The federal government unsuccessfully tried to house at least 400 illegal immigrant juveniles at empty stores, hotels, and warehouses in Wisconsin.
Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, like many governors across the nation, was not even notified of these potential plans in July.
Ultimately, the Fox Valley region was unable to provide sites that were “within 100 miles of an airport.”
According to a Post-Crescent Media report, emails “show that U.S. Health and Human Services workers in Chicago spoke directly to Outagamie County officials about a 90,000-square-foot facility to house the children temporarily” in July.
“We were contacted to seek suitable sites that met federal criteria to house the children,” Craig Moser, deputy executive administrator for Outagamie County, told the outlet. “We asked around – they gave a range of possibilities from large empty stores, warehouses or unoccupied hotels. We don’t have much of that.”
According to HHS documents Post-Crescent Media obtained, a State Fair Park and “two shuttered juvenile detention facilities – Ethan Allen School for boys and Southern Oaks School for girls” – were also considered. Federal officials expect more illegal immigrants to be apprehended once the summer temperatures cool, and they are reportedly also considering “an undisclosed church-owned site in northeast Wisconsin” to potentially house illegal immigrants in the future.