Officials Say Fort Sill Migrants Boosted Oklahoma Business

Aug 20, 2014

Credit Fort Sill

LAWTON, Okla. (AP) — Some officials say a southern Oklahoma city saw economic benefits from a facility that processed children who entered the country unaccompanied.

Federal officials say more than 1,800 unaccompanied immigrant children came through Fort Sill in southwestern Oklahoma before the facility closed earlier this month. It opened in June.

A 2008 law requires that unaccompanied child immigrants from countries that don't border the U.S. be handed over to federal officials within 72 hours of being apprehended.

CEO and president Barry Albrecht of the Lawton-Fort Sill Economic Development Corp. tells The Journal Record that Lawton saw a significant bump to its businesses from Fort Sill workers.

But an Oklahoma Tax Commission spokeswoman says it's too early to say what the economic impact was in Lawton.