Feds Prepping for a Tidal Wave of Illegals

Federal officials have opened two 1,000 bed shelters in South Texas and have asked for the Pentagon’s help to prepare 5,000 more beds for an expected tidal wave of illegals heading for the U.S. border.Unaccompanied-Minors-png

The number of unaccompanied minors arriving at the state’s southern border in late summer began to tick unexpectedly upward, breaking from typical seasonal trends and raising concerns of an influx like that of summer 2014, when tens of thousands of Central American kids sought refuge in Texas.

Even though the number of migrants has fallen off from the massive numbers in the summer of 2014, recent trends indicate a new wave may be emerging.

Various department spokespersons were unable to say precisely where the South Texas shelters would be or what they would entail. Like other similar facilities, they will be run by private detention contractors, though a cost estimate was unavailable. Texas currently has two federally operated detention centers for migrant women and children who seek asylum.

A Defense Department spokesman said the Pentagon had received the HHS request, and, if the need arises, was exploring options for housing unaccompanied children in vacant quarters of military bases.

Should that need occur, he said, HHS will coordinate all administrative efforts, including transportation, feeding and medical needs. During the migration surge of summer 2014, he said, unaccompanied children were housed at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, as well as bases in Oklahoma and California.

Law requires the Border Patrol to hand over children from Central American countries to HHS, which must shelter them while they await immigration proceedings. The 34,000 unaccompanied children who arrived at the nation’s Southwest Border in fiscal year 2015 were less than the 58,000 who arrived in 2014. However, recent months saw an increase during a period that normally sees a decrease, raising questions about whether a new trend is developing.