Trump officials are considering building tent cities at military bases in Texas to house immigrant children separated from their parents at the U.S.-Mexico border, McClatchy reports.
President Donald Trump has been heavily criticized for a controversial policy that allows the prosecution of adults separately from children when families seek asylum at the border. The children are placed in custody at a branch of the Health and Human Services Department while the adults are processed, and are either placed in foster homes or appropriate installations.
HHS officials have been exploring the possibility of housing the children at military bases for at least a month, according to the McClatchy report, and will visit Fort Bliss near El Paso in the coming weeks to look at a section of land.
HHS is also looking into sites at Dyess Air Force Base in Abilene and Goodfellow AFB in San Angelo. The bases would be used to hold children under 18 who arrive at the border without an adult relative — or after the government has separated them from their parents.
More than 10,000 migrant children are currently being held in HHS shelters, putting the shelters at 95 percent capacity. The number of children separated from their parents and held in custody has increased 20 percent since Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen announced the administration's new policy.
The Obama administration used bases in Oklahoma, Texas, and California to shelter more than 7,000 children over a period of several months.
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