Feds consider housing undocumented minors in military bases

Ceria Alfonso
May 17, 2018

The federal government is looking into using military bases to house immigrant minors who are either caught traveling unaccompanied or separated from their families after crossing the southwest border illegally.

The Washington Post and the Hill reported Defense Department notifications to Pentagon staffers said the Department of Health and Human Services will make site visits to the bases over the next for week to evaluate whether they can shelter children.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions last week announced a new plan to split up families caught sneaking into the USA from Mexico - placing the kids in shelters or with other relatives while their moms and dads are held in immigration jails and prosecuted.

An anonymous HHS official confirmed the visits to the publication, stating that HHS has bed space to hold 10,571 children within 100 foster-care facilities.

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It is just a preliminary assessment, the Post reported. "No decisions have been made at this time", it states.

"If you don't want your child separated, then don't bring them across the border illegally" he added. The official said HHS now has the bed space to hold 10 571 children. The official said President Donald Trump's crackdown on immigration could place thousands more children into foster care. Potential sponsors for minors are given background checks, and 85 percent of children are released to parents or other adult relatives already living in the U.S.

Homeland Security officials have struggled for years to manage the demographic shift in the population of migrants arrested at the border, where single men from Mexico were once the overwhelming majority of those taken into custody. The Texas bases are the Army's Fort Bliss in El Paso, Goodfellow Air Force Base in San Angelo and Dyess Air Force Base in Abilene. Little Rock Air Force Base in Arkansas also will be evaluated, according to the Pentagon communications and HHS. At the peak of the 2014 child migration crisis, the Obama administration used bases in Oklahoma, Texas and California to shelter more than 7,000 children over a period of several months.

Critics of the family separation practices denounce the practice as heartless, saying it inflicts additional trauma on families fleeing for their lives from Central America's bloody gang wars.

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