Republican lawmakers want to block the Obama administration from housing illegal immigrant minors on military bases across the U.S.
“Our Military’s core mission is the defense of our nation and must not be jeopardized by the fallout from this president’s failed immigration policies,” Rep. John Carter (R-TX) said in a statement to Breitbart News.
In January the Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) said it was considering a half dozen military bases to house the ongoing surge of Central American unaccompanied minors streaming across the U.S.-Mexico border.
“Housing illegal immigrant minors on military installations like Fort Hood harms our military force by causing a distraction on their home bases which are set up to train the best military force in the world,” Carter, the chairman of the House Appropriations’ Homeland Security Subcommittee, continued. “Housing minors near live fire ranges, large military tanks, and other combat ready equipment is irresponsible and unsafe.”
The administration has since backed off the plans for several of the bases. However, Carter and Rep. Kevin Cramer (R-ND), a co-sponsor of the bill, say they would like to ensure that all military bases are off the table.
“This is not the time to relax, this is the time we put policies in going forward so we avoid this temptation by HHS,” Cramer said in an interview with Breitbart Wednesday. HHS recently scratched Grand Forks Air Force Base, located in Cramer’s district, off its list of possible housing options for the illegal minors.
The North Dakota lawmaker wondered about the administration’s intentions, saying, “On the one hand the administration seems to be zealous about incentivizing immigration — legal and illegal — and that same administration seems to be zealous about demilitarizing our military.”
Carter is expected to introduce the legislation later this week and his office is still gathering co-sponsors for the bill.
“Using military bases to support the President’s immigration agenda when their resources have already been stretched thin is unacceptable. Our country is at war with radical Islamic extremism at home and abroad, and our military assets must be used to train and prepare our troops, not house illegal aliens,” Carter wrote recently in a “Dear Colleague” letter seeking additional co-sponsors.