Sites in 3 states eyed for permanent child detention centers

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FILE – In this Feb. 19, 2019 file photo, youngsters line up to enter a tent at the Homestead Temporary Shelter for Unaccompanied Children in Homestead, Fla. Advocates for immigrant children are suing to block the Trump administration from enforcing a new policy that they say would erode legal protections for thousands of unaccompanied children seeking asylum in the U.S. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee, File)

ATLANTA (AP) — A government spokesman says President Donald Trump’s administration is evaluating vacant properties near five U.S. cities as potential permanent sites to hold unaccompanied migrant children.

Department of Health and Human Services spokesman Mark Weber said Wednesday that property is being assessed in and around Atlanta; Phoenix; Dallas; Houston; and San Antonio, Texas.

Bidding documents request properties that can accommodate up to 500 children. Buildings must have up to 100,800 square feet (9,400 square meters) of space and the properties must include about 2 acres (0.8 hectares) for outdoor recreation.

The plan for the Georgia facility calls for 125 bedrooms, with each of them housing up to four children.

Weber says the search for permanent facilities is being pursued to reduce the possible need for temporary shelters in the future.

Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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