In another sign of the slowdown of children crossing the U.S.-Mexico border, the Obama administration is suspending use of three emergency shelters it opened on military installations.
Fort Sill Army post's shelter should no longer be caring for children by Aug. 8 and Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland in Texas and Naval Base Ventura County-Port Hueneme, California are expected to end use over the next two to eight weeks, Administration for Children and Families said in a statement. In total, 7,700 children were housed in the shelters.
In addition to fewer arrivals of children at the border, "we are able to take this step because we have proactively expanded capacity to care for children in standard shelters, which are significantly less costly facilities," the administration said Monday.
The administration started seeing a slowdown of unaccompanied children arriving at the border in early July, which NBC News reported.
There have been more than 57,000 apprehensions of unaccompanied children from Oct. 1 through the end of June. Uncertainty about whether numbers will rise once more means the shelters could be reopened if needed.
Meanwhile, to cover costs handling the children who did come, Johnson is proposing to Congress to shuffle some money around to avoid Immigration and Customs Enforcement and Customs and Border Patrol running out of money.
He has proposed moving $267.6 million from the Disaster Relief Fund, used for responding to natural disasters, $31.5 million from the U.S. Coast Guard, which would result in a deferral of maintenance projects and $34.7 million from Transportation Security Administration, which would defer maintenance of aviation security screening equipment. Also, he wants to shift $70.5 million from other Customs and Border Protection priorities to continue to pay for southwest border activities.
_ Suzanne Gamboa