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Peterson Air Force Base surveyed to house unaccompanied migrant children

Migrant Children
Posted at 7:50 AM, Mar 26, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-26 11:17:06-04

COLORADO SPRINGS — Peterson Air Force is being considered to house unaccompanied migrant children.

During a press conference Wednesday, Pentagon Press Secretary John Kirby announced Peterson Air Force Base was being considered as a potential site. The decision comes after the Department of Health and Human Services submitted a request to the Pentagon asking for assistance.

With so many children coming across the southern border, detention centers are getting overcrowded. If Peterson is chosen to house migrant children, it would join two other military bases tapped for providing temporary housing.

According to Kirby, government officials surveyed Peterson Wednesday to see if it was suitable to house children, but there is no decision yet.

"I know you want to know the number that HHS is asking. I'm not going to answer that, I'll defer you to HHS for that. We are going to treat this like any other request for assistance," said Kirby.

If the children are placed at Peterson, Kirby says HHS would have access immediately to prepare to receive the children, and the agency will maintain custody and responsibility for them.

While they've done this past, they've never done it during a pandemic.

"One of the challenges will be how do you deal with the potential of COVID and the impact of infection in the populations of the children and installation," said Kirby.

DOD is expected to make a decision in days, not weeks.

News 5 reached out to the DOD with more questions, but they directed us to HHS. We have not heard back just yet.