The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has asked the Pentagon for permission to temporarily house unaccompanied migrant children at two Texas military facilities.
“We have just received this request, so I don’t have much more detail than that,” Pentagon chief spokesman John Kirby said Tuesday. The two facilities in question are Fort Bliss, located near the U.S.-Mexico border in El Paso, and Joint Base San Antonio.
Kirby said migrants were housed at military bases in 2012 and 2017, so the request is not out of the ordinary. The Biden administration has reached agreements in recent days to house additional child migrants in hotels and at the San Diego Convention Center. (RELATED: ‘This Is Absolute Insanity’: GOP Rep. Says Biden ‘Dismantled’ Strong Trump Border)
— New York Post (@nypost) March 23, 2021
HHS is responsible for housing and taking care of unaccompanied migrant children while asylum claims and other immigration proceedings are carried out. HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra said Monday, “Our task is to protect the health and safety of unaccompanied children.”
Border crossings have surged to historic levels since President Joe Biden took office in late January, with more than 100,000 migrants encountered by border patrol in the month of February. Thousands of unaccompanied children are being housed in border detention facilities, and more are arriving than are leaving, according to Fox News. (RELATED: House Preps To Pass Two Immigration Bills As Border Crisis Intensifies)
94% of beds for unaccompanied children are reportedly occupied at the moment as the flow of migrants continues. White House press secretary Jen Psaki has said the situation is not a crisis, but a “circumstance.” HHS did not respond to a request for comment from the Daily Caller by the time of publication.