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Update on Unified Coordination Group's Ongoing Response to Unaccompanied Children at the Border

Release Date: 
June 12, 2014

For Immediate Release
DHS Press Office
Contact: 202-282-8010

WASHINGTON—Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson,  Federal Emergency Management Agency Administrator Craig Fugate, and Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Acting Assistant Secretary for the Administration for Children and Families Mark Greenberg today provided an update on the Federal response and efforts taken to address the influx of unaccompanied children entering the United States across the southwest border.

“There is a problem of humanitarian proportions in the Rio Grande Valley Sector,” said Secretary Johnson.  “We have already taken a number of steps to address this issue with the goal to quickly and safely transport the unaccompanied children into the hands of HHS in a safe and humane manner, pursuant to the requirements of the law.”

At the direction of President Barack Obama and Secretary Johnson, on June 1, a Unified Coordination Group was established to leverage Federal resources to provide humanitarian relief to the ongoing situation.  This includes DHS and all of its components, HHS, the Department of Defense, Justice, GSA, and the State Department.  Secretary Johnson appointed FEMA Administrator Fugate to serve as the Federal Coordinating Official for this U.S. Government-wide effort.

“FEMA is supporting our inter-agency partners to address the immediate needs of unaccompanied children,” said FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate. “Additional facilities have been stood up, medical teams have been deployed, and transportation is being coordinated. FEMA is supporting future planning efforts to assist capacity development to achieve the goal of no child in CBP facilities for more than 72 hours.”

“The safety of the children and the safety of the American public are our foremost concerns,” said Assistant Secretary for the Administration for Children and Families Mark Greenberg.  “We are currently using multiple temporary facilities, including Joint Base Lackland in Texas, Naval Base Ventura in California and Fort Sill Army Base in Oklahoma to provide a safe environment for children in our care.”

The Department of Homeland Security today also released an infographic, both in English and Spanish, illustrating the interagency effort to address this situation.

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Last Published Date: June 12, 2014
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