In a move that will surprise no one given our political climate, the Department of Health and Human Services is looking into erecting a tent city to house unaccompanied migrant children, McClatchy reports.
The HHS is considering building their new detention city on a plot of land located on Fort Bliss in El Paso, Texas. According to US officials, the city is meant to hold anywhere from 1,000 to 5,000 migrant children. Officials also confirmed that temporary camps are being considered for construction along Dyess Air Force Base in Abilene and Goodfellow AFB in San Angelo.
This plan comes on the heels of criticism directed at the Trump administration for their aggressive anti-immigration tactics. Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ new zero tolerance policy when it comes to illegal immigration has lead to a more than 20 percent increase in unaccompanied children.
“We believe every person that enters the country illegally like that should be prosecuted,” Sessions said in a transcript. “And you can’t be giving immunity to people who bring children with them recklessly and improperly and illegally.”
Various officials of the Trump administration and officials from ICE have justified their aggressive tactics by blaming Congress for allowing loopholes that let them operate the way they do. Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein has said that it is loopholes like this that are preventing them from deporting unaccompanied children.
“It can take months and sometimes years to adjudicate those claims once they get into the federal immigration court system, and they often fail to appear for immigration proceedings,” said Rosenstein. “In fact, approximately 6,000 unaccompanied children each year fail to appear when they’ve been summoned. They’re released and they don’t show up again.”
U.S. researcher at Human Rights Watch Clara Long slammed the immigration policies of the Trump administration, saying, “Detaining children for immigration purposes is never in their best interest and the prospect of detaining kids in tent cities is horrifying.”
“US authorities should focus on keeping families together, ensuring due process in asylum adjudications and protecting the rights of children.”
Featured image via YouTube