Protesters gather at Oklahoma base where kids will be held
The Associated Press - June 23, 2019 8:28 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) – Demonstrators, including Japanese Americans who were detained as children by the U.S. government during World War II, are speaking out against the White House administration’s plans to house migrant children who have been separated from their families at an Oklahoma Army base.
About two dozen people gathered at Fort Sill near Lawton, Oklahoma Saturday morning for a news conference ahead of a planned protest. A man in military uniform told them to leave the base immediately. The people stayed and finished the news conference. They headed to a nearby park after about 20 minutes to start their protest.
The federal Office of Refugee Resettlement recently announced plans to temporarily place up to 1,400 children at the base. This protest follows recent reports of children being kept in appalling conditions and facing severe punishments at facilities in Clint, TX and McAllen, TX. Department of Justice attorney Sarah Fabian went before a Ninth Circuit panel on Tuesday to defend the White House’s position that blankets, bedding, toothbrushes, clean clothes, and soap are not necessary for “safe and sanitary” conditions as the law requires for detention facilities.
Fort Sill also housed migrant children in 2014 under the previous administration. In the 1940’s, hundreds of Japanese and Japanese American people were detained there by the federal government during the war with Japan.