The Trump administration will hold immigrant children on military bases after separating them from their parents, The Washington Post reported.
Pentagon staffers were informed via email that the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) will visit four military installations in Texas and Arkansas to inspect them for children shelters.
The bases would be reportedly used as shelters for minors whoa arrive at the border without an adult or who have been separated from their families by the government.
The HHS is supposed to provide care for the children before the parents or nay adult relative can assume their custody.
Although, the email emphasizes these checks are preliminary and no decision has been made yet.
An HHS official reportedly told The Washington Post, that they currently have bed space for 10,571 children.
A statement from the agency’s Administration for Children and Families said properties are routinely evaluated for “temporary sheltering,” in addition to the existing network of approximately 100 shelters in 14 states.
“Additional properties with existing infrastructure are routinely being identified and evaluated by federal agencies as potential locations for temporary sheltering,” the statement said.
According to the HHS official, the shelters are at 91 percent capacity and President Donald Trump’s decision to crackdown on immigrants could significantly land more children in government care.
Many of these immigrants are Central Americans seeking asylum, usually from the inhabitable conditions in their homelands.
Reports suggest U.S. border agents have arrested more than 100,000 people crossing the border in March and April.
Trump has reportedly ordered to “close” the borders over the increasing number of immigrants attempting to cross in the U.S., putting the blame on Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen.
Attorney General Jeff Sessions recently said the government will file criminal charges against immigrants who try to cross the border with adults being held in immigration jails and children will be sent in foster care.
“If you’re smuggling a child, then we’re going to prosecute you, and that child will be separated from you, probably, as required by law,” Sessions said in a speech last week.
“If you don’t want your child separated, then don’t bring them across the border illegally,” he added. “It’s not our fault that somebody does that.”
However, it is not the first time military bases will be used to hold immigrant children.
The Obama administration used military bases in Oklahoma, Texas and California to temporarily hold more than 7000 immigrant children in 2014.
Critics have denounced Trump administration move to separate children from families, claiming it inflicts great trauma on the children.
During a Senate testimony, Nielsen said families with children and unaccompanied minors accounted for 40 percent of the immigrants detained at the U.S. border.
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