Trump Administration Plans To Build More Tent Cities To Hold Migrants Indefinitely
The Trump administration is receiving criticism for their immigration policies again. This time, the administration is facing backlash for a proposal to build two new tent cities to house undocumented immigrants. The Trump administration has made it easier for undocumented migrants to be detained for longer times as they await their days in court.
The Trump administration will construct a pair of new tent cities to house incoming undocumented migrants from Central America.
Just a couple of weeks into his new job post, Kevin K. McAleenan, the acting secretary of the Department of Homeland Security who took over Kirstjen Nielsen’s role, for now, told reporters about the new tents located in El Paso and the town of Donna, Texas.
“It’s clear that all of our resources are being stretched thin,” McAleenan said in a press conference, according to The New York Times. “The system is full, and we are beyond capacity.” He also added that last week, within 24 hours, agents apprehended 4,800 people at the border.
Although McAleenan is saying that last month more than 103,000 migrants entered the U.S, “the most in any single month in more than a decade,” it’s still a relatively low number compared to 1990s and early 2000s, The New York Times reports.
The government is expecting more detained migrants after Attorney General William P. Barr instructed immigration judges to deny bail for some undocumented people.
It’s not clear how a judge will decide who to give bail to and who will be denied. Officials are expecting more detained people after this new policy under Barr goes into effect in 90 days. The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) said they are taking Barr to court.
“Our Constitution does not allow the government to lock up asylum seekers without basic due process,” the ACLU tweeted last week. “We’ll see the administration in court. Again.”
According to a Democratic congresswoman, the new facilities are terrible.
According to the Daily Beast, the tents were formerly used by the U.S. Army. The tents are meant for battlefield hospitals, not as living quarters for families.
“One woman had a baby, a five-month-old baby and said she’d been there for five days. The baby had filthy clothes,” California Rep. Nanette Barragán told the Daily Beast. “The situation is unhealthy. People are in a confined space, they’re not getting showers, their clothes are dirty, babies are not getting Pampers as they should be. These ladies were crying and telling us their stories and it was just heartbreaking.”
She added, “I was really taken aback by the smell. I was in there for five minutes and I just became nauseous, I hate to say it. It’s just too many people for that size area and people hadn’t had a shower for many days. Border Patrol told us it was their goal to get people a shower every three days, but the mother I spoke to there hadn’t had one and she’d been there for five.”