EIELSON AIR FORCE BASE – On Sunday, Defense Secretary, Jim Mattis announced that the U.S.military is ready to build up temporary camps at two of the military bases to house immigrants.
During a flight to Alaska, Mattis did not clarify any of the names of bases and neither spoke whether those camps would house immigrant children or their parents, or both. “The details are being worked out … about exactly how much capacity they need at the two bases, what other kinds of facilities they need to be built,” Mattis said while disclosing the request for the facilities from the government’s Department of Homeland Security.
The U.S. military and Mattis, in particular, have stressed ‘it is simply providing logistical support to the Department of Homeland Security, which deals with immigration issues’. Mattis also added that the U.S. military had, for decades provided shelter to immigrants, including for Vietnamese refugees in the aftermath of the Vietnam War also. “Providing shelter for people without shelter, we consider that to be a logistics function that is quite appropriate,” he said when asked whether he had any concerns about a U.S. military role in immigration policies.
They said that the government had already assessed three of the military bases in Texas and would review another in Arkansas. Trump also had previously turned to the military to help with his border crackdown. Earlier this year, U.S. National Guard forces were dispatched to border states to help tighten security.
Mattis also provided no detail of how many people would be housed at the bases, the U.S. military said on Thursday that it had been asked by the government to get ready to house up to 20,000 immigrant children.