LAWTON, Okla. – Officials say there is no longer a need to detain migrant children at an Oklahoma Army base and that preparations to house them there have stopped.
Evelyn Stauffer, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Administration for Children and Families, said in a news release Saturday that the decision to stop the preparations at Fort Sill was made because there has been a decrease in the number of unaccompanied migrant children coming into the U.S.
She didn’t reply to messages seeking further information.
Donelle Harder, a spokeswoman for Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt, says the White House notified Stitt of the change but said Fort Sill could still be used if the number of children coming into the country rises again.
Last weekend, an estimated 400 people protested the plan to detain migrant children at the base. It was used to house Japanese Americans during World War II and Apache prisoners of war from 1894-1910.
Historic data from the National Park Service and private organizations show Fort Sill was among at least 14 Army and Department of Justice facilities nationwide where Japanese Americans and Japanese immigrants were interred. The Army’s War Relocation Authority held about 120,000 Japanese and Japanese Americans in “relocation centers” during the war with Japan.