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Up to 1,200 unaccompanied minor children fleeing across the border to be housed at Fort Sill

Fort Sill in Lawton to serve as temporary home for unaccompanied children from Central America
by Rick Green Published: June 6, 2014
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photo - McNair Hall, Post Headquarters building at Ft. Sill in Lawton, Thursday, May 13, 2010. Photo by Jim Beckel, The Oklahoman
McNair Hall, Post Headquarters building at Ft. Sill in Lawton, Thursday, May 13, 2010. Photo by Jim Beckel, The Oklahoman

The Administration for Children and Families in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is responsible for the care and custody of unaccompanied illegal alien children after they are picked up.

On Monday, the president issued a memorandum ordering Homeland Security to establish a group to deal with the influx of unaccompanied children. The Federal Emergency Management Agency was to coordinate the group and ensure that humanitarian relief was provided to the children including housing, care, medical treatment and transportation.

U.S. Rep. James Lankford, R-Oklahoma City, also criticized Obama.

“The recent, single-year influx of unaccompanied minors from foreign countries into the United States is a direct result of President Obama’s policies of encouraging amnesty and failing to enforce existing immigration laws,” said Lankford.

“The Obama administration has put children at risk in dangerous border crossings through the desert because of the president’s enticing offer of potential future citizenship.”

He said there has been a 168 percent increase in the apprehension of unaccompanied children who crossed the border illegally in the Border Patrol’s Rio Grande sector from 2013 to 2014.

Lankford said this “reveals the importance of immediately securing our borders and addressing executive policies that circumvent current immigration law.”

Inhofe, R-Tulsa, said this is an improper use of Fort Sill.

“At a time when the president is drastically reducing defense spending funds at a historically rapid rate, he now expects our military bases to temporarily take on the responsibility of caring for unaccompanied children who have illegally crossed the border into the United States,” Inhofe said.

“Our nation has an immigration problem and a national security crisis, but I don't believe the answer is for our military facilities to be transformed into a center that houses, feeds and cares for illegal immigrants.

NewsOK.com has disabled the comments for this article.
by Rick Green
Capitol Bureau Chief
Rick Green is the Capitol Bureau Chief of The Oklahoman. A graduate of Humboldt State University in Arcata, Calif., he worked as news editor for The Associated Press in Oklahoma City before joining The Oklahoman.
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