HHS no longer considering vacant Royal facility for immigrant shelter

ROYAL, Ark. (AP) - An Arkansas congressman says a facility in Garland County is no longer being considered for use as a temporary shelter for unaccompanied immigrant children.               

Republican U.S. Rep. Bruce Westerman released a letter Wednesday from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services that said it is "no longer considering" the vacant Ouachita Job Corps facility in Royal as a possible shelter for unaccompanied minors age 17 or younger.               

Staff members with the federal agency toured the site in December, and Westerman and Arkansas Sens. John Boozman and Tom Cotton voiced opposition to the plan shortly thereafter.               

Groups that support unaccompanied children say most are fleeing violence in their home countries. Federal data shows that about 95 percent of unaccompanied migrant children in 2016 came from Guatemala, El Salvador or Honduras.

© 2017 Associated Press


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