In an attempt to prevent the chaos of the immigrant border surge that occurred in the summer of 2014, Department of Homeland Security officials are securing various locations to temporarily house Unaccompanied Alien Children (UAC) and family units from Central America. As a result of that effort, U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter has directed Holloman Air Force Base in Alamogordo, New Mexico to house up to 400 children starting in January.
According to the Associated Press, the children are currently in the care of the Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) Administration for Children and Families. The protocol is for these children to remain in this holding pattern until a family member in the U.S. can be located for their release. If no family member can be located, the children are placed in the foster care system.
Alamogordo Chamber of Commerce President Mike Espiritu told the AP that health department officials have already visited Holloman to see if the site could work.