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Department Of Health And Human Services Looking At Texas Military Bases To Hold Minors Apprehended At Border

A policy of separating families, and prosecuting parents, could mean that their children stay in federal custody longer

FILE – In this Oct. 2, 2012 file photo, U.S. Border Patrol agents patrol the border fence in Naco, Ariz. National guard contingents in U.S. states that border Mexico say they are waiting for guidance from Washington to determine what they will do following President Donald Trump’s proclamation directing deployment to fight illegal immigration and drug smuggling. Governors of the border states of Arizona and New Mexico have welcomed deployment of the Guard along the southwest border as a matter of public safety. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin, file)

The Department of Health and Human Services is looking at three Texas military bases to hold minors apprehended along the southern border.

Officials told NPR they consider factors like cost, distance from the border, and nearby cities or airports when choosing sites.

Jennifer Podkul is with advocacy group Kids In Need Of Defense.

“The shortcoming of these emergency facilities is you don’t have good infrastructure like you do in the regular shelters. Like educators on staff who are able to provide consistent hours of education. You don’t have, necessarily, appropriate outdoor recreation space because you’re on a military base, and you’re confined to a certain area that’s not in use,” explained Podkul.

Podkul warns that a policy of separating families, and prosecuting parents, could mean that their children stay in federal custody longer.

Detained parents, she says, would not be able to sponsor their children out of emergency shelters.

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