White House Contemplates Sending Migrant Children to Guantanamo Bay
Late last year, the Trump administration decided to end the catch and release program. This program released migrants into the US population until they could have their immigration hearings. While the White House has restarted the initiative, the administration is still looking for places to house the migrants.
With tent cities in places like Tornillo, Texas overflowing, immigration officials are contemplating some controversial ideas. Among these ideas is housing the migrants, children included, at the Guantanamo Bay military prison.
After a number of cases of inmate abuse, Barack Obama attempted to close the prison in 2009. While he was unable to close the site, he did lower the number of inmates from around 250 to around 40. In 2018, Donald Trump moved the keep the prison camp open indefinitely.
Acting Homeland Security Chief, Kevin McAleenan, says, “It’s clear that all of our resources are being stretched thin. The system is full, and we are beyond capacity.”
The White House, however, is aware that Guantanamo Bay is not an ideal option. According to the New York Times, “the idea has been less ideal because of the optics involved with housing children right next to terrorism suspects in the notorious American prison.”
Critics of Donald Trump’s immigration policy say this is a problem of his own making. Heidi Altman from the National Immigrant Justice Center, says, “We have to remember that it is a choice to jail asylum seekers, and it is a choice that is at odds with international human rights norms.”
There are currently more than 50,000 migrants in ICE’s care.