U.S. Navy To Build Series Of Sprawling Detention Centers Holding Up To 47,000 Immigrants, Each Costing $233M

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A leaked internal U.S. Navy memo drafted for Navy Secretary’s approval shows that the military is working hard to accommodate Donald Trump’s “zero tolerance policy,” according to Time.

The U.S. Navy plans to build a series of sprawling detention centers in remote military locations in California, Alabama, and Arizona to deal with the rising flux of incoming immigrants being detained by the Trump administration. The plans appear to be a last moment admission of the lack of preparation that went into executing the tough immigration policy, as there had been little forethought about where to house the thousands of undocumented immigrants as they wait while criminal proceedings are brought against them.

According to the memo, the Navy’s plans indicate that 25,000 migrants can be housed in “temporary and austere” tent cities that are expected to come up in abandoned airfields in the three aforementioned states. In addition to this, plans are chalked out to build at least one detention center near San Francisco that can house 47,000 migrants, while the Navy is also considering detaining the same number of migrants at Camp Pendleton, which is the Marines’ largest training facility located along the Southern California coast.

The building plans for the detention centers show that each tent city, temporary as it would be, would still cost the government around $233 million to build and operate for a period of six months.

Moreover, the leaked memo proposes that building the first of these detention centers, which can house 5,000 migrants initially, can be done within a period of about 60 days. After that, the military proposes, it could make additions to house another 10,000 migrants each month.

When asked about the plans in gestation, Navy’s chief spokesman Captain Greg Hicks refused to give out more details, saying “it would be inappropriate to discuss internal deliberative planning documents.”

The document shows that the military is bracing itself for the fallout expected from Donald Trump’s “zero tolerance” immigration policy, with the number of illegal immigrants awaiting trial set to rise dramatically. The consequences of the policy now see the military, the departments of Justice, Homeland Security, and Health and Human Services all joining hands to combat the proliferation of migrant detainees.

As reported by Newsweek, the memo was leaked just two days before intense backlash prompted Donald Trump to reverse a core tenet of his immigration policy, which saw children being separated from their parents at the southern border.

But the policy has already led to the detention of thousands of unaccompanied children, with the Department of Defense ordered to make plans to house upwards of 20,000 migrant children beginning this July.