Trump admin considering using military base to hold up to 5K undocumented children

Trump admin considering using military base to hold up to 5K undocumented children
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The Trump administration reportedly toured Fort Benning military base in Georgia to see if it is a viable location to house up to 5,000 undocumented immigrant children.

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) visited the facility Wednesday as it deals with a backlog of children in shelters and is seeking new space for them, according to the Ledger-Enquirer.

Fort Benning, located near Columbus, Ga., is one of three bases HHS is reportedly considering using, the others being Fort Still in Oklahoma and Malmstrom Air Force Base in Montana.

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Fort Benning is reportedly the third site to be visited by federal officials for use of sheltering the children, with HHS already visiting the other two.

Officials are gauging what buildings already in place are viable to hold the children and what areas of land could be used to construct temporary buildings or tents.

“At the request of U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and with the support of the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD), HHS will be conducting a site assessment of unused DoD property for potential future use as temporary emergency influx shelter for unaccompanied alien children,” HHS said in an statement.

Under current U.S. law, unaccompanied migrant children who illegally cross into the country must be sent to a government shelter, where they stay until they can be united with relatives or other sponsors while awaiting immigration court hearings.

While HHS has more than 150 facilities it currently operates to house those children, the recent surge in border crossings has forced the agency to look for more and new space to shelter the children.

—Updated at 5:26 p.m.