House Democrats have been fighting to get the Homestead children detention center closed, and their efforts have paid off.
The Miami Herald has reported that all the children at the center have now been moved, and the center is all but closed, with 1,200 empty beds remaining to house detainees in case of an emergency.
With moving those 4,000 children, some 400 employees were laid off on Friday, and another 4,000 are expected to meet the same fate. The facility is closed, but the Department of Health and Human Services, which oversees the center, will keep a skeleton crew on to “maintain the property.”
Rep. Donna Shalala (D) called the closing of the center “bittersweet” and called the “racist” Trump administration of “undermining our country’s values.”
Just last week, Rep. Debbie Mucarsel-Powell (D) toured the facility and later reiterated her support for the center to be closed.
Mucarsel-Powell, who has visited the Homestead facility seven times, says that the living conditions had not changed since she first visited the detention center.
“The only difference is the amount of kids being detained,” said Mucarsel-Powell “We are holding kids in a prison-like facility. None of you would want to send your children to this facility as a summer camp.”
HHS may move the children to Central Florida, Los Angeles, or Virginia, but also said that they were considering other permanent detention locations in Houston, Atlanta, Dallas, Phoenix, and San Antonio.
The closure of this shelter is bittersweet. Families are still being torn apart, kids continue to be held in detention for months for profit, & a racist administration insists on undermining our country’s values.
We cannot rest until we put an end to all three. https://t.co/Iz3VvKg4xh
— Rep. Donna E. Shalala (@RepShalala) August 3, 2019