Feds to Shut Down Fort Sill Housing for Illegal Immigrants
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announced today it will close the illegal immigrant housing at Fort Sill by Friday.
Since June, the facility at the Lawton base has been housing unaccompanied minors who crossed the border illegally.
Kenneth Wolfe of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services said in an email to The Associated Press on Monday the agency has been working to care for the children in standard shelters, which are significantly less expensive than the barracks they are now housed in.
At the same time, the agency has seen a decrease in the number of children crossing the nation's southwest border, mostly from Central America.
Gov. Mary Fallin had opposed using the base to house the children.
"I am pleased that the Obama Administration is finally listening to the people of Oklahoma and acting to close the Fort Sill facility for illegal immigrants," Fallin said in a statement. "However, I am disturbed the administration chose to renew its lease on the facility, thereby preserving the option of reopening it in the future."
Oklahoma Sen. Jim Inhofe issued a statement saying the president needs to do more to stop the flow of immigrants crossing the border.
"Ultimately though this news does nothing to stem the unprecedented flow of children across the U.S.-Mexico border or correct the president's policies that are encouraging illegal immigration," Inhofe said.
"Instead of reconsidering or repealing his controversial program of deferred action for childhood arrivals, it is being reported that the President is looking to use executive action to expand the program to millions more. We are a country made of immigrants, with more than 1 million coming to our country through the proper legal process each year. We should be enforcing the policies Congress put in place to keep our nation and borders secure, while respecting those who have made the concerted effort to abide by our laws."
The Associated Press contributed to this report.