The White House reportedly seeks a private contractor to run a migrant detention center at the Guantanamo Bay Naval Base in Cuba.
According to government records obtained by NBC News, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) wants at least some of the guards to speak Spanish or Haitian Creole.
The proposal to alleviate the migrant crisis received pushback Congres from both sides of the aisle.
According to NBC News:
A little-known immigrant holding facility on the base has a capacity of 120 people, the records say, and it “will have an estimated daily population of 20 people,” according to a solicitation for bids issued Friday by the Department of Homeland Security.
“The service provider shall be responsible to maintain on site the necessary equipment to erect temporary housing facilities for populations that exceed 120 and up to 400 migrants in a surge event,” the contract solicitation says.
Guantánamo Bay is best known these days as the site of a prison for high-value terrorism detainees, including Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the confessed 9/11 mastermind, who is on trial there before a military commission. But the base has long included a DHS immigration holding facility — one with a controversial past linked to Haiti.
During the George H.W. Bush administration from 1991 to 1993, when many Haitians sought to flee the country to seek asylum in Florida, as many as 12,000 were sent to Guantánamo Bay under a policy overseen by then-Attorney General William Barr.