Homeland Security Addresses Plan To House Undocumented Children

Thursday, June 12th 2014, 10:16 pm
By: News 9

The buses bringing undocumented children to Fort Sill will roll onto the post tomorrow.

That's the word right now from the Department of Health and Human Services. It is not saying what time this will happen but we do know 1,400 beds are ready.

Tonight, Homeland Security is sending a message to the children's families.

"Illegal migration through the south Texas border is not safe," said Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson. "A processing center is no place for your child."

More than 47,000 children traveling by themselves have illegally crossed into the U.S. since October. Most have been captured in Texas. Johnson is in charge of solving the crisis.

"When I saw it for myself, and I had a chance to talk with these kinds, be with these kids, it was a very vivid demonstration to me of the problem we face," Johnson said.

6/12/2014 Related Story: Central American Orphans To Arrive At Fort Sill On Friday

Hundreds of arrested children have been staying at a facility in Nogales, sleeping under foil blankets in makeshift beds. Some are being moved to military installations, not only in our state at Fort Sill, but also in California and Texas.

Supporters of tighter immigration rules say vague deportation policies are encouraging migrants to jump the border.

"The perception is that there are no consequences to illegally entering the United States, and if that is the perception, the flood of humanity will continue," Senator John Cornyn said.

Where most of children will go after their stays in these holding facilities is still not clear.

For the first time, Health and Human Services is releasing pictures today of the shelter at the Naval Base in Ventura, California. This comes as the ACLU and National Immigrant Justice Center, along with other groups, sends a 25-page complaint to Homeland Security.

It says the children are being subjected to abuse and harassment at the hands of Border Patrol and Customs and Border Protection officials.

DHS hasn't responded and CBP says mistreatment and misconduct is not tolerated.