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Charlie Crist to visit for-profit migrant detention shelter in Homestead

“It’s critical we continue shining a bright light on the treatment of migrants by the U.S. Government.”

Migrant children are being held in Homestead. Now, U.S. Rep Charlie Crist is going to visit the for-profit facility.

It was revealed last week that a minimum of 55 migrant teens separated from their parents at the Southern border by Donald Trump’s administration in 2018 were held in the private shelter in Homestead. 

According to a news release from Crist’s office, more than 2,000 children in total are being held in the Homestead detention shelter, today. It is the only for-profit detention center for migrant children in the country and houses children ages 13 to 17.

Crist, the Democrat from St. Petersburg who used his position in the House to advocate for migrant children in the recent past, is part of a delegation from the House Appropriations Committee, led by Connecticut Democrat, Rep. Rosa DeLauro, who is spearheading the “oversight visits.”

The visits from Democratic leaders come amid the release of a congressional report that analyzes documentation on family separations subpoenaed from the Trump administration.

The report accounted for information on at least 2,648 children who were separated from their parents while trying to enter the country at the Southern border without documentation, many of whom were asylum-seekers.

The congressional document focuses mainly on the two months between Trump announcing his “zero tolerance policy” in April 2018 until June 2018. It suggests separations for children have been far more traumatic than excusable by any legal standards. 

This report cited long separations that went far beyond legal time limits for detention, practices of separating infants from parents and even sending some kids to a “tent city” encampment in Tornillo, Texas that is no longer operational today.

In a news release, Crist said of the Homestead visit:

“It’s critical we continue shining a bright light on the treatment of migrants by the U.S. Government. 

“No human being in our custody should ever endure the conditions that have been exposed in recent weeks at U.S.-run migrant detention facilities. 

“I look forward to learning more about the operations at the Homestead facility and to ensure officials are treating the children and families in their care humanely and with dignity. ” 

Federal officials have denied that Trump’s policies are driving operations at the for-profit facility, but the congressional report suggests Trump’s administration “has not been candid” with their reasoning for separating children from their families at the border. 

It concludes that Trump’s administration separated children, even when it wasn’t necessary, and the process of doing so did not aid in the prosecution of undocumented immigrants, as the administration has suggested.

Written By

Melissa S. Razdrih is a Tampa correspondent for Florida Politics. Razdrih graduated with a Bachelor's degree from the University of Tampa in 2006 and went on to earn a Master's degree before switching gears to write professionally. Since then, Razdrih has been published in national blogs, like PopSugar, and local publications, like Tampa Bay Business and Wealth, on everything from self-care to cryptocurrency, but politics is her passion. Contact her at melissarazdrih@me.com.

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