Pentagon: No More Border Kids at Military Bases

Editor’s Note: This would include Naval Base Ventura

by Richard Sisk

The U.S. Defense Department won’t open any more military bases to house border kids and will phase out the program at bases currently in use, Pentagon and White House officials said Monday.

The Department of Health and Human Services has leased space at three military bases – Fort Sill, Oklahoma; Lackland Air Force Base, Texas; and Naval Base Ventura, California – to house unaccompanied children arriving at the U.S.-Mexico border.

In a statement on Monday, HHS said the Fort Sill site could be closed as early as next week. The remaining shelters for the mostly Central American children could also close over the next two to eight weeks, it said. However, the facilities would be kept on standby in the event of another surge of children at the border, it said.

Currently, about 700 kids are being housed at the three bases, down from 2,700 in recent weeks as HHS’s Administration for Children and Families moved the children to spaces at non-profits to await placement with relatives or guardians. They then would have hearings before immigration judges to determine their status.

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