As Twitchy reported, the White House is dealing with what it calls an “urgent humanitarian situation” — tens of thousands of unaccompanied minors crossing the U.S.-Mexico border. Rep. Tom Cole of Oklahoma voiced his opposition to the practice of housing these children at Fort Sill in Lawton, Okla.
I am strongly opposed to using Ft. Sill to house hundreds of illegal unaccompanied minors. http://t.co/LsconXvyw3
— Rep. Tom Cole (@TomColeOK04) June 6, 2014
In a statement, he writes:
Fort Sill Military Base in Lawton is expected to begin housing at least 600 unaccompanied minors who illegally immigrated to the United States. Since fiscal year 2011, the number of these individuals, usually from Central America, has grown from 6,000 to 66,000 last year. By next year, this number is expected to climb even higher to 127,000.
Usually between 13 and 17 years old, these individuals enter the United States and go into custody of border patrol agents, who cannot release them to detention facilities since they are minors. While no official announcement has yet been made by the Administration, Fort Sill could begin receiving hundreds of illegal juvenile unaccompanied minors as early as June 10th.
Using Fort Sill and other military bases to house illegal immigrants is simply an inappropriate use of military facilities. Moreover, I am concerned that what begins as an emergency measure could, over time, evolve into a permanent juvenile detention center for those who have entered the country illegally. This could result in a confusion of missions at what is the one of America’s premier military installations.
At least some recognize the problem.
— Jason Chaffetz (@jasoninthehouse) June 4, 2014