The Pentagon is putting its military bases to good use and just announced two Texas bases will be providing tent housing for immigrant families and unaccompanied minors that cross the U.S. border illegally.
The tent camps will be set up in Fort Bliss and at Goodfellow Air Force Base as ordered by the Trump administration. The administration’s “zero tolerance” policy has increased the number of undocumented border crossers facing criminal charges requiring housing as they await prosecution by the Department of Justice. The military was told to expect thousands of “guests” and occupancy from now through end of the year.
The bright spot some say (well we meant Trump voters) is Trump’s call for immediate deportation without judicial process which might reduce the number of people held in detention, eliminating the need for fenced cages inside warehouses or tent camps.
Fort Bliss is rumored to be host (or prison warden depending on your politics) of migrant families. It is located in El Paso and is the largest military installation in the country. Whereas Goodfellow Air Force Base would house unaccompanied migrant children and is located in San Angelo, Texas.
Interestingly enough El Paso was once known as El Paso del Norte (The Path North) and included Juarez, Mexico - its southern half that resides within Mexico. El Paso was taken/confiscated/given/stolen (depends on your point of view on the Treaty of Hidalgo) in 1848 when Mexico lost almost half of its territory for a couple of million dollars.
For the folks who are the “glass is half full” type they might view the migrant families feeling right at home in what was formerly Mexico a mere 170 years ago. On the other hand San Angelo is the cultural home to many indigenous people including the vanished northern Mexican Jumanos Indian tribe, as well as the Comanche and Apache Indians– ironic since everyone can recall want happened to them when they were rounded up and “hosted” on Indian reservations.
The personable and some would say conflicted Alex Azar and his Health and Human Services department would be the tent camp managers on the military bases. Azar is the former head of Eli Lilly and will also be busy dealing with the opioid crisis his former employer helped sponsor.
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