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Military bases providing shelter to detained child immigrants

Florida residents may have heard that President Obama has opened three military bases to temporarily house children who have been detained while trying to enter the United States illegally. Most of the children come from Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador. While they are entering the country without parents or relatives, in many cases, they already have a mother or father living in the United States.

Cecilia Munoz, the White House domestic policy director, has theorized that growing violence in those countries has led to the influx of children. Some of them are girls younger than 13. However, others counter that more children are entering because the United States may be changing immigration policies. In the meantime, the United States is trying to work with governments in Mexico and Central America to discourage children from making the journey.

The Department of Health and Human Services is in charge of the children. Shelters to care for them have been opened at Naval Base Ventura County in Southern California and Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas with the newest one in Fort Sill, Oklahoma. The Oklahoma base will eventually be able to accommodate more than 1,000 children. However, officials did not provide numbers in total regarding how many children were being processed. The administration is currently seeking more funds to cover the cost of care given the huge recent influx.

Individuals who are facing deportation or whose family members are facing deportation may wish to speak with an attorney. Immigration is a complex and rapidly-changing area, and there may be routes to legalization that individuals are unaware of. An attorney may also be helpful to individuals who feel their rights were violated in a situation relating to immigration or deportation.

Source: Reuters, "U.S. to open third military base to illegal child immigrants", June 09, 2014

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