The Obama Administration remains tight-lipped about the location of illegal immigrant children it has moved around the country.
Last week, the Department of Defense released information about three locations being used to house the children coming across the border. The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has begun using Naval Base Ventura County, Calif., Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, Texas, and Fort Sill, Oklahoma, to house the “unaccompanied alien children,” according to the Department of Defense. But the Obama administration appears to be setting up other locations to house the illegal immigrant children as well.
Fort Bliss in El Paso, Texas, appears to have begun processing and housing illegal immigrant children in a hangar, according to Judicial Watch. Similarly, the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency has flown six planes filled with immigration detainees to Massachusetts, ICE officials confirmed to Fox’s Boston affiliate. The officials said it was all part of the normal removal process.
But across agency lines, officials have ignored questions from the press. ICE officials referred National Review Online’s questions on to Kenneth Wolfe, deputy director of the Office of Public Affairs in HHS’ Administration for Children and Families. Wolfe did not respond to repeated requests for an interview, but did email links to the Administration for Children and Families’ website. The Administration for Children and Families is an operational division of HHS that provides assistance with such things as child support enforcement and adoption assistance.
The Army Public Affairs office in Washington also referred Judicial Watch’s questions about Fort Bliss to Wolfe. And a spokesperson for BCFS Health and Human Services, a San Antonio-based network of non-profit organizations, declined comment to the Brownsville Herald about its plans to open a shelter for illegal immigrant children in Weslaco, referring the Herald to Wolfe as well.
Federal officials have instructed caseworkers, who identify and verify the sponsors of the illegal immigrant children, not to speak to the media under any circumstance. A caseworker spoke to KSAT in San Antonio anonymously and said caseworkers are told speaking to the media is a federal offense. As a result, the Obama Administration has yet to explain where the illegal immigrant children are being held and where they have been reunited with their families.
— Ryan Lovelace is a William F. Buckley Fellow at the National Review Institute.