Trump proposes housing 47,000 migrants at Concord naval base, according to memo

- President Trump's "zero tolerance" policy has created pressure to find space for the tens of thousands of children, their parents, and other migrants awaiting criminal prosecution for crossing the border illegally. 

On Friday, an internal draft memo obtained by Time magazine, proposed creating a detention camp at the former Concord Naval Weapons Station. 

The memo called for building tent cities that could house as many as 47,000 people for six to twelve months. The memo indicated the tents could be available as early as July.

"If this is the plan, it's a non-starter for the community. It's got to stop. And if they want to engage in a rational conversation about immigration reform that is ethical and moral, we are happy to engage in that," said Democratic Congressman Mark DeSaulnier of Concord.

The federal government released images this week of tent camps for children at a detention center in Texas, showing rows of bunk beds inside. 

The memo also reportedly names the Marine's training facility at Camp Pendleton in southern California as another site for up to 47,000 people.

Many Concord residents said they were concerned.

"I honestly think it's a horrible idea because why here? Especially right now in this heat? Like it's a hundred degrees right now, that's not ideal for a child. Let's be honest, what's the living conditions going to be?" said Ricardo Hinojosa, a Concord resident. 

"Definitely not okay with that. I feel uneasy that California would allow that to happen," said Tenesha Craig, a commuter from Sacramento.

The city of Concord is planning a reuse project to convert the former Navy land into a retail and residential area. 

"I think the land is kind of more valuable. Maybe they should go to where the land isn't as valuable," said Todd Ward, a Concord resident.

"I would hope that they would hold some sort of town hall meeting to ask the residents of Concord and Martinez what we think," said Qui Flood of Martinez.

The City of Concord released a statement Friday saying no one had been notified by the Navy. 

"While the City of Concord is currently negotiating to acquire and eventually develop the Naval Weapons Station, we do not have jurisdiction or control over that federally-owned property," the statement read. 

The memo identified other military sites in Mobile, Alabama and Yuma, Arizona as possible detention centers. 

It also listed a cost of at least $233 million for construction of the facilities.

 

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