$700 million of defense budget has already been spent on border operations
| HHS wants Pentagon to find locations to house up to 5,000 migrant children
By Rose L. Thayer, Stars and Stripes, March 7, 2019
| AUSTIN, Texas – The Defense Department was asked this week to provide more support in the mission to control immigration along the U.S.-Mexico border by finding space to house up to 5,000 migrant children, Army Lt. Col. Jamie Davis, a Pentagon spokesman, said Thursday.
The request comes as Customs and Border Protection announced Tuesday that apprehensions of unaccompanied minors along the southern border are up 54 percent compared to one year ago …
More than 11,500 children are in federal custody as unaccompanied minors, according to the website for HHS’s Office of Refugee Resettlement.
“DoD will work with the military services to identify potential locations for such support, and will work with HHS to assess any DoD facilities or suitable DoD land for potential use to provide temporary shelter for unaccompanied alien children,” Davis said.
From there, the Pentagon will present the space available for the children to HHS.
Should that agency “determine use of DoD facilities or land is necessary, HHS will submit an additional request to DoD to execute such support,” he said.
The military has become increasingly involved along the U.S. border with Mexico.
Pentagon officials have estimated the Defense Department will spend more than $700 million on providing National Guard and active-duty servicemembers to support Border Patrol operations. About 6,000 troops are deployed now on that mission. Read more.