Trump Admin Weighing Plan to House Migrant Children at Fort Benning Military Base - NBC 10 Philadelphia
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Trump Admin Weighing Plan to House Migrant Children at Fort Benning Military Base

No decision has been made yet, but Defense Department spokesman Major Chris Mitchell said that HHS would soon be touring Fort Benning with defense officials

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    Trump Admin Weighing Plan to House Migrant Children at Fort Benning Military Base
    Jessica McGowan/Getty Images
    This August 21, 2015, file photo shows a graduation ceremony of the United States Army's Ranger School at Fort Benning, Georgia.

    The Trump administration is considering a plan to house migrant children at Fort Benning, a busy military base in Georgia, a Department of Defense spokesman told NBC News.

    The Department of Health and Human Services, the agency responsible for sheltering immigrant children who cross the border without their parents, is currently operating near capacity, resulting in a backlog of children staying in overcrowded border stations.

    Two sources familiar with a recent meeting on the proposal said the children would be housed away from the rest of the population but still on base. Fort Benning is a bustling military base that is home to the 75th Ranger Regiment and where thousands of young men and women go through basic training.

    Since the closure of the tent facility for migrant children in Tornillo, Texas, in January, HHS has been under pressure to find alternative bed space to shelter the rising number of children crossing the border. With few contractors willing to take on the task, state facilities and military land are becoming more likely options, according to a former HHS official.

    Watch: Ta-Nehisi Coates’ Full Opening Statement at House Hearing on Reparations

    [NATL] Watch: Ta-Nehisi Coates’ Full Opening Statement at House Hearing on Reparations

    Ta-Nehisi Coates, author of “The Case for Reparations,” testified before a House Judiciary subcommittee during a hearing on whether the United States should consider compensation for the descendants of slaves. 

    He delivered a rebuttal to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's comments that "no one currently alive was responsible for that," which Coates called a "strange theory of governance." 

    "Well into this century the United States was still paying out pensions to the heirs of civil war soldiers," he said. "We honor treaties that date back some 200 years despite no one being alive who signed those treaties. Many of us would love to be taxed for the things we are solely and individually responsible for. But we are American citizens and this bound to a collective enterprise that extends beyond our individual and personal reach."

    (Published Wednesday, June 19, 2019)