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BACKTRACK: Obama Administration no longer considering housing illegals in Alabama

Center for Domestic Preparedness in Anniston, Ala. (Photo: FEMA)
Center for Domestic Preparedness in Anniston, Ala. (Photo: FEMA)

After receiving intense pushback from Alabama Congressman Mike Rogers (R-Saks) and the public at large, the Department of Health and Human Services announced this morning that they are no longer considering the Center for Domestic Preparedness (CDP) in Anniston, Ala. as a possible location to house illegal immigrant children who came across the border unaccompanied.

“(W)e indicated the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and General Services Administration (GSA) were planning to conduct an initial assessment of a site at the Center for Domestic Preparedness in Anniston, Alabama to determine whether it might be used as a facility for temporarily housing children who have come into the United States from other countries without an adult guardian,” an HHS representative wrote in a letter to Rogers. “However, I wanted to let you know that the site is no longer under consideration, and GSA and HHS will not be taking further steps related to that facility.”

Yellowhammer broke the news that the Obama Administration was considering the CDP as a possible location on Tuesday.

In response, Rep. Rogers penned a letter to HHS Secretary Sylvia Burwell and Department of Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson voicing his opposition to the proposal.

“The CDP is a world class first responder training facility; however, it was in no way built to house immigration detainees, much less children,” Rogers wrote. “CDP is over 900 miles from the Rio Grande Valley where many of these border crossings occur, and transporting illegal immigrants so far away from the border and their home countries would seem to make this crisis worse. It seems implausible that there is not a temporary facility within 900 miles of our southwestern border capable of housing these individuals without the disruption that I am concerned this transfer would cause to CDP operations. In addition, I am concerned the housing of many of these unaccompanied minor children who arrived here under the false belief they would be granted legal status — a belief challenged little if at all over the years by the Obama Administration — could put deep and challenging stresses on the local community’s health system.”

A coalition of Alabama Tea Party leaders also wrote a letter to Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley asking him to intervene. But it now looks like that won’t be necessary.

[UPDATE: 10:17 a.m.]

Rep. Rogers just released a statement announcing that the CDP is no longer being considered as a possible location, and placed the blame for the immigration crisis squarely on the Obama Administration.

“President Obama is not following our immigration laws resulting in a national immigration crisis,” Rogers said. “We should be working with the nations of origin to return these children back to their homes safely.”

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