Homelessness is an epidemic among veterans. And while the Obama administration has paid lip service to the issue, they aren’t doing much to actually solve the problem. In fact, when housing on a military base became available, they didn’t do the obvious thing and put it to use as a homeless shelter for veterans. No, instead, they’re going to let unaccompanied illegal immigrant children live there instead.
Starting next month, children who immigrated alone to the United States will be sent to a shelter on the military base. According to U.S. Department of Health and Human Services spokesman Toby Merkt, they are not sure how many children will be arriving, although the facility can hold up to 1,800 beds. They will live there while officials find family members in the United States who can care for them while their immigration cases make their way through the court system. There will be one adult staff member for every eight children, who are expected to stay at the shelter for around 35 days. The only children allowed at the facility are children who have already been screened by HHS and vaccinated.
This is one of over 100 shelters around the country that houses unaccompanied children. Most of the children are sent across the border to escape the violence that has engulfed Central America, and come from countries like Honduras, Guatemala, and El Salvador. Central America has some of the highest murder rates in the world, likely thanks to the gangs and cartels that reign supreme there. It is not difficult to understand why desperate parents would send their children to the United States to try to spare them a life marred by such violence and poverty. It’s what any parent would do, after all.
But the question remains, if there is space available on a military base, and more than 100 other shelters specifically dedicated to helping these unaccompanied children, then why is Obama not proposing we use the facility at Fort Bliss for homeless veterans? It just goes to show where his priorities lie.