By the Daily Post staff
Federal officials yesterday on Thursday Moffett Field in Mountain View to see if it would be a suitable place to hold unaccompanied children apprehended at the Mexican border, according to the White House.
“Should the Biden Administration choose Moffett Field as a temporary and secure shelter for children, I will welcome them and work to ensure they are safe and treated with dignity,” Eshoo said in an email to the Post on Friday.
Health and Human Services says Moffett Field is under consideration because other facilities need to be relieved of a steadily growing number of occupants. HHS said it notified state and local officials on Wednesday, but Mountain View Mayor Ellen Kamei said she was not notified.
She said she heard Moffett was under consideration from NASA, which runs the former Navy base. She declined to offer any opinions about the proposal.
The number of children and families crossing the U.S. border has increased by more than 100% between January and February, according to data released Wednesday by Customs and Border Protection. Over the first week of March, HHS received more than 450 migrant teens and children per day on average, roughly three times as many as the agency was able to release to family members and sponsors, government figures show. Most of the detainees are between the ages of 13 and 17.
As the numbers grow, the administration is looking for places to put them. HHS reopened an emergency facility in Carrizo Springs, Texas, and another facility in South Florida is under consderation. Right now, the children are being held in steel-and-concrete cells built for adults that were described by Democrats as “cages” when they were used during the Trump administration.
HHS isn’t saying when a decision on whether to use Moffett will be made.
It wasn’t clear where the children would be housed on the sprawling former Navy base known for its large hangars. Moffett Field has long had barracks to house sailors when the facility was a Navy base.
Former Mountain View mayor Lenny Siegel told the Post yesterday he is concerned the site might expose the migrant children to noxious fumes from an underground plume of chemicals known to be carcinogenic beneath Moffett Field. Siegel said the feds probably aren’t considering the children’s comfort as a top priority.
“As a detention facility, unless they call it something other than that, it’s not like you’ll need a lot of convenience stores for the kids. I doubt that they’ll be let out,” Siegel said. “So the isolation is not a problem.”