The Obama administration has shut down the three temporary shelters for unaccompanied minors detained illegally entering the United States through the southern border.
“To prudently manage its resources, HHS’s Administration for Children and Families has suspended all three temporary Unaccompanied Alien Children program shelters,” Kenneth Wolfe, deputy director of the Administration for Children and Families at the Department of Health and Human Services, wrote in an email to Breitbart News.
According to Wolfe, the unaccompanied minors — who were housed at the facilities after being detained for illegally entering the United States — have been moved to “standard UAC program shelters” or released to sponsors in the United States as they await their immigration hearings.
“We were able to take this step because we have proactively expanded capacity to care for children in standard shelters, which are significantly less costly facilities,” Wolfe explained in his email. “At the same time, we have seen a decrease in the number of children crossing the southwest border.”
Since October, more than 62,900 unaccompanied minors have been apprehended illegally entering the United States — the vast majority of whom are from Central America. The massive influx has overwhelmed government resources.
Earlier this month, the Obama administration highlighted a decline in the number of apprehensions of unaccompanied illegal immigrant minors in July.
According to an Associated Press report, the temporary shelter at Fort Sill in Oklahoma closed on August 6, the shelter at California’s Naval Base Ventura County closed on August 7, and the Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland closed earlier this week.
The AP noted that about 7,700 children were held at the bases, where they stayed for an average of 35 days. The report added that the shelters could be reopened if there are future increases in apprehensions of unaccompanied minors.
The shelters were opened in early summer when the influx reached acute levels.