Malmstrom no longer being considered as temporary shelter for migrant children
City officials were notified late Tuesday afternoon that Malmstrom Air Force Base is no longer being considered to provide temporary shelter for unaccompanied migrant children.
In an email to City Commissioners, the Office of Refuge Resettlement, or ORR, at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services said the base is “longer available for use.”
According to an ABC News report, the Trump administration is opening an emergency shelter at the Army’s Fort Sill in Oklahoma for unaccompanied migrant children. The base will receive as many as 1,400 minors as early as July, according to the ABC News report.
In May, the commission was notified that Malmstrom was being assessed “for use as a temporary emergency evacuation shelter for unaccompanied alien children. If selected, Malmstrom Air Force Base would remain unoccupied but available for use if there is an urgent need for additional shelter space, e.g. natural disaster impacting operating capacity” of a shelter, according to the May email from HHS.
In the May email, HHS said it was considering Malmstrom and Fort Sill. The Oklahoma base served as a temporary emergency influx shelter for unaccompanied migrant children in 2014, under the Obama administration, as a result of a migration surge at that time.
On June 11, HHS emailed City Commissioners and said their office “is identifying capacity, should it need to expand, to provide shelter for UAC apprehended at the U.S. Southern Border. Aggressive management of shelter capacity is a prudent step to ensure that ORR is able to meet its responsibility, by law, to provide shelter for UAC referred to its care by the Department of Homeland Security and so that the U.S. Border Patrol can continue its vital national security mission to prevent illegal migration, trafficking, and protect the borders of the United States.”