5:50 P.M. UPDATE:
Arkansas' Republican governor says he's opposed to the federal government using any facilities in the state to house migrant children who are separated from their parents.
Gov. Asa Hutchinson said Thursday he understands that officials are looking at the Little Rock Air Force Base and unused federal land in south Arkansas to house immigrants and that the decision on using the facilities is being made in Washington and not at the state level.
Hutchinson said any costs for housing immigrant families would be paid by the federal government.
Hutchinson a day earlier rejected calls from Democratic leaders in the majority-Republican legislature to recall the state's National Guard soldiers deployed to assist in border surveillance.
Read Friday's Arkansas Democrat-Gazette for full details.
— The Associated Press
U.S. Rep. Rick Crawford said Thursday that federal officials were visiting the site of a potential detainment center in Desha County that would house people arrested after they crossed the U.S./Mexico border.
In the tweet sent at 2:13 p.m., Crawford said that federal agents are at a “fish experiment station” in Kelso “to look at setting up a potential immigrant detainment center.”
“How is a tent city on a flood plain in SE Arkansas more appropriate than a tent city on the border?” Crawford wrote.
Federal agents are at a fish experiment station in Kelso, AR to look at setting up a potential immigrant detainment center. How is a tent city on a flood plain in SE Arkansas more appropriate than a tent city on the border? #Immigration pic.twitter.com/akrYSyDisc— Rep Rick Crawford (@RepRickCrawford) June 21, 2018
A spokesman for Crawford’s office was not immediately available to take a phone call seeking confirmation that this is the second Arkansas location federal officials are examining to detain migrant families, unaccompanied children or both.
Federal officials have arrived at the Little Rock Air Force Base to determine if it’s suitable to also house migrants, a spokeswoman said about 3 p.m. Thursday.
Airman 1st Class Kristine Gruwell said that’s all the information she’s able to release.
Initially under consideration was holding children who were separated from their parents. Now, since President Donald Trump’s executive order says families will be detained together, and seeks to detain them for the duration of their legal proceedings, it’s unclear if the base is being evaluated to hold unaccompanied minors or families or both.
On Wednesday, Gov. Asa Hutchinson said federal officials were considering the base as one of two potential sites in Arkansas, though he declined to disclose the location of the second one.
Kelso is about 3 miles from the Rohwer War Relocation Camp that detained Japanese Americans during WWII.
Emails sent Wednesday and Thursday to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the department that oversees unaccompanied children and the children of detained parents, have gone unanswered.
— Emma Pettit