Bradley Byrne’s amendment limiting DOD spending on housing for illegal migrant children passes

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The House of Representatives on Thursday adopted an amendment to the defense appropriations bills that would prohibit the Department of Defense from using any money to construct or modify facilities to house unaccompanied alien children (UAC).

The amendment to the Department of Defense Appropriations Act, proposed by Alabama 1st District U.S. Congressman Bradley Byrne, reads that “none of the funds made available by this Act may be used to modify a military installation in the United States, including construction or modification of a facility on a military installation, to provide temporary housing for unaccompanied alien children.”

It was adopted by a vote of 223 to 198.

“I’m pleased the House passed my amendment to make clear there are better places to house illegal migrant children than our nation’s military facilities,” Byrne said in a news release. “It simply makes no sense to place these children so close to military activities like Navy aircraft training or live firing ranges.”

Byrne’s amendment is especially timely as the Department of Health and Human Services evaluates whether to house illegal migrant children at two Navy outlying airfields in Baldwin County, Alabama. Last week, Byrne sent a letter to the Obama Administration outlining his concerns with housing the children in Baldwin County. 

“I especially hope the passage of my amendment sends a message to the Obama Administration that they should not bring these children to Navy airfields in Baldwin County,” Byrne continued. “Doing so would put the children at risk while also compromising military readiness.”

With Byrne’s amendment included, the Department of Defense Appropriations Act passed the House by a vote of 282 to 138. The bill now heads to the Senate for consideration.

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