June 06, 2014
WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), ranking member of Senate Armed Services Committee, released the following statement today after learning that Fort Sill military base in Lawton, Okla., is expected to begin housing at least 600 unaccompanied minors who illegally immigrated to the United States. The Obama Administration has not yet answered questions on how long these minors will be living on base as well as what resources the Department of Defense will be responsible in providing these minors.
"At a time when the President is drastically reducing defense spending funds at a historically rapid rate, he now expects our military bases to temporarily take on the responsibility of caring for unaccompanied children who have illegally crossed the border into the United States," said Inhofe. "Our nation has an immigration problem and a national security crisis, but I don't believe the answer is for our military facilities to be transformed into a center that houses, feeds, and cares for illegal immigrants. This only encourages parents to send their children unaccompanied over the border and, with the average-aged child being between 13 and 17, it exposes our military facilities to unknown security concerns. While the Obama Administration has said that Fort Sill should be prepared to receive children as early as June 10, they have failed to provide any further details such as what is to be expected of the military facility and its service members, and for how long. I have no doubt the Fort Sill and Lawton community will rise to the occasion, but in the interim I am working with Congressman Tom Cole to get better answers from the Obama Administration."
The number of unaccompanied minors who illegally immigrated to the United states is expected to rise to 66,000 this year and to 127,000 by next year.