Defense Secretary James Mattis announced the military would house any child separated from their parents in the ongoing border crisis if asked, in a statement Wednesday.
“We have housed refugees,” Mattis told reporters before President Donald Trump signed an executive order Wednesday ending the family separation situation at the border.
“We have housed people thrown out of their homes by earthquakes and hurricanes,” Mattis said, according to The Hill. “We do whatever is in the best interest of the country.”
The president’s executive order will allow families to stay together, being held by the Department of Homeland Security in detainment at military facilities until the investigation of their immigration case is over. (RELATED: Trump Signs Executive Action To Stop Family Separation)
Former President Barack Obama’s administration used military bases in 2014 to house unaccompanied minors during an incoming flux of them from Central America where many were crossing into the country illegally, The Hill reported.
“We support DHS, and right now this is their lead, and we’ll respond if requested,” Mattis said.
The Trump administration announced a zero tolerance policy in April. The Department of Health and Human Services was sent to inspect four military bases in May and determine whether they are up to standards in housing undocumented minors separated from their families at the border.
Three of the bases were in Texas, a massive border state: Fort Bliss Army Base, Dyess Air Force Base, and Goodfellow Air Force Base. Health and Human Services will review Little Rock Air Force Base in Arkansas for possible housing accommodation.
There is no word by the White House if or when this will come into effect.
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