The Pentagon is in talks with the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to provide housing for greater numbers of unaccompanied children who have illegally entered the United States from Mexico, according to officials.
HHS officially petitioned the Defense Department to help with housing, a request that is currently being processed, Pentagon Press Secretary Rear Adm. John Kirby told reporters Tuesday in a briefing.
The exact number of children that will be housed remains unclear, Kirby said.
“I wouldn’t put an exact number on it, because that's still in discussion,” Kirby told reporters.
The Pentagon is currently housing these children on three bases capable of handling more than 2,300 individuals, according to Kirby.
“We’re providing access to certain facilities that were already vacant and not being used and are, therefore, available, and in the first three cases are relatively close to the border itself,” Kirby said, maintaining that the influx of children would not impede military activities.
More than 60,000 unaccompanied children are expected to illegally enter the U.S. this year.