Military bases could house 20,000 migrant kids

The US government might send up to 20,000 undocumented immigrant children to housing on several military bases, according to the US Department of Defense.

Posted: Jun 23, 2018 10:36 AM
Updated: Jun 23, 2018 10:39 AM

An internal draft US Navy planning document has identified potential housing locations for tens of thousands of immigrants at military sites in California, Arizona and Alabama, a US official confirms.

The internal Navy document was drafted specifically in anticipation of requests from the Departments of Homeland Security and Health and Human Services to house immigrants. It's not clear if the memo is a response to HHS requests to the Pentagon for accommodations for up to 20,000 immigrants, as CNN reported Thursday.

It's is also not clear if the Navy anticipates a request for housing for families or solely for children. The memo calls for housing to begin in July and last until the end of the year.

The internal Navy planning document was first reported in Time magazine.

The Navy said in the memo it envisions budgeting $233 million to construct a facility for about 25,000 people. Options include temporary and austere tent facilities. There is no indication any of the options have been approved by the Pentagon for use by DHS- and HHS-led immigration housing operations.

Officially, the Navy has declined to comment on the document. "It would be inappropriate to discuss internal deliberative planning documents," said Captain Greg Hicks, the Navy's chief spokesman.

The Pentagon also declined to comment directly on the Navy document.

"The Department of Defense is conducting prudent planning and is looking nationwide at DoD installations should DHS ask for assistance in housing adult illegal immigrants. At this time there has been no request from DHS for DoD support to house illegal migrants," Pentagon spokesman Lt. Col. Jamie Davis said.

Sites identified

The US official confirmed the Navy has identified a list of locations, some of which could potentially house up to 47,000 immigrants if needed. Officials say there is no indication at this point the numbers will go that high.

Sites identified by the Navy include:

*Abandoned airfields near Mobile and Orange Beach, Alabama that could house up to 25,000 migrants.

*the former Naval Weapons Station Concord near San Francisco that could house an estimated 47,000.

*A site at Camp Pendleton California that could house up to 47,000.

*A potential site at the Marine Corps Air Station at Yuma, Arizona that needs further study of potential housing capabilities.

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