Military bases under consideration to hold undocumented children

Catholic News Agency | 5/16/2018 | Staff
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Washington D.C., May 16, 2018 / 11:54 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Federal officials are evaluating U.S. military bases as temporary shelters for immigrant children who will be separated from their parents after crossing the border illegally under a new Trump administration policy.

While final decisions have not yet been made, the Washington Post reports that Department of Health and Human Services officials are visiting military bases in Texas and Arkansas to examine their suitability for housing children.

Shelters - Capacity - Thousands - Children - Government

About 100 shelters currently exist, but they are close to capacity, and it is estimated that thousands of additional children could be placed in government care under the new immigration policy, the Wall Street Journal says.

U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced a “zero tolerance” policy for illegal border crossings on May 7. The goal is for “100 percent” of those who cross the border illegally to face charges of “improper entry by an alien,” which can result in up to six months in prison.

Border - Simple - Sessions - National - Public

“If you cross this border unlawfully, then we will prosecute you. It’s that simple,” Sessions said, according to National Public Radio. “If you smuggle illegal aliens across our border, then we will prosecute you. If you are smuggling a child, then we will prosecute you and that child will be separated from you as required by law. If you don't like that, then don't smuggle children over our border.”

Under previous practice, people caught illegally crossing the border were returned to Mexico after a guilty plea and a brief detention. The violation is a misdemeanor under federal law.

Parts - Central - America - Drug - Gang

With parts of Central America plagued by drug and gang violence, illegal border crossings in the U.S. increasingly consist of families or unaccompanied minors. While adults can be detained in immigration jails, the federal government is prohibited from holding immigrant children in jails.

Military bases may be used...
(Excerpt) Read more at: Catholic News Agency
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