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Hennigan writes: "The Trump Administration has opted to use an Army base in Oklahoma to hold growing numbers of immigrant children in its custody after running out of room at government shelters."

The Trump administration plans to use an Oklahoma Army base that previously served as a Japanese internment camp to hold migrant children. (photo: Adria Malcolm/Reuters)
The Trump administration plans to use an Oklahoma Army base that previously served as a Japanese internment camp to hold migrant children. (photo: Adria Malcolm/Reuters)


White House to Hold Migrant Children at Base That Served as WWII Japanese Internment Camp

By W.J. Hennigan, Time

12 June 19

 

he Trump Administration has opted to use an Army base in Oklahoma to hold growing numbers of immigrant children in its custody after running out of room at government shelters.

Fort Sill, an 150-year-old installation once used as an internment camp for Japanese-Americans during World War II, has been selected to detain 1,400 children until they can be given to an adult relative, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

The agency said Fort Sill will be used “as a temporary emergency influx shelter” to help ease the burden on the government as it prepares to house a record number of minors even though it already operates about 168 facilities and programs in 23 states.

Health and Human Services said in a statement that it has taken about 40,900 children into custody through April 30. That’s a 57% increase from last year, which is a rate on-pace to surpass the record figures in 2016, when 59,171 minors were taken into custody. The agency had assessed two other military bases before selecting Fort Sill.

The children would be held inside facilities that are separate from the general on-base population. HHS personnel, not American troops, will oversee them.

Using military bases in this way is not new. In 2014, the Obama Administration placed around 7,700 migrant children on bases in Texas, California and Oklahoma, including Fort Sill. The temporary shelters were shuttered after four months. Last year, the government evaluated several military bases to shelter migrants, but ultimately decided not to use the facilities.

However, it appears unavoidable this year. Apprehensions of children at the border are already nearing record numbers. U.S. Customs and Border Protection released data last week that showed the figures had skyrocketed to 56,278 at the end of May, a 74% increase over last year. The influx of migrants, mainly from Central America, is straining an already exhausted system, U.S. officials say. Several children have died while in U.S. custody since last year.

Fort Sill, located southwest of Oklahoma City, was one of several internment camps where Japanese-Americans were held during World War II. Between 1942 and 1946, the U.S. government forcibly removed an estimated 120,000 men, women and children from their homes and incarcerated them across the country. Fort Sill was later used to hold German prisoners of war.

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+3 # madams12 2019-06-12 23:56
Why let a good concentration camp go to waste??? Sure...keep children in old Japanese concentration camps...since Trump regime took such horrid care of kids in Federal migrant camps--desert locations in summer is "such an improvement"?!! Nutz.
 
 
+5 # Carol R 2019-06-13 04:17
Trump creates and magnifies a problem with his hate-filled talk and this is the answer? Funding to provide for these children has been cut. I find our country to be an international disgrace. We have money for more killings and the best military killing that world can do but we don't have money to take adequate care of starving children.
 
 
+2 # Rodion Raskolnikov 2019-06-13 07:27
This is really disgraceful. ICE and other police forces will never resolve this problem. It is now time for congress to write legislation specifying what to do with families who apply for refugee status in the US. There are international laws that congress can follow.

I'd much prefer to see congress working on this problem than on contempt citations for Barr and others. This is a failure of Pelosi for not taking the lead on the problem of immigration. Congress also needs to mandate an end to US police funding and training in Latin American countries.
 
 
0 # lfeuille 2019-06-13 18:48
Oh, give me a break. Congress will not do anything about this because the Republican's will not cross Trump. Don't try to pretend that ICE thought all this up on their own. They are following orders from the Racist in Chief, your hero. The problem starts at the very top and that's where action is needed to change anything. It is necessary to get rid of Trump in order to do anything about this or any of the other atrocities that appear in every issue of RSN.
 
 
+4 # Kootenay Coyote 2019-06-13 08:45
1. ‘Internment camp’: that would be, ‘Concentration camp’.
2. No doubt because these children are obviously militant enemies devoted to the destruction of the USA, eh?
3. Criminal Child Abuse Centre is a better term.
 
 
0 # DongiC 2019-06-14 08:25
America's treatment of immigrant children is really shameful. We are becoming emotional terrorists led by a bully chief who gets his jollies by intimidating these unfortunate kids. Land of the free and home of the brave - what a farce we have turned into under Trump.
 

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