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Border Supplemental Addresses Inappropriate Use of Military Bases

July 29, 2014
Press Release

Washington, D.C. – Congressman Tom Cole (OK-04), a member of the Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense, released the following statement after the House working group unveiled its proposal to address the influx of unaccompanied illegal minors along the southern border. In response to the president’s $3.7 billion request, the working group instead recommended only $659 million and set forth conditions for actually dealing with the cause of the problem. 

The supplemental proposal includes language recommended by Cole and secured by the working group that addresses the use of military facilities for housing illegal minors. As seen in the proposal, this language explains that the Department of Defense should provide written and advance notice to Congress and the public in the Federal Register about housing UAC’s at military facilities. In addition, it explains that the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) should not use military facilities for more than 120 days nor should it “displace active members of the Armed Forces” or “interfere with any mission of the Department of Defense.” 

“Rather than manage the surge and throw money we don’t have at the problem, I am pleased that the working group offered a proposal that actually addresses the situation at our borders,” said Cole. “Furthermore, I am pleased that the bill included language that I had requested expressing the sense of Congress that military bases should not be used to house these illegal immigrants. It’s unfair that facilities designed for military use are being inappropriately used to house those who entered the country illegally.”  

Cole’s recommended language appears in Section 302 of the bill text here.
For information about the specifics of the legislation, click here