Did Trump Sign an Order Because Private Companies Wouldn’t Build His Camps?

JM Ashby
Written by JM Ashby

Did Trump issue an executive order to stop separating immigrant children from their families last week because of public backlash, or was there some other unknown reason?

After reading this exclusive report from Texas Monthly, I'm forced to wonder.

Texas Monthly reports that Texas-based companies that were asked to expand Trump's detention camps turned down the job, leaving the White House with few options.

A day after the final refusal by the two companies—APTIM and BCFS Health and Human Services Emergency Management—to take on the lucrative contract, the Trump administration announced it would end the separation of families at the border. It remains unclear whether the administration’s decision to end family separation had anything to do with its inability to expand the capacity for holding these kids. [...]

Two sources—one in the private sector and one in government—told Texas Monthly that the yearlong contract could have been worth in excess of $1 billion, but the incident commander and a spokesman for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services wouldn’t confirm that amount.

The Trump regime is reportedly planning to build camps on military bases that may cost as much or more than $1 billion which is the same amount that was reportedly offered to private companies for the job; private companies that turned it down.

Is this all a coincidence? I'm not so sure.

The Navy can't tell Trump 'no' when the administration orders them to build camps, but private companies can.

The BCFS incident commander harshly criticized the Trump administration for the family separation policy. He said the current 400-bed tent shelters would not have been needed if the administration hadn’t begun separating families apprehended at the border. “I totally agree that separation never should have happened. These kids were dumped here because of a stupid decision by our leadership,” the incident commander said.

It's possible that public pressure and the inability to find contractors factored into the decision. Public pressure also could have weighed on any contractor's decision to take or turn down the job.

I don't know if it's comforting to think that capitalism may be the only thing restraining Trump.

  • Recall too that many of the laborers they would use to build those camps are immigrants or children of immigrants. You can’t construct anything in the US now without using them. That HAD to factor into those private construction companies calculations–thank goodness.

  • Draxiar

    I’ll take resistance where we can get it.

  • muselet

    I don’t know if it’s comforting to think that capitalism may be the only thing restraining Trump.

    Agreed. Sooner or later, the potential reward for a company will outweigh any other consideration.

    Which brings to mind this exchange from Firefly:

    MAL: How come you didn’t turn on me, Jayne?
    JAYNE: Money wasn’t good enough.
    MAL: What happens when it is?
    JAYNE: Well, that’ll be an interesting day.