By Carol Rosenberg The Miami Herald
MIAMI — The Obama administration has no plans to use its pop-up tent city for Caribbean migrants at Guantanamo to help ameliorate the Texas border crisis of unaccompanied children crossing the border from Central America.
In 2007, the Bush White House invested more than $17 million building an infrastructure to shelter 10,000 migrants on the Leeward side of the remote U.S. Navy base in Cuba — a ferry ride away from the Windward side where in the 1990s, before the war-on-terror prison was built, the Pentagon had a 60,000-migrant capacity.
Texas-based U.S. Army South, a subsidiary of the Pentagon’s Southern Command, periodically runs exercises on how the Department of Homeland Security would handle a migrant surge operation at Guantanamo.
But Monday, White House deputy press secretary Shawn Turner said in response to a query from the Miami Herald that using Guantanamo is not a possibility.
“The administration is not considering using Guantanamo Bay facilities to house the influx of migrant children coming across the border in the lower Rio Grande Valley,” he said.
The Associated Press reported Monday that more than 57,000 children and other migrants have crossed the border since October, mostly from El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala.