JBSA-Lackland asked to house unaccompanied migrant minors, Pentagon says

Department of Defense reviewing request from U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services

SAN ANTONIO – Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland may house migrant minors who are unaccompanied at the U.S.-Mexico border, Pentagon spokesman John Kirby said Tuesday afternoon.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has asked the Pentagon for the request, which the Department of Defense is reviewing, Kirby said.

The housing request also included Fort Bliss in El Paso.

There was no immediate word how many minors would be housed at the facilities, but Kirby said that JBSA-Lackland had been site surveyed last week, a step that precedes any request from HHS.

“What I can tell you is we have a request and those are the two sites that HHS just asked for support from,” Kirby said. “We’ll have to analyze it and evaluate it just like we would any other request for assistance.”

KSAT 12 News has reached out to JBSA-Lackland for comment on the request.

The military installation did serve as a temporary shelter for Central American migrants in 2014.

Tuesday’s request comes the same day that Gov. Greg Abbott sent a letter to President Joe Biden demanding answers to the humanitarian situation at the border.

In his letter, Abbott urged the Biden Administration to interview every unaccompanied minor coming across the border to determine if any child has been harmed, groomed, or victimized by human traffickers in any way. The governor also demanded that the Biden Administration make clear what they are doing to prosecute human traffickers and address the surge in border crossings.

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