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Oklahoma National Guard Downplays Camp Gruber As Shelter For Immigrant Children

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MUSKOGEE COUNTY, Oklahoma -

Oklahoma National Guard officials are downplaying talk that Camp Gruber will be used to house immigrant children from Central America.

Guard spokesman Col. Max Moss says there have been no discussions between the Oklahoma National Guard and any federal agencies about housing children at the training camp southeast of Muskogee.

“We’ve received calls from various media outlets and interested citizens over the past 10 days or so concerning Camp Gruber being used to house undocumented children,” said Col. Max Moss,  “In an effort to dispel those rumors, the Oklahoma National Guard is announcing today there have been no discussions to date with any federal agencies to bring undocumented children to Camp Gruber.”

As many as 1,200 mostly teenagers from Central America are being housed at troop barracks at Fort Sill near Lawton, and President Barack Obama is seeking emergency funding to pay for additional shelters for children.

In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in 2005, about 1,500 evacuees from Louisiana were housed at Camp Gruber.

The National Guard says Camp Gruber is a training facility for its soldiers.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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