‘Tent Cities’ Cost More Than Keeping Kids With Parents; Little Rock Eyed As Detainee Site

TORNILLO, TX - JUNE 19: Children and workers are seen at a tent encampment recently built near the Tornillo Port of Entry on June 19, 2018 in Tornillo, Texas. The Trump administration is using the Tornillo tent facility to house immigrant children separated from their parents after they were caught entering the U.S. under the administration's zero tolerance policy. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

WASHINGTON — The cost of holding migrant children who have been separated from their parents in newly created “tent cities” is $775 per person per night, according to an official at the Department of Health and Human Services — far higher than the cost of keeping children with their parents in detention centers or holding them in more permanent buildings.

The reason for the high cost, the official and several former officials told NBC News, is that the sudden urgency to bring in security, air conditioning, medical workers and other government contractors far surpasses the cost for structures that are routinely staffed.

The agency is currently exploring places to build temporary facilities at an Air Force Base in Little Rock, Arkansas, and land formerly run by the USDA in Arizona.

Read more at NBC News.