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U.S. military to build 6 tent cities at border for migrants

NBC News logo NBC News 5/15/2019 Courtney Kube
a herd of sheep standing on top of a dirt road: Image: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services photo of Unaccompanied Alien Children sheltered at Tornillo Texas © HHS Image: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services photo of Unaccompanied Alien Children sheltered at Tornillo Texas

WASHINGTON — The U.S. military is going to provide and build tents to house 7,500 migrants at six locations near the border.

A Defense Department spokesperson confirmed that the Department of Homeland Security made the request and a Defense official said Acting Secretary Patrick Shanahan is expected to sign the request.

The tents will likely not be on military bases, and Immigration and Customs Enforcement, not the military, will be responsible for migrant detention and custodial support.

In a statement, a Defense Department spokesman said that DHS made the "Request for Assistance (RFA)" from the Defense Department on May 9.

"After discussions with DHS on the details of the RFA, DHS has agreed to ask that DoD will loan and erect on-hand DoD tents in support of ICE, and provide contracting support to ICE for wrap-around services for which ICE will reimburse DoD," said Maj. Chris Mitchell. "DoD will not provide detention or custodial support for detained aliens at these ICE detention facilities."

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