Will Feds House Migrant Children Near Paso Robles?
The federal government may house unaccompanied migrant children at Camp Roberts, a California Army National Guard base spanning San Luis Obispo and Monterey counties.
The Pentagon on Friday approved the use of Camp Roberts to temporarily house migrant children traveling alone, according to a defense official.
It was not immediately clear if or how many children could be placed at the camp, which is located along the Salinas River. The nearest incorporated city is Paso Robles, which is 16 miles south of the base.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services said Saturday that the camp is “under active consideration.” The department has not made a decision.
“When HHS decides to activate an Emergency Influx Site for unaccompanied migrant children we will notify state and local authorities as well as members of Congress,” the department said in a statement.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services had requested the use of the base, Pentagon spokesman John Kirby confirmed Thursday.
The California National Guard did not immediately respond to a request for comment Saturday.
9,000 Unaccompanied Children Came to US in February
Border authorities encountered more than 9,000 children without a parent in February, the highest single month since May 2019, when more than 11,000 unaccompanied minors came to the border.
After being processed by the Border Patrol, they are transferred to Health and Human Services. Eventually, they will be released to a sponsor, usually a parent or close relative.
Unlike adults in many situations, all unaccompanied minors are allowed to stay in the U.S. That dynamic has prompted many parents to either send kids on the journey to America alone, or get to the border and let them go the rest of the way. Most end up at least temporarily in shelters that are currently way beyond capacity.
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