Monday, August 4, 2014
But Federal Government Extends Lease on Facility Anyway
OKLAHOMA CITY – Governor Mary Fallin today received notice from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) that the Fort Sill facility for illegal immigrant minors will be closed on Friday, August 8. The facility has been holding unaccompanied minors who illegally crossed the United States’ southern border since June 13.
Fallin said she was pleased by the announcement, but worried the Obama administration might seek to reopen the facility sometime in the future.
“I am pleased that the Obama Administration is finally listening to the people of Oklahoma and acting to close the Fort Sill facility for illegal immigrants. However, I am disturbed the administration chose to renew its lease on the facility, thereby preserving the option of reopening it in the future.
“We know that illegal immigration naturally dips in the summer months, as temperatures rise at our southern border. Because of that decrease, the federal government has been able to empty the facility at Fort Sill and process the illegal immigrants they have brought to Oklahoma. There is nothing to stop this administration, however, from reopening the shelter at Fort Sill later in the year as the number of illegal immigrants apprehended naturally increases. I am calling on President Obama to set the record straight once and for all: will this facility be reopened, or can we trust that it has closed for good?
“As I have said for weeks, opening this facility at all was an improper use of our military base. It was a public health hazard. It was also an attempt to find a band-aid solution to a much larger border crisis caused by President Obama’s unwillingness to enforce our laws and secure our borders. I am relieved – as are many Oklahomans – to hear this facility will be closed by the end of the week. We can now use it as it was intended: as a military resource to house and train soldiers.
“Moving forward, I would like the president to give his word that this facility will remain closed permanently.”