Rough estimates that the Trump regime could spend as much or more than a billion dollars on his policy of separating immigrant children from their parents or guardians may hold true even if they're no longer separated.
Citing internal planning documents, TIME reported over the weekend that the Navy is preparing to build camps at remote, unused locations on bases in three states to house immigrant families detained by Trump's gestapo.
According to the San Diego Union-Tribune, which reports that Camp Pendleton is one base being considered for use, just one of the three planned facilities would cost $230 million to build and operate.
The detainment plan estimates the Navy would spend more than $230 million to build and run a single facility serving 25,000 people for a six-month term.
According to a Government Accountability Office report published in April, the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement office requested $3.6 billion in 2018 funding to pay for immigrant housing -- $1 billion more than the amount of funds requested the prior year.
It had not occurred to me before today that Trump's detention policy could potentially cause a government shutdown on October 1st.
All of these figures and dollar amounts are funds that were appropriated for fiscal 2018. Fiscal 2019 will begin on October 1st and, assuming Congress will not pass a comprehensive budget and will instead rely on a continuing resolution to fund the government at current levels, voting to fund the government in fiscal 2019 could mean voting to fund Trump's detention centers. At least temporarily.
I don't know if congressional Democrats can win a fight to defund Trump's detention centers while they're still the minority in Congress, but they should do everything they can to ensure that the funds are temporary so that the next session Congress can either fully defund them or demand other changes to immigration law in exchange for more temporary funding.
There's a big risk here that Trump's internment camps will become semi-permanent if Congress doesn't use its power to control funding. If Republicans retain control of Congress, there's no doubt in my mind the camps will become permanent.