The U.S. government plans to open three new shelters in three states to house unaccompanied migrant children as officials brace for another influx of young Central American immigrants crossing the border.
The temporary shelters in Colorado, Florida and New Mexico, all located on federal property, are in addition to shelters that opened outside Dallas earlier this month to deal with the growing number of immigrants expected in the spring and summer of 2016.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services plans to house up to 1,000 children in a renovated warehouse in the sprawling Federal Center complex in the Denver suburb of Lakewood. Another 800 will be housed at a Job Corps site in Homestead, Florida, and 400 more at Holloman Air Force Base in New Mexico, Mark Weber, a spokesman for HHS, which is responsible for overseeing the children's care, said Thursday.
The new planned shelters, combined with the camps opened in Rockwall and Ellis counties in Texas this month, represent a 42 percent increase over the 8,400 permanent shelter beds the agency previously relied on in 12 states mainly along the Mexican border.
|Migrant children (credit: CBS)|
Children in the shelters, most of them between ages 14 and 17, stay an average of 32 days. They receive schooling and medical care on site until they can be placed with sponsors as they wait to hear whether they will be allowed to stay in the U.S. or will be deported.
Officials in Colorado and Florida were quietly informed Wednesday about the decision to open the shelter there. Last week, U.S. Defense Secretary Ashton Carter directed Holloman Air Force Base officials to get ready to house immigrant children in a vacant building once used by the 4th Space Surveillance Squadron starting in January.Read the rest of the story HERE.
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