President Trump said last week the army was building “massive tent cities” to house more migrants detained along the border. The Pentagon said he was wrong.
The Trump administration pushed the U.S. military to build facilities to accommodate migrants detained under Trump’s new “catch but don’t release” policy, federal officials tell Reuters. But the Pentagon reportedly refused, and last week, an official told reporters no detention centers were slated for construction.
Last Thursday in a freewheeling speech, Trump said he’d soon require the detention of anyone caught illegally crossing the southern border. Even migrants seeking asylum would be detained while waiting for their asylum hearing, Trump added. Seeing as a massive “migrant caravan” was weeks from arriving in the U.S., Trump said he had ordered the military to build tent cities to house them all.
Despite the Trump administration’s request, “the U.S. military declined a draft proposal … last month to build housing for detained migrants,” officials told Reuters. General Terrence O’Shaughnessy confirmed last week that the Pentagon was only working on requests to build facilities to support border patrol personnel and members of the military deployed to the border. And with 15,000 troops headed south to meet the much smaller — and shrinking — caravan, the Pentagon-sanctioned project will likely keep the military plenty busy. Kathryn Krawczyk