JBSA-Lackland, Fort Bliss will be used to house unaccompanied migrant children, Pentagon says

Officials say they are beginning to prep both centers for the arrival of the children

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

SAN ANTONIO – The Pentagon announced on Wednesday that Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland would be used to house unaccompanied migrant children.

In a statement, John Kirby, the Pentagon’s press secretary, confirmed that the Department of Defense approved the request for JBSA-Lackland to be used.

On Tuesday, Kirby hinted at the possibility of JBSA-Lackland and Fort Bliss being used in that capacity.

“Today, the Department of Defense approved a request for assistance from the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to temporarily house unaccompanied migrant children at a vacant dormitory at Joint Base San Antonio – Lackland, Texas and an area of land on Fort Bliss, Texas to construct suitable temporary housing facility,” Kirby said.

JBSA-Lackland served as a temporary shelter for Central American migrants in 2014.

Kirby said support for JBSA-Lackland will be on a “fully-reimbursable basis” and will not impact training or operations.

“DoD will provide HHS officials access to these locations immediately to begin initial actions to prepare for receiving unaccompanied migrant children as soon as preparations are complete,” Kirby said. “This support will be on a fully-reimbursable basis, and will not negatively affect military training, operations, readiness, or other military requirements, including National Guard and Reserve readiness.”

According to Kirby, the Department of Health and Human Services will maintain custody and responsibility for the “well-being and support” of the children at all times on the military installation.

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