The United States government has started building up tents near the Mexico border to house an increasing number of detained migrants.
Construction crews have begun erecting tents near the border patrol station at the foothills of the Franklin mountains in El Paso in the last few days, with the main frames of two large tents already set up. According to The Guardian, the tents are supposedly meant to house up to 500 migrants as the level of chaos at the border increases amid some controversial immigration policies adopted by the current administration.
The construction teams are now working on the interior of the shelters, which are due to open by May 1, even though the President himself suggested once again that he was in favor of separating undocumented families who tried to cross the border. Trump downplayed the conditions in which undocumented migrants are being held at the border, and likened the influx of people to “Disneyland.”
“When they used to separate children, which was done during the Obama administration, with Bush, with us, with everybody, far fewer people would come, and we’ve been on a humane basis, it’s pretty bad,” he told Fox News’ Sunday Morning Futures host Maria Bartiromo.
“We go out and we stop the separation. The problem is you have 10 times more people coming up with their families, it’s like Disneyland now,” he added.
Finding adequate space to house the increasing number of people arriving at the southern border has become one of the biggest challenges for both non-governmental organizations and immigration officials, who have struggled to hold large numbers of migrants at the usual Customs and Border Protection (CBP) facilities right after their undocumented crossing into the country.
Last year, the Trump administration caused major controversy when it decided to separate thousands of migrant families as they crossed into the U.S. unlawfully under a “zero tolerance policy” that saw many parents and children become separated for months at a time. After both a national and global uproar, the president decided to revert his decision.
Last week, CBP announced that it would be opening up additional shelters to accommodate the growing number of arrivals at the Mexico border as they continue to process migrants, as reported by The Guardian.
“The humanitarian and border security crisis on our south-west border has stretched our resources and processing facilities to the breaking point. These temporary facilities will support our efforts to process, care for and transfer the unprecedented number of families and unaccompanied children crossing the border each day,” said John Sanders, the senior official acting as CBP commissioner.