Secretary Supports HHS Request for Assistance
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, May 17, 2014 Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel approved the use of an unused building on a Texas military installation for temporary housing of unaccompanied alien children under the care of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Pentagon Press Secretary Navy Rear Adm. John Kirby said in a statement released yesterday.
Kirby’s statement reads as follows:
“At the request of the Secretary of Health and Human Services, Kathleen Sebelius, Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel today approved the use of a vacant dormitory at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland to serve as a temporary housing facility for unaccompanied alien children under Health and Human Services' care.
“Health and Human Services' Administration for Children and Families (ACF) will temporarily house up to 1,000 minors identified by the Department of Homeland Security in the facility on a reimbursable basis for up to 120 days, where the children will remain under the supervision and care of ACF program grantees.
“The secretary was pleased to be able to assist in this manner. It's another example of the department's ability to respond rapidly to requests in support of federal partners.”
According to a U.S. Northern Command news release issued yesterday, Hagel directed Northcom, headquartered at Peterson Air Force Base in Colorado, to provide a facility at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland for use as temporary housing for children who were stopped by the U.S. Border Patrol and are now being cared for by HHS’s Administration for Children and Families.
The minors in the facility will to be under the supervision and care of ACF program grantees, the Northcom release said. Within HHS, the release continued, the ACF is responsible for providing care and shelter to children referred by immigration authorities.
The San Antonio-Lackland facility is one of several housing units built on base between 1968 and 1973, and it can accommodate up to 1,000 people, the Northcom release said.
Northcom’s Army component command, U.S. Army North, which is headquartered in San Antonio, is responsible for coordinating the DOD support with HHS and Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, the Northcom release said.
Northcom and its components provide DOD-unique capabilities in support of the Department of Homeland Security, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the National Interagency Fire Center, and other federal, state and local officials, the Northcom release said.