By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter
On Thursday, July 24, Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange (R) said in a written statement that he will oppose the relocation of juveniles intercepted at the Southern border to Montgomery.
Attorney General Strange said, “News reports have indicated the Obama administration is considering relocating some unaccompanied illegal immigrant children to Maxwell AFB in Montgomery. I will work with all our elected officials to oppose such a move should it occur. There can be no mistake that the Obama administration is responsible for this humanitarian crisis through its failure to uphold the rule of law and enforce our National borders.”
Strange is not alone in this view. State Senator Paul Bussman (R) from Cullman said in a statement on Facebook, “Just saw that Maxwell Air Force Base in Montgomery is a possible sight for the housing of illegal unaccompanied minors now crossing the border. I have advised the Governor that I am totally and strongly opposed to this possibility. Our schools cannot handle it. Our State employees cannot handle that work load. Our health system cannot handle it and our budgets certainly cannot afford additional unexpected expenditures. The State of Alabama should not suffer because the Federal government will not stop this crisis by sealing the border. Ridiculous!!”
State Representative Mack Butler said on Facebook, “The Obama administration is looking to possibly house illegal minors at Maxwell Air force base. If this happens it will be a huge burden on our State’s finances as they enter our public schools and consume other State funded services. Wouldn’t it be great if we secured our borders? Living life upside down!”
This is the second time this month that the Obama administration has attempted to create what essentially is a concentration camp for young illegal aliens in Alabama. Previously the site under consideration was Anniston where FEMA runs a camp on part of the old Fort McClellan.
At that time, Speaker of the Alabama House of Representatives Mike Hubbard (R) from Auburn said in a statement, “President Obama is absolutely incompetent. He failed to secure the border, and is now trying to send illegal immigrants to Alabama rather than their home country. This cannot stand and I will do everything in my power to work with Congressman Mike D. Rogers to stop it.”
But, not everyone is opposed to the new immigrants.
In response to the news that children detained at the border may be temporarily sheltered in Alabama, the Alabama Coalition for Immigrant Justice (ACIJ) issued a written statement. The ACIJ wrote, “In times of hardship, we Alabamians often turn to faith and family for a solution. Today, we learned that several hundred refugee children may be temporarily relocated to Maxwell Air force Base while their individual cases are reviewed. Now, more than ever, these children need love, support, and stability while they await reunification with their relatives. We are confident that the people of Alabama would welcome them with open arms, and treat these children as we would our own. Our coalition is calling for assurance that these children would be housed appropriately in a comfortable, child-friendly, and caring atmosphere at the base while the administration acts as quickly as possible to reunite them with any U.S. based-relatives.”
Breaking with her Republican colleagues, Representative Terri A. Sewell (D) supports the Obama Administration plan to use Maxwell to house the juveniles who were intercepted at the border. Rep. Sewell said in a written statement, ““It is my understanding that Maxwell Air Force Base is being considered as a possible site for an emergency detention center to house unaccompanied immigrant children while they await their due process hearings,” said Rep. Sewell. “I am supportive of the Obama Administration’s efforts to place these children on military bases where they will be accounted for and their basic needs met as they await their due process hearings as required under our current law. This is a humanitarian crisis and I believe we have a moral obligation to protect and treat unaccompanied children with care and compassion. Should Maxwell Air Force Base be selected as a site, we as Alabamians, as we have always done, must rise to the call of duty and follow the law. This humanitarian crisis at the border highlights the urgent need for comprehensive immigration reform and Congress needs to act now.”
The ACIJ wrote, “This issue is an extremely complicated one, and while Washington debates specific policy solutions, Alabamians can draw upon our faith to set an example of kindness and love for our neighbors.”