According to new reports, the US Navy is planning to build sprawling immigrant detention centers on military bases, amid a Trump crackdown at the US-Mexico border.
A draft memo obtained by Time magazine outlines plans to build “austere” tent camps to house 25,000 migrants.
According to the memo, the camps would be built on abandoned airfields in California, Alabama, and Arizona.
A camp near San Francisco is being designed for as many as 47,000 people.
Meanwhile, a Pentagon spokesman said the military had not been asked by the Department for Homeland Security (DHS) to draw up the specific plans, but was engaging in “prudent planning… should the DHS ask for assistance in housing adult illegal immigrants”.
On June 21, the US military said it had been asked by the government to get ready to house up to 20,000 immigrant children.
The US Navy memo estimates the force would spend $233 million to run a facility for 25,000 people for six-months.
The memo gives a sense of the knock-on effect of a “zero tolerance” immigration policy being pursued by the Trump administration, in an effort to deter migrants from Central and South America from attempting to cross into the US.
A decision by the administration to criminally prosecute every migrant crossing the US-Mexico border led to some 2,300 children being separated from their parents in May and June, and sparked a global wave of outrage.
President Donald Trump eventually backed down in the face of overwhelming public pressure and signed an order to halt the family separations, but he insisted he remained committed to his “zero tolerance” policy.
Migrant children taken from their parents are being held in facilities run by the Department of Health and Human Services. Images from one facility in a converted Walmart sparked outrage earlier this week, when they showed children held in wire mesh cages, sleeping on mats with foil blankets.
On June 21, a DHS official said that about 500 children had been reunited with their families since separations began in May, but rights groups remain concern that there is not adequate information to return many young children to their parents.
On June 22, President Trump brought the parents of victims of murders by undocumented immigrants to the White House, where he signed photographs of their late children and invited them to tell their stories.
The US Department of Homeland Security has avoided a partial shutdown as Congress passed a one-week funding extension, hours before a midnight deadline.
The House voted 357-60 in favor of the short-term bill after it had been passed in the Senate.
President Barack Obama, who said he would back a short-term deal to avert a shutdown, signed it shortly afterwards.
It ensures the department’s 250,000 employees will be paid while a longer-term funding agreement is discussed.
The two-thirds majority vote was reached about two hours before the midnight deadline.
Earlier, Republicans had rejected a similar three-week extension after provisions against President Barack Obama’s immigration plan were dropped.
The one-week deal was backed by a majority of Democrats despite many of them voting against the earlier bill in the hope that a longer-term deal could be agreed.
The move came shortly after President Barack Obama had spoken by phone to Democratic leaders in a bid to avert the partial department closure.
The Department of Homeland Security is responsible for securing US borders, airports and coastal waters.
About 200,000 “essential” department employees would have continued to work without pay if the agency’s funding had not been secured.
Some Republicans had wanted to use the funding of the department, which includes immigration officials, as a bargaining chip to force President Barack Obama to end policies on immigration.
In November 2014, Barack Obama used his executive powers to protect about five million undocumented immigrants from deportation. Republicans say President Barack Obama overstepped his powers in doing so.
A separate ruling by a federal judge has blocked those policies from starting while a lawsuit by more than two dozen states goes forward.
Some Republicans senators had expressed a desire to fight the executive actions in the courts, rather than threaten the department’s funding.
On February 26, Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson urged Congress to pass full funding.
“A short-term continuing resolution exacerbates the uncertainty for my workforce and puts us back in the same position, on the brink of a shutdown just days from now,” Jeh Johnson said.
Last week, the White House said President Barack Obama would prefer a full funding bill but would sign a short-term measure to prevent a shutdown.
An online privacy group says that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) makes fake Twitter and Facebook profiles for the specific purpose of scanning the networks for “sensitive” words – and tracking people who use them.
According to the privacy group, simply using a word or phrase from the DHS’s “watch” list could mean that spies from the government read your posts, investigate your account, and attempt to identify you from it.
The words which attract attention range from ones seemingly related to diseases or bioweapons such as “human to animal” and “outbreak” to other, more obscure words such as “drill” and “strain”.
The DHS also watches for words such as “illegal immigrant”.
The DHS outlined plans to scans blogs, Twitter and Facebook for words such as “illegal immigrant”, “outbreak”, “drill”, “strain”, “virus”, “recovery”, “deaths”, “collapse”, “human to animal” and “trojan”, according to an “impact assessment” document filed by the agency.
When its search tools net an account using the phrases, they record personal information.
It’s still not clear how this information is used – and who the DHS shares it with.
The online privacy group, the Electronic Privacy Information Centre has requested information on the DHS’s scans, which it says the agency announced in February.
The privacy group has requested information on the DHS, and contractors it claims are working with the agency to scan social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter.
The group also says that the government has used scans of social media before to analyze specific events – such as the 2010 BP oil spill – but this general “watching” of social media using fake profiles is new.
“The initiatives were designed to gather information from <<online forums, blogs, public websites, and message boards>>, to store and analyze the information gathered, and then to <<disseminate relevant and appropriate de-identified information to federal, state, local, and foreign governments and private sector partners>>,” the group said in a court filing.
The group claims that a request under the Freedom of Information Act to access the documentation has gone unanswered.