Last week, Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced the Trump administration’s decision to split apart families illegally crossing the border into the United States from Central America.
Tuesday afternoon, the Washington Post reported that the administration plans on housing the migrant children on military bases. According to emails obtained by the Post between the Pentagon and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), the latter will be inspecting four military bases in Arkansas and Texas to “evaluate their suitability for child shelters.”
Though the decision to house minors taken from their parents is not yet set in stone, an HHS official anonymously told the Post that the organization “currently has the bed space to hold 10,571 children in its network of 100 foster-care facilities,” but are at 91 percent capacity, meaning the Trump administration’s plans to ramp up the separation of migrant workers from their underage children will strain HHS facilities to breaking point.
Sessions said this strategy is meant to deter families from crossing the border illegally in the first place.”If you don’t want your child separated, then don’t bring them across the border illegally,” he said. “It’s not our fault that somebody does that.”
According to the Post, children currently under HHS care spend an average of 45 days in government custody before being released to sponsors, parents, or other relatives living in the U.S. The paper notes there is precedence: In 2014, when child migration numbers were at a high, the Obama administration used bases in Oklahoma, Texas and California to house thousands of children over several months.
Critics of the Trump administration’s decision to separate families have denounced it as heartless and cruel, citing how pulling children from parents only adds trauma to families simply attempting to flee their nations’ bloody gang wars.
Many on Twitter cited the preposterous NPR interview Chief of Staff John Kelly gave about immigration last week, in which he said, of migrant children, that “The children will be taken care of — put into foster care or whatever.” The “or whatever,” Twitter realized, is pulling kids from their families to be sent to military bases.
Many on Twitter thought it reminded them of something…
Lest we forget, children who grow up without parents are far more likely to join gangs and get into trouble and ruin their lives. Maybe shoving underage kids into overcrowded and underfunded government facilities isn’t the best move right now?
h/t Washington Post