The new surge of illegal immigrant youths has forced the federal government to look at an emergency plan to house them at six military bases at at least two federal worker centers, according to the administration.
The Pentagon is beginning "site assessments" at bases as far north as North Dakota and Massachusetts.
"The Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) at HHS is expanding its capacity to provide shelter for the current influx of unaccompanied children at the U.S. Southern Border. This temporary increased shelter capacity is a prudent step needed to ensure ORR meets its statutory responsibility to provide shelter for the unaccompanied children referred to its care and to assist CBP in ensuring that the US Border Patrol continues its vital national security mission to prevent illegal migration and trafficking, and to protect the borders of the United States," said a Pentagon memo to Rep. Martha Roby, Alabama Republican.
She led a previous fight to block the sheltering of the youths at Maxwell-Gunter Air Force Base near Montgomery, Ala.
According to the Pentagon email she forwarded, the other bases are:
-- Tyndall Air Force Base, FL (nearest city: Panama City, FL)
-- Grand Forks Air Force Base, ND (nearest cities: Emerado, ND and Grand Forks, ND)
-- Naval Support Activity Philadelphia, PA (nearest city: Philadelphia, PA)
-- Hanscom Air Force Base, MA (nearest city: Bedford, MA)
-- Travis Air Force Base, CA (nearest city: Fairfield, CA)
Another 1,600 beds are being set aside at the Homestead Job Corps, in Florida, and Denver Federal Campus, in Lakewood.
The latest surge of minors reached 5,600 caught at the southern border in November, more than double the number apprehended last year, according to U.S. Customs and Border Protection.
Roby said that she is girding for another fight. (Her letter is below.)
"A military base is no place to house illegal immigrant children. Bases like Maxwell are engaged in real military activities - training, education, cyber warfare - many times in classified settings that are very sensitive. Their mission does not need to be distracted by housing, feeding and securing hundreds of detainees.
"Housing illegal immigrant children at an active military base like Maxwell-Gunter is a terrible idea. We shut it down the first time and we are working every angle to shut it down again," she said.
Paul Bedard, the Washington Examiner's "Washington Secrets" columnist, can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.