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Gov't closing emergency child immigrant shelters


By ALICIA A. CALDWELL

WASHINGTON (AP) - The government said Monday it will soon close three emergency shelters it established at U.S. military bases to temporarily house children caught crossing the Mexican border alone. It said fewer children were being caught and other shelters will be adequate.

A shelter in Oklahoma at Fort Sill is expected to close as early as Friday, the Health and Human Services Department said. Shelters in Texas at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland and in California at Naval Base Ventura County-Port Hueneme will wrap up operations in the next two to eight weeks, agency spokesman Kenneth Wolfe said. About 7,700 children had been housed at the three military bases since shelters there opened in May and early June. They stayed an average of 35 days.

Since Oct. 1 more than 57,000 unaccompanied children, mostly from Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala, have been caught crossing the Mexican border illegally.

A 2008 law requires that unaccompanied child immigrants from countries that don't border the United States be handed over to the Health and Human Services Department within 72 hours of being apprehended. The children are cared for by the government until they can be reunited with a relative or another sponsor in the United States while they await a deportation hearing in immigration court.

The crush of Central American children caught at the border in recent months has strained resources across the government and prompted President Barack Obama to ask Congress to approve an emergency $3.7 billion spending bill to deal with what he described as a humanitarian crisis. Just before leaving town for the August recess, the House approved a pair of bills that would provide the administration with $694 million and end a program that protects some young immigrants from deportation for up to two years.

Obama objected, saying Republican lawmakers of "not even trying to solve the problem."

The Senate had blocked its version of the border bill, leaving the problem unresolved before Congress left Washington for its five-week summer recess.

Last month, the Homeland Security Department reported that the number of child immigrants crossing the border alone had started to decline, from as many as 2,000 each week in June to about 500 each week in mid-July. Administration officials said at the time that multiple factors likely contributed to the decline.

The number of people caught crossing the border illegally typically declines during the hottest summer months.

Administration officials have said as many 90,000 child immigrants could cross the border by the end of the budget year in September.

The military base shelters could reopen if the number of young border crossers spikes again in the near future, Wolfe said.

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cggeorgina August 04 2014 at 7:15 PM

why can't people get it right, they ARE NOT MIGRANTS OR IMMIGRANTS, THEY ARE ILLEGALS/INVADERS, send them home already.

Flag Reply +98 rate up
14 replies
Bunny August 04 2014 at 6:41 PM

I agree, we have Veterans living on the streets, we have homeless families, we do not need any more immigrant's in this country. We need to help our own Americans FIRST. We need to clean up and clean out of the illegals that are already here. Mot of these kids will joins gangs and become a threat to all American's.

Flag Reply +82 rate up
8 replies
buckolieo68 August 04 2014 at 7:06 PM

It costs about $30 a day per child.. That includes Food, Water, Shelter The wages of the people taking care of them and the Medical treatment....What about the people that fought for this Country and are now homeless with no Medical.. What about the people that were born here and by no fault of their own are homeless with their kids WHERE IS THE HELP FOR THEM.... Why do TAX PAYERS HAVE TO PAY for people that are not wanted or welcome.. They come to this country with nothing to offer and get everything the rest of us have to work for for free

Flag Reply +72 rate up
5 replies
jacks_sam August 04 2014 at 6:11 PM

Good. Just keep the buses lined up to take them back as soon as we round them up.

Flag Reply +71 rate up
5 replies
kcaron1504 August 04 2014 at 7:12 PM

Something is really messed up in a country when an imprisoned, convicted felon gets sick or hurt he/she gets immediate medical treatement. A person who enters this country illegally is immediately checked by medics and given the necessary treatement, while an American veteran has to wait four months for an appointment.

Flag Reply +66 rate up
1 reply
lilspicey kcaron1504 August 04 2014 at 8:17 PM

I agree. I am a veteran and I have been on a transplant list for 7 years now. I have no money for a medical procedure like that. It is the convicts and illegals that should have to wait for everything. They are not entitled to any rights of any kind.

Flag Reply +4 rate up
2 replies
bienhoa72alum lilspicey August 05 2014 at 11:12 AM

You neglect to mention if your transplant is Service related.

I am sorry for you predicament, but unfortunately such conditions and situations have little to do with how the government spends its money - but you knew that didn't you? You knew that finding an ideal donor is, at best, difficult. Blood types and other factors come into play. I have known non-military people on dialysis who have waited as long as you or longer, and they had the money for the transplant, but a proper donor could not be found. So don't try and tell us that feeding a few hungry children is preventing you from having a transplant - that's b------t. I am indeed sorry for your situation and hope that it will soon be resolved, but don't blame the blameless for it.

Flag 0 rate up
Deborah lilspicey August 09 2014 at 5:00 AM

Millions of thugs are not blameless, what's wrong with you !!!!

Flag 0 rate up
prnyl August 04 2014 at 6:41 PM

Thank God for Oklahoma and Texas- put em on planes back to where they came from! How about the parents? Do they know who they are or where they are? I assume they are all here already getting all that free Obumma stuff at the expense of those 47% of us who work and pay taxes

Flag Reply +65 rate up
11 replies
tzino2 August 04 2014 at 6:46 PM

I thought imigrants were people that came here LEGALLY like the ones that came here thru Ellis Island. These people are here ILLEGALLY and must be sent back. How are these little ones getting here? Walking north thru Mexico? I doubt that. Whats really going on.

Flag Reply +56 rate up
5 replies
cggeorgina August 04 2014 at 7:17 PM

see the picture. they are on the phone to family members "we are here and we will get housing food, clothing, medical care and education ALL FREE. YOU CAN COME UP WHEN WE ARE SETTLED AND YOU TOO CAN GET EVERYTHING FREE".

Flag Reply +53 rate up
3 replies
ffishb August 04 2014 at 6:41 PM

Just send the brats back where they came from, and if that hole Obaba objects, you can send him with them

Flag Reply +34 rate up
8 replies
Robert Goetz August 04 2014 at 6:50 PM

Poster, do some research before posting and you will discover the real cause behind this move. It is called disease and the military can't accept the effect it will have on readiness. The outbreak of measles at Lackland AFB in Texas prompted this move.

Flag Reply +25 rate up
6 replies
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