Secretary of Homeland Security visits illegal immigrant holding - MyFoxAustin.com | KTBC Fox 7 | News, Weather, Sports

Secretary of Homeland Security visits illegal immigrant holding facility

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Thousands of unaccompanied minors have flooded over the U.S.-Mexico border this year. Friday, Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson made a visit to Joint Base San Antonio/ Lackland, which is also housing illegal immigrant children, to get a first-hand look at their living conditions.

About 1,000 immigrant children caught crossing the U.S. border illegally are being housed at Lackland Air Force Base.

Johnson's visit comes as Governor Rick Perry authorized a surge of personnel and equipment to protect the southwest border.

There are only 35 licensed housing providers in the state of Texas, including Lackland.

Thirty-four thousand children have been caught crossing the U.S.-Mexico border this year without their parents. Most of them are from Central America. It's estimated that the number of unaccompanied aliens will reach 90,000 by the end of this fiscal year.

The boys and girls at Lackland are housed in former basic trainee barracks and they range in age from 12 to 17.

As the number of children has continued to rise, holding facilities have become overcrowded and the federal government is running out of places to put them.

That's why Perry said he wants to step up the DPS presence on the Texas-Mexico border. The surge will cost about $1.3 million per week and it will continue until the end of the year.

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