By Valerie Volcovici
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Elements of a Texas army base that the Trump administration had proposed for a brief detention facility for migrant youngsters comprise toxins that would pose a well being danger, based on a report launched by an environmental group on Tuesday.
Final June, then-Protection Secretary Jim Mattis stated the U.S. army was making ready to deal with immigrant households at Fort Bliss, an Military base in El Paso, Texas, and unaccompanied minors at Goodfellow Air Base in San Angelo.
Earthjustice stated it recognized 4 Tremendous fund websites close to the proposed housing website at Goodfellow, together with a former landfill, artillery vary, gas depot and hearth coaching areas. Whereas some areas have been cleaned up, Earthjustice stated extra in depth testing is required to make sure the location is secure.
“If allowed to occur, roughly 7,500 migrant youngsters shall be detained in an space contaminated with lead, arsenic, benzene, PFAS, and myriad different dangerous chemical substances related to elevated danger of most cancers and everlasting neurodevelopmental injury,” the Earthjustice report stated.
Earthjustice stated its report was based mostly on publicly accessible Air Drive paperwork detailing Tremendous fund website investigations, inspections and feasibility research. It stated it wrote the report after the Air Drive declined to offer paperwork it had requested concerning the shelter plan.
A spokesman for the Division of Well being and Human Providers stated it had carried out preliminary visits to Goodfellow, Fort Bliss and different websites in Arkansas and Texas to find out their suitability for detention services, however that “none of those properties are beneath energetic consideration presently.”
Raul Garcia, an legal professional for Earthjustice, stated he’s involved that President Donald Trump could declare a “nationwide emergency” on the U.S.-Mexico border that would expedite development of the services, if he can’t agree on a take care of Congress for border safety funding.
A draft environmental evaluation of the bottom carried out by the Air Drive in July discovered there can be no vital environmental impression or hurt brought on by the mission. That discovering would permit development to start with out extra in depth environmental scrutiny.
Almost 12,000 “unaccompanied minor youngsters” have been in custody at about 100 shelters final 12 months, based on the Division of Well being and Human Providers, because the Trump administration applied a “zero tolerance” coverage of detaining undocumented migrants crossing the border.
(Reporting by Valerie Volcovici; Enhancing by Dan Grebler)