A Hispanic boy crying. There is a barbed wire fence behind him and a tent at his side.

Photo credit: Ajdin Kamber / Shutterstock

The Trump administration is running out of space to place undocumented migrant children.

According to Vox, there’s been a 20 percent increase in the number of “unaccompanied” minors in U.S. custody, now that migrant children are being separated from the people who accompanied them. As a result, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is now operating at 95 percent capacity.

With time, money, and resources quickly running out, the Trump administration is under enormous pressure to come up with a solution. According to sources familiar with the matter, one option involves placing children in “tent cities.”

Civics Lesson: The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

A photo of the Department of Health and Human Services' website.Founded on April 11, 1953, the Department of Health and Human Services was established to enhance and protect the wellbeing of all Americans. The governmental organization aims to fulfill that objective by providing medical and social resources to the public. HHS is also charged with caring for “unaccompanied alien children.”

Photo credit: Gil C / Shutterstock

“HHS is legally required to provide care and shelter for all unaccompanied alien children referred by [the Department of Homeland Security], and works in close coordination with DHS on the security and safety of the children and community,” said HHS spokesman Kenneth Wolfe.

But is a tent considered adequate housing? That’s the question that has Americans divided.

Critics say that placing children in tents would be nothing short of barbaric, and that it would resemble more of an internment camp than a shelter. But those on the other side of the debate believe that it will dissuade immigrants from illegally crossing the border.

“If you apply consequence to illegal activity you get less of it,” said Ron Vitiello, acting deputy commissioner of Customs and Border Protection. “They are only in these shelters long enough to be reunited with their family members. That’s the purpose of them.”

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