FORT HOOD — Congressman Roger Williams, R-Texas, announced Dec. 16 that he sent a letter to President Barack Obama, the Department of Defense, the Department of Health and Human Services and the Department of Homeland Security urging the Obama administration not to provide temporary housing for children living in the U.S. illegally at any U.S. military installation, including Fort Hood.
"While housing these unaccompanied minors may be a challenge for you, seeking support from military bases when their resources have already been stretched thin is unacceptable," wrote Williams.
The letter was sent in response to a notification from the Office of the Secretary of Defense that a survey team will assess the possibility of using Fort Hood to house unaccompanied minors.
Here is the Congressman's letter:
Dear Mr. President, The Department of Defense (DOD) has received a formal request for assistance from the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to provide temporary housing for unaccompanied alien children. We have been informed that a survey team will soon be investigating Fort Hood as a possible location for housing these illegal immigrants. We strongly urge your Administration not to house illegal immigrants on any military base. Furthermore, your Administration should commit to securing the border and focus your efforts on reuniting these children with their families in their native countries. While housing these unaccompanied minors may be a challenge for you, seeking support from military bases 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. Fort Hood has already suffered two shootings, including one terrorist attack. This military base is clearly a target and our country cannot afford to further burden it with the duties of running a safe house.As Members of Congress who represent Fort Hood, one of the largest military installations in the United States, we ask you to reaffirm that our military installations exist to project power around the world and to serve our men and women in uniform and their families – not house illegal immigrants. In addition, we ask that Secretary Jeh Johnson and Secretary Sylvia Burwell meet with us before any action is taken to use Fort Hood as a housing unit for illegal aliens. We respectfully request your immediate attention and quick response to this matter.
A statement from Tom Rheinlander, Director, Public Affairs, Fort Hood:
In accordance with the Department of Defense's approval of a Health and Human Services (HHS) request for assistance, representatives from HHS are conducting an ongoing assessment of Fort Hood to determine if our installation is suitable for them to temporarily provide shelter for Unaccompanied Children under their care. Fort Hood officials joined the HHS staff as they recently toured the vacant facilities available for HHS's use. HHS will make the final determination if they will use Fort Hood for Unaccompanied Children operations. The Department of Defense and HHS will continue to keep local and congressional officials informed throughout this assessment and selection process.