As Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) immigrant detention centers reach capacity, the current administration is reportedly considering sheltering immigrant children in a tent city.
Updated 06/15/18 11:38 A.M. PST
White House correspondent for the McClatchy Washington Bureau Franco Ordoñez broke the story in a piece titled, “Trump Looking to Erect Tent Cities to House Unaccompanied Children.”
According to his report, current detention centers are at 95% capacity and house more than 10,000 immigrant children who have been separated from their parents.
The proposed sites for the tent cities are Fort Bliss, an army base near El Paso, Texas, as well as the Dyess Air Force Base in Abilene and the Goodfellow Airforce Base in San Angelo.
In the time span of just one month — April to May of this year — the number of unaccompanied immigrant children in HHS custody has exploded by more than 20%, forcing HHS to find alternative solutions.
The tent cities are estimated to have a capacity of 1,000 to 5,000.
One of the shelters currently in use reportedly features a mural of the current president, with the following quote from his book, “The Art of the Deal,” in both English and Spanish.
“Sometimes by losing a battle you find a new way to win the war.”
It should be noted, however, that this is not the first time something like this has happened.
In 2016, HHS transformed the Homestead Air Reserve Base in Florida into an 800-bed shelter for immigrant children under the Obama administration. The Holloman Air Force Base in New Mexico was also used to house immigrant children between the ages of 0-18.
The key difference in the two policies, however, is that the Obama administration was not forcibly separating children from their parents, but rather housing unaccompanied minors attempting to cross the border alone.
The new administration’s policy has manufactured a crisis which it is not equipped to contain, and the ones to suffer for it will be the children and their parents.
For Iron Triangle Press’ most recent coverage of this issue, click here.
To read Ordoñez’s piece, click here.