Defense Department asked to house thousands of immigrants

The Defense Department (DOD) received a request from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to house a population of immigrant families of up to 12,000 people, according to a statement released Wednesday night.

The DOD has been asked to house 2,000 people within the next 45 days, according to the statement.

If facilities aren’t available, DOD is asked to build “semi-separate, soft-sided camp facilities” that can house up to 4,000 people in three difference locations, the statement reads.

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DHS also requested that the facilities “comply with the Flores Settlement Agreement’s provision that reasonable efforts be made to place minors in the geographic area where the majority are apprehended,” according to the statement.

The request was made as the Trump administration develops its plan to house immigrant families detained at the border together following President TrumpDonald John TrumpSanders apologizes to Biden for supporter's op-ed Jayapal: 'We will end up with another Trump' if the US doesn't elect progressive Democrats: McConnell impeachment trial rules a 'cover up,' 'national disgrace' MORE's executive order to end his administration's policy of separating the families at the border.

Defense Secretary James MattisJames Norman MattisLawmakers push back at Pentagon's possible Africa drawdown Overnight Defense: Book says Trump called military leaders 'dopes and babies' | House reinvites Pompeo for Iran hearing | Dems urge Esper to reject border wall funding request Trump called top military brass 'a bunch of dopes and babies' in 2017: book MORE said on Sunday that the Pentagon was preparing temporary shelters for migrants on two military bases.

Mattis had previously said the military would house immigrants if requested.