- The Washington Times - Friday, March 5, 2021

An Army garrison in central Virginia could be used to house unaccompanied migrant children amid a dramatic increase in migrants arriving at the U.S.-Mexico threatens to overwhelm shelter space there.

Chief Pentagon spokesman John Kirby confirmed Friday that officials with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) made a site survey to Fort Lee, Va., about 30 miles south of Richmond, to see if the facilities there were suitable.

“There’s no formal request by HHS,” Mr. Kirby said. “And I know of no other requests to look at or consider any other installations.”

The children would be staying in barracks-type housing on the base, which primarily trains soldiers in the Army’s logistics fields.

“They would be under the responsibility and the care of HHS,” Mr. Kirby said. “The [Defense] Department’s role would be to provide the space in a fully-reimbursable format.”

HHS officials are scrambling to find space for unaccompanied migrant children who have been arriving at the border in large numbers since President Biden was elected and promised to roll back tough Trump administration immigration laws.

In recent years, the military has provided temporary living space for unaccompanied migrant children in 2012 and 2017.

“This wouldn’t be the first time we’ve done this,” Mr. Kirby said.

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