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Border & Immigration

HHS Ending Use Of JBSA-Lackland As Shelter For Migrant Children

Lackland_barracks_USAF_May_16,_2014_140516-F-NX489-001.jpg
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Lackland Barracks

The Department of Health and Human Services is ending its use of Lackland Air Force Base and several other facilities for housing unaccompanied minors.

HHS, which cares for the minors after they are detained by Border Patrol, announced on Monday Joint Base San Antonio Lackland, Fort Sill Army Base and Port Hueneme Naval Base would no longer be used as temporary shelters for 7,700 Central American migrant children.

Through an e-mail, a spokesperson for the Administration for Children and Families at HHS said the decision was based on an expansion of capacity at standard shelters, which cost less, and a decrease in the number of children coming across the border. The department began using the facilities in May and June. HHS holds the children until they can be released to family members of sponsors.

Fort Sill is expected to close its shelter by Friday, and Lackland will follow suit in two-eight weeks. However, HHS said it is possible the shelters could be reopened in the future if the amount of children crossing the border increases.