U.S. military to build 6 tent cities near border for migrants

Wednesday, May 15, 2019
By Paul Martin

The tents will likely not be on military bases, and ICE, not the military, will be responsible for migrant detention and custodial support.

May 15, 2019

WASHINGTON — The U.S. military is going to provide and build tents to house 7,500 migrants at six locations near the border.

A Defense Department spokesperson confirmed that the Department of Homeland Security made the request and a Defense official said Acting Secretary Patrick Shanahan is expected to sign the request.

The tents will probably not be on military bases, and Immigration and Customs Enforcement, not the military, will be responsible for migrant detention and custodial support.

In a statement, a Defense Department spokesman said that DHS made the “Request for Assistance (RFA)” from the Defense Department on May 9.

“After discussions with DHS on the details of the RFA, DHS has agreed to ask that DoD will loan and erect on-hand DoD tents in support of ICE, and provide contracting support to ICE for wrap-around services for which ICE will reimburse DoD,” said Maj. Chris Mitchell. “DoD will not provide detention or custodial support for detained aliens at these ICE detention facilities.”

The announcement came as senior administration officials confirmed that President Donald Trump will roll out a two-pronged immigration proposal on Thursday that would make sweeping changes to the legal immigration system and enhance border security.

The plan, which Trump is expected to announce during an afternoon speech, avoids some of the most hot-button immigration issues of the day — including a growing backlog of asylum seekers and the status of so-called “Dreamers” — and is almost certainly doomed on Capitol Hill.

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