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DHS asks military to build camps to hold 'at least 7,500' migrants

Updated 6:13 PM ET, Wed May 15, 2019

(CNN) - The Department of Homeland Security's latest request for support from the Pentagon asked the Defense Department for help to build six tented camps to hold "at least 7,500" migrants, officials tell CNN.

The camps will be surrounded by a chain link fence topped by barbed wire, according to one official familiar with the request

DHS also asked the Pentagon to provide about 350 personnel to help run non-detention related operations at the camps, including maintenance functions.

"DHS provided DoD a Request for Assistance on May 9, 2019, requesting DoD to work with (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) to construct temporary facilities at six DHS-specified locations to house and care for a minimum of 7,500 single adult detained aliens," Maj. Chris Mitchell, a Pentagon spokesman told CNN.

"DoD will not provide detention or custodial support for detained aliens at these ICE detention facilities. ICE is responsible for detention or custodial support," Mitchell added.

US officials told CNN that four of the proposed camp sites will be located on government land in Texas and the remaining two will be in Arizona.

Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan has not approved the request and is expected to formally review it soon. The officials say they expect the request to be approved.

Congress was informed of the request this morning.


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