Debbie Wasserman Schultz files bill requiring officials to admit members of Congress into migrant centers
Debbie Wasserman Schultz seeks federal intervention in Florida's unemployment website fiasco.

“Congress must assert its constitutional authority to provide vigorous oversight of these facilities."

U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz has filed legislation that would stop executive branch officials from denying members of Congress entry in migrant detention facilities.

The move comes after Wasserman Schultz has been denied access to one such facility in Homestead on two separate occasions. That facility is designed to house unaccompanied migrant children.

The legislation is titled the Help Oversee, Manage and Evaluate Safe Treatment and Ensure Access without Delay (HOMESTEAD) Act of 2019.

“This Administration has proven it cannot be trusted to protect vulnerable people who have made a desperate journey to our country to escape violence and oppression,” Wasserman Schultz said.

“Congress must assert its constitutional authority to provide vigorous oversight of these facilities without giving administration officials days to stage-manage who and what visitors can see. If Congress can show up at these detention centers at any time, the Administration will not be able to hide the horrors some of these children endure.”

The bill specifically would prohibit officials from requiring advance notice from members of Congress prior to entering a “facility operated by the Department of Homeland Security, Department of Health and Human Services, or contractors working on behalf of those agencies.”

Wasserman Schultz said that while current law requires 48 hours notice for a visit, she’s been asked by officials overseeing the Homestead facility for two-weeks’ notice prior to being able to review the center.

“Advance warning of our visits can lead to a skewed impression of the actual conditions inside these facilities,” Wasserman Schultz said.

“Congress must be able to exercise its constitutional oversight authority and ensure that all migrants coming here are treated with dignity and humanity.”

Officials from the Donald Trump administration have had to deal with a surge of migrants at the border in recent months. That’s led to overcrowding at some facilities, with reports detailing a lack of hygiene, food and mental health treatment at some of those facilities.

Wasserman Schultz was among a handful of Florida lawmakers to call for the facility for close after a lawsuit was filed, alleging the children housed there are suffering from “permanent psychological damage.”

The Trump administration has said they are ensuring workers are doing their best to deal with the ongoing migrant crisis. Trump has called for increased funding to help detain those migrants.

Ryan Nicol

Ryan Nicol covers news out of South Florida for Florida Politics. Ryan is a native Floridian who attended undergrad at Nova Southeastern University before moving on to law school at Florida State. After graduating with a law degree he moved into the news industry, working in TV News as a writer and producer, along with some freelance writing work. If you'd like to contact him, send an email to [email protected].


  • NoMoreRepublicans!

    July 23, 2019 at 2:00 pm

    It is PATENTLY ABSURD that any member of Congress would be denied access to ANY government facility. Undoubtedly, there will be Republican’ts voting against this bill in the House and, undoubtedly, ****head McConnell will refuse to support it and put it to a vote in the Senate.

  • Karen

    July 23, 2019 at 2:49 pm

    When is she going to be prosecuted for helping her Pakistani boyfriend steal government money & secrets?

  • Edward Freeman

    July 23, 2019 at 3:29 pm

    I guess Karen got lost and forgot what she was commenting about again. Poor Karen.

    Regardless, while there is certainly a migrant crisis happening in the United States, it is a crisis the is entirely of Donald Trump’s making. When he took office everything was running smoothly, then he screwed it all up, just like he has done everything he has ever touched.

Comments are closed.


Florida Politics is a statewide, new media platform covering campaigns, elections, government, policy, and lobbying in Florida. This platform and all of its content are owned by Extensive Enterprises Media.

Publisher: Peter Schorsch @PeterSchorschFL

Contributors & reporters: Phil Ammann, Drew Dixon, Roseanne Dunkelberger, A.G. Gancarski, Anne Geggis, Ryan Nicol, Jacob Ogles, Cole Pepper, Gray Rohrer, Jesse Scheckner, Christine Sexton, Drew Wilson, and Mike Wright.

Email: [email protected]
Twitter: @PeterSchorschFL
Phone: (727) 642-3162
Address: 204 37th Avenue North #182
St. Petersburg, Florida 33704

Sign up for Sunburn