, Calif., according to the email sent to Ms. Roby.
Another 1,600 beds are being set aside at the Homestead Job Corps, in Florida and the Denver Federal Campus in Lakewood, Colo.
Ms. Roby, who has previous led a fight to block the Obama administration from sheltering youths at Maxwell-Gunter Air Force Base near Montgomery, Ala., said she is preparing for another fight on this issue in the House.
“A military base is no place to house illegal immigrant children,” Ms. Roby wrote in a letter, the Examiner reported. “Bases like Maxwell are engaged in real military activities - training, education, cyber warfare - many times in classified settings that are very sensitive. Their mission does not need to be distracted by housing, feeding and securing hundreds of detainees.”
The number of unaccompanied minors crossing the southern border has exploded in recent months. About 5,600 were caught at the border in November, more than double the number apprehended during the surge last year.