Roby, Rogers say 'no', Sewell 'yes' to Maxwell AFB housing immig - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Roby, Rogers say 'no', Sewell 'yes' to Maxwell AFB housing immigrants

(Source: MGN Online) (Source: MGN Online)
MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) -

Alabama Representatives Martha Roby (R-District 2) and Mike Rogers (R-District 3) are adamant that the federal government not use Maxwell-Gunter Air Force Base for housing of immigrant children detained at the Mexican border.

The representatives say Maxwell-Gunter AFB, located in Montgomery, should be used "under no circumstances" in any immigration-related manner because the base plays a critical role in national defense. The say, in a released statement, that they're also concerned troops would become distracted.

"The housing, feeding and caring of immigration detainees would severely compromise the critical mission at Maxwell-Gunter," the congressmen wrote. "Additionally, HHS' failure to clearly communicate with Congress and local leaders underscores the Administration's lack of concern for the impact its policies have on local communities and their limited resources."

Alabama's only Democrat in Congress, Rep. Terri Sewell (District 7), says she is supportive of using Maxwell as an emergency detention center for "unaccompanied minors". Rep. Sewell called it a "moral obligation to protect and treat unaccompanied children with care and compassion," and said Alabamians "must rise to the call of duty and follow the law."

At this point, there have been no immigrant detainees brought to Maxwell, but the base is on a list of possible sites that could be used if it meets the needs of the federal government.

Roby and Rogers said they are moving to prohibit illegal immigrants from being house at military bases by including specific language in the special appropriations bill currently being drawn up in Congress. 

"The children must be sent back to their countries," Roby says. "We will do it with the utmost compassion and care, but it has to be done. Allowing them to stay is the least compassionate option because it invites even more children to endure the brutality of this organized trafficking scheme."

Rep. Rogers says this is the second time the Obama Administration has looked at Alabama as a potential site to hold the immigrant children. In July, the HHS and Defense Dept. made plans to use the Center for Domestic Preparedness in Anniston, though the congressmen say they pressured the administration to withdraw the plan.

Copyright 2014 WSFA 12 News.  All rights reserved.

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