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Officials say Fort Sill boosted Oklahoma business

LAWTON — Some officials say a southern Oklahoma city saw economic benefits from a facility that processed children who entered the country unaccompanied.
BY THE ASSOCIATED PRESS Modified: August 20, 2014 at 10:30 am •  Published: August 20, 2014
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LAWTON — Some officials say a southern Oklahoma city saw economic benefits from a facility that processed children who entered the country unaccompanied.

More than 1,800 unaccompanied immigrant children came through Fort Sill in southwestern Oklahoma before the facility closed earlier this month, according to federal officials. It had opened in June.

A 2008 law requires that unaccompanied child immigrants from countries that don't border the U.S. be handed over to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services within 72 hours, or three days, of being apprehended.

About 63,000 unaccompanied child immigrants were arrested between October and July. U.S. officials have sought help finding places to house them temporarily.

CEO and president Barry Albrecht of the Lawton-Fort Sill Economic Development Corporation told The Journal Record (http://bit.ly/1n9Qkfi ) that Lawton saw a significant bump to its businesses, such as hotels and restaurants, from Fort Sill workers.

Debra Welch, president and CEO of the Lawton-Fort Sill Chamber of Commerce, also said city businesses saw an increase in customer traffic from Fort Sill.

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