The Trump administration is preparing to warehouse immigrant children on military bases after they have been separated from their parents while attempting to cross the U.S.-Mexico border illegally.
The Department of Health and Human Services will make site visits in the next two weeks at four military bases in Texas and Arkansas to evaluate their ability to hold children, the Washington Post reports.
This move comes in the wake of last week's "zero tolerance" border enforcement policy, under which children and parents will be separated into juvenile and adult detention centers after crossing the border illegally.
Previously, Border Control agents tried to keep families together at the same detention site, and people apprehended while crossing illegally were simply bused back over the border without any charges.
In a statement, the department's administration for children and families said that federal agencies are searching for properties with existing infrastructure to potentially use as locations for temporary shelters.
The new policy will demand more resources and detention facilities along the border: The currently available facilities are at 91 percent capacity, and the Trump administration's new crackdown could send thousands more children into government care.
Critics of family separation say the practices are heartless and inflict additional trauma on people who are often already escaping situations of abuse and violence in their home countries.
"If you don't want your child separated, then don't bring them across the border illegally," Attorney General Jeff Sessions said in a speech last week. "It's not our fault that somebody does that."