TACOMA — Joint Base Lewis-McChord may be selected to temporarily house children immigrants from Mexico and Central America who are caught trying to illegally cross the U.S.-Mexico border, Rep. Denny Heck, D-Wash., said.
Negations are under way between the Department of Defense and the Department of Health and Human Services to potentially bring child detainees to JBLM.
The movement is closely watched by Heck, whose district includes part of JBLM. Heck appears to concur with the proposal, and said the influx of young immigrants is part of an ongoing humanitarian crisis surrounding immigration laws.
“My support for comprehensive immigration reform within our own borders aside, this is a humanitarian crisis that has steadily gotten worse since at least 2005,” Heck said in a release. “It’s a crisis that won’t ebb until these children’s home countries attack the root of this problem and enforce their own rule of law such that these children aren’t forced to flee for their lives.”
Heck said housing child immigrants would not affect general service at JBLM.
According to U.S. House committees, the problem of undocumented children crossing the border is ever increasing.
Gov. Jay Inslee’s office said they are aware of Heck’s comments and are monitoring the proposal closely.