- The Department of Homeland Security weighed detaining migrant children in Guantanamo Bay, The New York Times reported Monday.
- The news comes amid a surge of migrants apprehended at the US-Mexico border in recent months, ramping up pressure on Trump administration officials to find detention space for them.
- The Times reported that the plan to house migrant children in Guantanamo Bay has not gained momentum within DHS, possibly due to bad optics of housing children near terror suspects.
- Visit INSIDER’s homepage for more stories.
Officials from the Department of Homeland Security recently considered detaining migrant children in Guantanamo Bay, the US military base best known for housing terror suspects, according to The New York Times.
A surge of migrants apprehended at the US-Mexico border in recent months has frustrated the Trump administration and ramped up pressure on officials to find new detention space to house the thousands of Central American families arriving each month.
President Donald Trump has long vowed to end what he disparagingly refers to as “catch and release,” the practice of releasing asylum-seekers into the US while they await distant court dates. Attorney General William Barr even issued an order last week that would deny some asylum-seekers the right to ask for bond, leaving them in detention indefinitely.
The proposal to detain children on Guantanamo Bay has not gained momentum, possibly due to the bad optics of detaining children on the same base as terror suspects, The Times reported, citing one unnamed official who had seen the proposal.
A Pentagon spokesman told The Times there are no “immediate” plans to house children at Guantanamo Bay, but officials are searching for military bases that could be used.
DHS did not immediately respond to INSIDER’s request for comment.
The Department of Defence has already awarded a $US23 million contract to construct a “contingency mass migration complex” to house 13,000 migrants in Guantanamo Bay, according to The Times, though the facility is reportedly intended for a potential migrant crisis in the Caribbean, not necessarily the current influx of Central American migrants.
The Trump administration has ramped up migrant detentions to a record high, with more than 46,000 currently detained in Immigration and Customs Enforcement facilities across the country.
- Read more:
- The FBI arrested the leader of a militia that has been detaining migrant families at the border
- Sarah Huckabee Sanders says busing immigrants to ‘sanctuary cities’ is ‘not our first choice,’ but ‘the president likes the idea’
- Trump reportedly told his border chief to close the border and block migrants from entering the US – and that if he went to jail, he’d pardon him
- Trump is booting out anyone who tells him his immigration ideas are illegal. Experts are worried about what will happen next.
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