Fort Knox will not receive child immigrants, despite being mentioned by lawmakers, including Kentucky Senator Rand Paul. Kentucky 3rd District Representative John Yarmuth issued a statement Monday stating the Department of Health and Human Services has confirmed it is not considering Fort Knox for housing of children fleeing violence south of the border. The Depart of Defense had submitted Fort Knox as a site large enough to house the immigrants, but HHS has final say.
The spike in Central American child refugees crossing the U.S. border alone has garnered national spotlight. Murray State History Professor Bill Schell says a collapse of government, particularly in El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras has left gangs in control, creating desperation among parents. Debate continues on how to provide temporary care for child refugees as numbers increase and facilities become more strapped for space and staff in addition to whether the children should remain in the U.S. or return to their nation of origin.
Schell acknowledges the point that the United States has children of its own threatened by gangs and poverty, but says sending the child immigrants back is a way to ensure this problem will be a cycle that continues unresolved.