US Secretary of Defense James N. Mattis has announced that two military bases will be used as temporary camps for migrants. Secretary Mattis revealed the news during a visit in Alaska.
The US Secretary of Defense did not reveal if the bases, which are located in Texas, would house migrant children or families. The announcement comes just days after the Pentagon said it planned to house detained children on military bases.
Mr. Mattis said during the announcement that the Goodfellow Air Force and Fort Bliss military bases had been chosen. He did not give any details to reporters on how it would be done.
US media recently reported that officials from the Department of Health and Human Services visited three military bases in the state of Texas last week. The visits were reportedly made to see if the bases could be used to house migrant children.
Mr. Mattis says it is a legitimate governmental function and explained that in the past, the military has housed victims of natural disasters and Vietnamese refugees. NPR recently reported that the Fort Bliss base would house migrant families while the Goodfellow Air Force base would be for unaccompanied migrant children.
The Associated Press recently said that the shelters would be run by the Department of Health and Human Services. Mr. Mattis said the military was still looking at a few things, including the capacity they need at the military bases.
The announcement by the US Secretary of Defense comes just five days after US President Donald Trump signed an executive order to keep families together. The order came during a time of heavy criticism over the separation of families.
A day before, pictures and audios of children that had been separated from their parents sparked fury in the US and other parts of the world. In the audios, children are heard crying as authorities try to talk to them.
Chile’s President Sebastian Piñera and Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau were among those who criticized the separation, which began when the zero tolerance policy was introduced in April. The policy has been criticized since its introduction but Mr. Trump said during the executive order signing that it would continue.