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High-Quality Fabric Structures for Improving Immigration and Refugee Housing

The national borders of the United States remain overwhelmed with immigrants awaiting decisions regarding their legal status. Many of these people are refugees fleeing situations out of their control. Many others are hopeful immigrants wanting to join their family or start a new future promised by the American dream. 

And unfortunately, many are stuck in a holding pattern at the border as they await their approval.

As most Americans are descendants of immigrants, unless of course, they are Native American, it’s important to remember that they are human just like everyone else.  They deserve the dignity of a safe place to live while they attempt to gain legal immigration status. Without safe shelter, these people would be subject to dangerous elements.

As these waiting times can take place over extended periods, humane and on-site immigration and refugee housing solutions are necessary. Alaska Structures® offers the highest-quality fabric structures that allow your immigration processing facility to quickly and rapidly scale to provide hotel-like accommodations, as well as restroom facilities, dining facilities, and family entertainment centers. 

Six Benefits Of Choosing Fabric Structures for Your Immigration Housing Solutions

The great thing about fabric structures is you can customize them to accommodate all your immigration processing facility needs. Especially when there is a large influx of immigrants and refugees, it is crucial to provide a humane and safe space for them to seek shelter. Because these wait times are often extended periods, the shelters used to provide immigration housing must be structurally sound, safe, and livable. 

1. Protect Immigrants and Refugees Against The Elements With Engineered Fabric Structures

The same high-performance fabric structures have the trust of our own government to house U.S. troops in combat. This is because the inhabitants have true shelter and protection from the elements. That speaks volumes when considering all the different situations our many troops find themselves in. The military must carry on despite inclement weather, and the military shelters must be able to hold up to the rigors of multiple deployments.

While awaiting decisions on their legal status, without proper immigration housing, families are forced to live in simple camping tents for long periods of time and are exposed to the rain, snow, freezing temperatures, heat, and storms. 

To keep immigrants and refugees protected from the elements, engineered fabric structures are a superior choice because they are designed to meet specific wind and snow loads required by international building codes (IBC). Engineered fabric structures offer a higher degree of safety and are much longer-lasting than typical camping tents used by previous administrations and immigration agencies to create “tent cities” and “tent courts.” They can be quickly built on virtually any level surface, scaled to meet a surge in immigration housing needs, easily relocated, and easily configured to provide hotel-like accommodations.  

Engineered fabric structures from Alaska Structures offer the best solution for high-quality immigration housing solutions.

[Related: Guide to Workforce Accommodations in Remote Locations]

2. Engineered Fabric Buildings Provide Safe Sleeping Quarters for Refugees and Immigrants

Having a safe place to sleep is necessary to the well-being of every person and family. Providing safe sleeping quarters using engineered fabric buildings allows immigrants and refugees to rest comfortably while waiting for their decision.

Safe sleeping quarters encompass much more than a place that provides a safe night’s sleep. There are many dangers immigrants and refugees face. Many are living in a state of trauma and fear. Being forced to live in an open cage with nothing more than a mylar blanket is not humane or moral. It certainly doesn’t give the best first impression of the United States of America.

Without proper sleeping quarters, the emotional, physical, and overall well-being of individuals and families waiting for immigration processing take a toll, making the experience even more excruciating and traumatizing. 

Workforce housing is designed to provide the benefits of engineered fabric structures as well as the privacy and comfort of traditional hard-wall structures. Optional insulation and HVAC systems increase energy efficiency and comfort in harsh environments.

[Related: Municipality Guide: Humane Housing Solutions for the Homeless]

3. Provide Hot Meals and Support Full Dining Facilities by Using Fabric Structures

Alaska Structures’ fully customizable immigration and refugee housing solutions offer the flexibility required for border control. When designing an immigration processing center, it is recommended to include fabric structures for a full kitchen and dining facility. Rather than providing meals ready to eat (MRE), full kitchens are able to provide a variety of nutritious meals for entire families. 

Fully powered kitchens are capable of providing a safe and sanitary place to prepare hot meals. This is highly beneficial. Enjoying a hot and nutritional meal is a great morale booster.  

[Related: Rethinking Dining Facilities — Alternative Solutions With Fabric Building Systems]

4. Lower Your Maintenance Costs Using Engineered Fabric Structures

The cost alone of setting up engineered fabric structures is far less than building permanent structures

Permanent buildings require staff to provide ongoing maintenance to keep them operational. Allowing them to fall to waste is essentially wasting the taxpayer money spent building them in the first place. 

Rather than build structures that could possibly end up uninhabited for long periods of time, engineered fabric structures can be deconstructed and packed away until needed again. This alone saves on the cost of continued maintenance needs of permanent buildings or other prefabricated building solutions that cannot be easily taken down, stored, and reused (like metal or steel buildings). 

Plumbing, roofing, and pest control costs alone exponentially increase the cost of any permanent building. Engineered fabric structures from Alaska Structures utilize plug-and-play connections for water and electrical distribution systems, allowing each to be quickly set up and then efficiently packed away. 

[Related: The Benefits of Fabric Buildings From Alaska Structures]

5. Provide a Safer and More Hygienic Environment

Fabric buildings from Alaska Structures can be custom-designed to provide  hygienic bathroom facilities. A need in any humane living situation is a safe place to shower and use the bathroom. 

Shower and latrine facilities from Alaska Structures include the Alaska Shower-In-A-Box™ and Alaska Latrine-In-A-Box™ systems in one-person, two-person, four-person, six-person, eight-person, and 10-person configurations. Every facility also comes with:

  • Plumbing
  • Sinks
  • Water pumps
  • Water heaters
  • Bladders for potable, black, and gray water
  • Ventilation systems
  • Waterproof lighting kits
  • Electrical kits

Having access to safe and hygienic bathroom facilities is extremely important to individuals and families who have been in and out of dire situations to reach the border. This is even more true for women and children. With Alaska Structures, safety and privacy concerns can be met. Waiting for a decision regarding one’s legal status does not mean they must give up their dignity. 

6. Move Your Immigration Housing Solutions Wherever and Whenever

There are many immigration processing centers along the U.S. border. At any given time, there can be a varying number of immigrants and refugees waiting for the opportunity to start a new life in the United States.

One of the many benefits of fabric structures is the ability to set them up wherever and whenever you need them. Once one section of immigrants and refugees receive their decisions to enter the U.S. lawfully or elsewhere, if no longer needed, fabric structure can quickly and easily be taken down and stored for future use. 

You can then move the deconstructed structure to a new area in need. And once again, you can set up the fabric structure to provide viable living situations for the immigrants and refugees still in need. 

[Related: Ruggedly Mobile Fabric Structures

Helping Agencies Procure High-Quality Housing Solutions

Alaska Structures has nearly 50 years of proven experience working with all levels of federal, state, and city governments, as well as housing authorities and homeless agencies to plan, produce, and deliver the highest-quality fabric building systems. With a near endless number of customization options, a friendly building specialist will assist you or your agency through all stages of the project.

Our engineered fabric buildings are used to quickly create the following:

Contact us today to discuss your immigrant housing or immigration processing center needs.

Alaska Structures
Alaska Structures® is the world's leading provider of engineered fabric building and turnkey camp systems. Our modular buildings are proudly made in the U.S. and designed to meet area-specific wind and snow loads required by local codes or the International Building Code (IBC) for safety. No other fabric-building provider comes close to matching our level of expertise or experience.

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