Top Oklahoma Republicans on Wednesday backed the Trump administration’s plan to house illegal minors at Fort Sill — unlike in 2014, when they slammed the Obama White House for housing them at an estimated $252 per child per day.
Sens. Jim Inhofe and James Lankford, along with Rep. Tom Cole, said they endorsed the move after Department of Homeland Security officials assured them that the minors would only be temporarily held at Fort Sill and other Army bases.
Agency officials told The Military Times Wednesday that the minors would be sent to Fort Sill, which could accommodate as many as 1,400 illegals.
In 2014, the Oklahoma legislators bashed the Obama administration for indefinitely keeping 600 minors at the base.
“I have spoken to the Trump administration and local base officials and am confident that, unlike in 2014, there is an organized, responsible plan for temporarily housing unaccompanied minors at Fort Sill that will not have an adverse impact to readiness or the missions at Fort Sill,” Inhofe said.
Cole, whose district includes the Army base, called on Congress to solve the crisis.
“While the announced use of Fort Sill as a shelter for these children is only temporary, it certainly highlights the dire need for a permanent solution to manage the border crisis,” he said.
Lankford, who was in the House in 2014, said he toured the “safe environment” provided for the minors, “but I was frustrated by President [Barack] Obama’s lack of engagement in the problem.
“We must work with Mexico and fix our own legal loopholes to solve the underlying issues,” he said.
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