Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

The Trump administration has reportedly asked the Pentagon to prepare to house 20,000 migrant children on military bases. (Photo: Shutterstock)

Trump Has Called for Pentagon to Make Beds Available for 20,000 Children at US Military Bases

The Defense Department has also announced it will deploy military lawyers to the southern border to prosecute immigrants

Julia Conley

Responsibility for unaccompanied children and families who arrive in the U.S. via the southern border appeared to shift to the U.S. military on Thursday, as the Trump administration called on the Pentagon to make preparations to house approximately 20,000 children on military bases.

Following President Donald Trump's executive order in which he directed federal agencies to prepare detention facilities to house families together and to end the forcible separation of families, Pentagon officials agreed to determine whether military bases in Arkansas and Texas could house families and unaccompanied minors.

According to the Washington Post, the arrangement would involve housing children on military bases for at least six months, until the end of 2018.

The deal between the Pentagon and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), which oversees the care and supervision of unaccompanied children who immigrate to the U.S. via the southern border, follows reports that Defense Secretary James Mattis would send more than 20 military attorneys to border states to assist in prosecuting immigrants.

The Trump administration originally examined the possibility of housing children on military bases in May, shortly after Attorney General Jeff Sessions introduced his "zero tolerance" policy under which more than 2,000 children have been separated from their parents, and before the practice drew international condemnation and widespread protests which ultimately forced Trump to sign his executive order.

The original reports drew comparisons to World War II-era internment camps from critics.


Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.

This is the world we live in. This is the world we cover.

Because of people like you, another world is possible. There are many battles to be won, but we will battle them together—all of us. Common Dreams is not your normal news site. We don't survive on clicks. We don't want advertising dollars. We want the world to be a better place. But we can't do it alone. It doesn't work that way. We need you. If you can help today—because every gift of every size matters—please do. Without Your Support We Simply Don't Exist.

Patient Group Targets Pair of Democrats for 'Selling Us Out to Drug Companies'

"It makes me so angry that members of Congress are choosing Big Pharma over patients. It's unforgivable."

Jake Johnson ·


Judge Blocks Biden From Continuing 'Inhumane' Trump Policy to Deport Families

"This is not the end of the battle against this practice," said one rights group, "but it is a major step to ensure that the U.S. welcomes these asylum-seeking families—as we should."

Jessica Corbett ·


400+ Economists Press Congress to Permanently Expand Child Tax Credit

Such an expansion would "dramatically reduce childhood poverty in the United States," they said.

Andrea Germanos ·


Biden Admin. Sued for Letting Big Oil Harass 'Imperiled' Polar Bears

"We're hopeful the court will overturn this dangerous rule that puts polar bears in the crosshairs."

Jessica Corbett ·


'Cruel and Callous': Biden Slammed for Resuming Deportations to Battered Haiti

"Hours after the 7.2 magnitude earthquake, President Joe Biden released a statement saying that the United States was a 'friend' of Haiti. A 'friend' does not continuously inflict pain on another friend," said Guerline Jozef of the Haitian Bridge Alliance.

Kenny Stancil ·

Support our work.

We are independent, non-profit, advertising-free and 100% reader supported.

Subscribe to our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values.
Direct to your inbox.

Subscribe to our Newsletter.


Common Dreams, Inc. Founded 1997. Registered 501(c3) Non-Profit | Privacy Policy
Common Dreams Logo