Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Florida lawmakers blocked from entering Homestead facility holding 1,000 migrant children

Posted By on Tue, Jun 19, 2018 at 6:51 PM

click to enlarge The Homestead compound for migrant children in 2016. - PHOTO VIA U.S. DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES
  • Photo via U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
  • The Homestead compound for migrant children in 2016.
Florida lawmakers were blocked from entering a Homestead facility where federal immigration authorities are holding an estimated 1,000 undocumented migrant children.

U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson, U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz and state Rep. Kionne McGhee were denied entry to the Homestead Temporary Shelter for Unaccompanied Children that was recently reopened under the Trump administration.

The Democratic senator said the private contractor running the facility initially told them they would be welcome to tour the housing compound. But representatives from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services denied them access, saying they would need "two weeks notice" to allow them inside.

"That’s ridiculous and it’s clear this administration is hiding something," Nelson said on Twitter.

The Homestead facility was opened during the Obama administration to house unaccompanied migrant children who came to the U.S. without proper documentation.

But Nelson says he confirmed with HHS that the Trump administration is using the compound to house at least 94 children who have been forcefully separated from their undocumented families under the administration's new "zero-tolerance" policy. Nearly 2,000 children have been separated from their adult guardians between April 19 and the end of May, according to the Department of Homeland Security.

"The Trump administration’s actions today to block us from checking on these kids is inexcusable," Nelson said.

Stay on top of Orlando news and views. Sign up for our weekly Headlines newsletter.

Tags: , , , , ,

Consider supporting local journalism.
Our small but mighty local team works tirelessly to bring you high-quality, uncensored news and cultural coverage of Central Florida. Unlike many newspapers, ours is free – and we'd like to keep it that way, because we believe, now more than ever, everyone deserves access to accurate, independent coverage of their community.

Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing pledge, your support helps keep Orlando’s true free press free.

More by Monivette Cordeiro


Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.


© 2020 Orlando Weekly

Website powered by Foundation