By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter
Wednesday, January 6, 2016, US Senator Richard Shelby (R-Alabama) and US Representative Martha Roby (R-Montgomery) both released statements in response to an announcement that unaccompanied illegal immigrant minors could potentially be housed at Maxwell-Gunter Air Force Base in Montgomery.
Senator Shelby said in a statement, “This Administration has once again ignored what is in the best interest of the American people. The decision to assess the possibility of housing illegal immigrants at Department of Defense facilities, like Maxwell-Gunter Air Force Base, will only exacerbate our illegal immigration problem by not enforcing the laws on the books.”
Congresswoman Roby said, “The Air Force personnel at Maxwell-Gunter, like members of the US Military stationed at bases throughout the country, are working hard to keep America safe. That mission is challenging enough without the added responsibility of housing, feeding and securing detainees.”
Sen. Shelby said, “Taxpayer dollars intended for military facilities should be used for those men and women working to keep our nation safe – not to house illegal immigrants. Instead of searching for housing, the federal government should be expeditiously and humanely sending these individuals back home.”
Over a year ago, Alabama’s Congressional delegation successfully opposed an attempt by the Obama Administration to use Maxwell-Gunter Air Force Base to house minors detained at the Mexican border.
Rep. Roby said, “A military base is no place to house illegal immigrant children. Bases like Maxwell are engaged in real military activities – training, education, cyber warfare – many times in classified settings that are very sensitive. Their mission does not need to be distracted by housing, feeding and securing hundreds of detainees. Housing illegal immigrant children at an active military base like Maxwell-Gunter is a terrible idea.”
Shelby said, “President Obama’s disregard for the rule of law and his attempt to push executive amnesty has led us to where we are today. I remain steadfast in my opposition to illegal immigration, and I will fight against allowing those who break our laws to be housed at Maxwell-Gunter Air Force Base.”
The Pentagon recently informed the delegation in an email that Maxwell-Gunter is among six military bases being assessed by the Department of Health and Human Services as a place to house children from the influx of minors at the southern border while they await deportation or resettlement here in the United States.
Congresswoman Roby has sent a letter to both the Secretaries of Defense, Homeland Security and Health and Human Services saying military installations are no place to house detained children.
In the letter Rep. Roby urged the Secretaries not to use Defense installations for illegal alien detention centers.
Rep. Roby said in her statement, “We shut it down the first time and we are working every angle to shut it down again.”
The military is preparing “site assessments” for potential housing at six military bases, including Maxwell Air Force Base. They are: Gunter Annex – Maxwell Air Force Base, AL; Tyndall Air Force Base, FL; Grand Forks Air Force Base, ND; Naval Support Activity Philadelphia, PA; Hanscom Air Force Base, MA; and Travis Air Force Base, CA.
The office of Refugee Resettlement is scheduled to open three new facilities by April: Homestead Job Corps, Homestead, FL, estimated operational start date: February 2016, Estimated capacity: 800 beds: Denver Federal Campus, Lakewood, CO Estimated operational start date: April 2016, Estimated capacity: 1,000 beds.