California’s Marine Corps Base at Camp Pendleton may soon be an indefinite “home away from home” for 47,000 captured illegal immigrants who were caught crossing the US border in violation of US immigration policy.
Plans are reported to have been drawn up to indefinitely detain as many as 47,000 illegals from Central and South America in “temporary and austere” encampments, according to an internal memo obtained by Time magazine.
The memo was prepared by an assistant secretary for approval by Navy Secretary Richard Spencer, though neither Spencer nor Defense Secretary Jim Mattis has approved the memo.
The plans come after the controversy surrounding a relatively old policy of temporarily separating minors from adults after being detained for illegally crossing the border, an Obama-era policy that was recently shoved back into the spotlight after President Trump’s administration announced a “zero tolerance” policy on people illegally entering the United States.
Signing an executive order last week, President Trump did not put an end to the “zero tolerance” policy- rather, the order calls for families to be housed together in detention facilities while parents go through criminal courts for entering the country without permission.
According to the Los Angeles Times, Camp Pendleton officials had no idea that they were being considered for the “tent city.”
“Camp Pendleton is unaware of any plan to house detainees on our base,” Capt Luke Weaver said in a statement.
The report estimates it would cost the US Navy over $230 million to build and run a single 25,000-person facility for six months, with the structures themselves only designed to last for six months to one year.
Other encampments are suggested to be set up in other parts of California, as well as Alabama and Arizona.
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