Protest decries plan to detain children at Oklahoma base
The Associated Press - July 21, 2019 10:42 am
This June 17, 2014 file photo shows an entrance to Fort Sill near Lawton, Okla. The federal government has chosen the military base in Oklahoma as the location for a new temporary shelter to house migrant children and is considering a customs port in southern New Mexico as another option, as existing shelters are overwhelmed. The Office of Refugee Resettlement said Tuesday, June 11, 2019 it's dealing with a dramatic spike in the number of children crossing the border without parents. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki, File)
LAWTON, Okla. (AP) – More than 100 demonstrators are protesting in withering heat outside of an Oklahoma Army base against the White House administration’s plans to detain migrant children there.
Japanese Americans and Native Americans are among those taking part in Saturday’s march to Fort Sill and rally in front of one of its entrances. Demonstrators are chanting “close the camps” and carrying signs with messages including “Human Rights Matter” and “Liberty and Justice For All.”
The protest comes after a similar rally on June 22nd. Reports of inhumane living conditions have increased concerns in recent months for the safety and well-being of the children.
Fort Sill was used by the federal government to house hundreds of Japanese and Japanese American people during World War II. The federal Office of Refugee Resettlement recently announced plans to temporarily detain up to 1,400 migrant children at the base near Lawton, which is about 80 miles (130 kilometers) southwest of Oklahoma City.
Fort Sill was also used to house unattended migrant children in 2014 during the previous administration.