June 25, 2018 / 5:19 PM / 5 months ago

UPDATE 1-U.S. military to house immigrants on two Texas bases -officials

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WASHINGTON, June 25 (Reuters) - The U.S. military is preparing to house immigrants at Fort Bliss and Goodfellow Air Force Base in Texas, U.S. officials told Reuters on Monday, in the latest sign of a growing U.S. military support role for President Donald Trump’s immigration policies.

On Sunday, U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said the U.S. military was preparing to build temporary camps at two military bases to house immigrants but did not name the facilities.

One U.S. official, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said it was expected that one of the bases would house immigrant families and another immigrant children.

The official said a formal decision and announcement was expected later on Monday.

Fort Bliss is an Army base in El Paso, Texas while Goodfellow Air Base is located in San Angelo, Texas.

In the face of outrage at home and overseas over his crackdown on illegal immigration, Trump was forced last week to abandon his policy of separating children from parents who are apprehended for illegally crossing the U.S.-Mexico border.

The U.S. military, and Mattis in particular, have stressed that it is simply providing logistical support to the Department of Homeland Security, which deals with immigration issues.

Last week the U.S. military said it had been asked by the government to get ready to house up to 20,000 immigrant children.

Trump has previously turned to the military to help with his border crackdown. Earlier this year, U.S. National Guard forces were dispatched to border states to help tighten security. (Reporting by Idrees Ali in Washington and Phil Stewart at Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska; Editing by Cynthia Osterman)

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