The Daily Caller has obtained documents used in an off-the-record conference call being conducted by the Federal Emergency Management Agency for Congressional staffers on how the Obama administration is handling thousands of young illegal immigrants who are coming to the U.S. alone.
The young immigrants, called Unaccompanied Children, or UACs, are being housed at several U.S. military installations as well as with 94 Unaccompanied Children Shelter Grantees throughout the U.S., the document reveals.
FEMA is coordinating the effort, which is being called a “humanitarian situation.”
“There are currently 2,785 unaccompanied children in U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) custody nationwide, 2,168 of whom have remained in CBP facilities, that, as required by law, need to be transferred to HHS,” read the Congressional Advisory. “The majority of these children, 1,339, are concentrated in the Rio Grande Valley (RGV) Sector of Texas.”
A chart used in the call shows daily apprehensions of UACs wavering between 200 and 250 per day since June 1.
They hail from a total of 11 countries, according to the document, with the majority coming from Honduras, Guatemala, Mexico, and El Salvador.
The document also details which facilities in the U.S. are housing UACs once they are apprehended.
The Department of Health and Human Services is housing 5,685 UACs at facilities throughout the country. Total occupancy is 6,218.
The UACs have also been sent to various military installations in the U.S.
On May 18, Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio began holding some of the UACs. The installation has room for 1,200, according to the document with 1,137 of the minors having been placed there.
Ventura County Naval Base outside of Oxnard, Cali. has room for 230 UACs; 91 are currently at the facility. It is operating at only 40 percent capacity, according to the document. Contractors are completing requirements to increase capacity to 575.
Fort Sill Army Base near Lawton, Okla. will begin housing UACs on Friday, according to the document. They have room for 600.
The Nogales Transition Center in Arizona and the McAllen Customs and Border Patrol facility in Texas have room for 1,200 UACs apiece.
Plans are also being finalized on a facility in Baltimore, Maryland. It was reported earlier this week that a 1.1 million square foot abandoned Social Security Administration building will be used to house UACs there.
The Department of Homeland Security and agencies under its umbrella, U.S. Customs and Border Patrol and Immigration and Customs Enforcement, were caught on their heels by a heavy stream of immigrants who entered the U.S. through the southern Texas border in the Rio Grande Valley.
Immigrants attempting entry at that point along the border tend to be from Central America.
Young immigrants from such countries are particularly problematic for the federal agencies. Policy requires the agencies to take in the young immigrants rather than turn them away at the border, as they might do with older immigrants from Mexico.
The Central American countries have made returning the children difficult by refusing to accept flights from the U.S. on weekends.
Another document discussed in Wednesday’s off-the-record conference call walks through the federal governments’ process.
“After arrival in U.S., child is identified, undergoes initial health screening and immigration processing to initiate removal proceedings,” the document explains.
From there, the UACs are transferred to short term multi-agency centers and further inspected by HHS.
“Child travels to HHS shelter assignment. Transportation is provided by DHS,” the document reads, adding that the children remain in HHS shelters until a sponsor is identified “on a case-by-case basis.”
From there, the UAC is placed with a relative or a sponsor in the U.S. throughout the immigration process.
TheDC attempted to listen in on the call but was told that members of the press were not allowed.