US builds migrant 'tent city' in Texas

April 29 2019

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Washington The US government has begun erecting tents close to the border with Mexico in the state of Texas to house detained migrants, the media reported on Monday.

Life at the foothills of the Franklin mountains in El Paso, Texas, has been rudely disrupted in the last few days by construction crews coming and going near the adjacent border patrol station, reports the Guardian.

The main frames of two large tents popped up last week. They are expected to hold up to 500 migrants.

Construction crews are now working to prepare the interior of the shelter, which is expected to be operational by May 1, even as President Donald Trump downplayed conditions in which migrants are held and appeared once again to support the separation of families crossing the border.

He told Fox News on Sunday: "When they used to separate children, which was done during the Obama administration, with Bush, with us, with everybody, far fewer people would come, and we've been on a humane basis, it's pretty bad.

"We go out and we stop the separation. The problem is you have 10 times more people coming up with their families, it's like Disneyland now."

The Trump administration began separating thousands of migrant families last year whenever they crossed the US-Mexico border unlawfully, and detaining parents and children separately, under a "zero tolerance" policy. 

Trump halted the policy mid-2018 after widespread uproar, though in recent weeks, even as the government is being sued over the consequences, floated, then rejected again, the idea of resuming such actions.

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