HOMESTEAD, Fla. – On Thursday, people protested outside of Homestead City Hall. They said children should not be treated as inmates and are calling on the Biden administration to keep the Homestead Detention Center closed.
“It’s unheard of that we are here again under a new administration when we should have been moving on to other sorts of conversations. There are alternative solutions for these kids. They have family members. They have organizations like ours,” said Melissa Taveras of the Florida Immigration Coalition.
There is opposition to a reported plan by President Biden to re-open the Homestead Detention center for migrant teens. The facility was closed in 2019 after numerous protests.
Friday morning on Fox News, Republican Florida Senator Rick Scott blasted Democratic leaders for reopening the facility after campaigning so hard to close it.
“What a bunch of hypocrites these Democrats are. I mean, first off, they are causing this problem. They are stopping the wall. They are opening the borders. They stopped the stay in Mexico policy. So, now we have these poor migrant kids being left at the border by their parents to try to get them in here to become citizens, so the parents can eventually become citizens,” said Scott.
On Friday, while touring the damage left behind after the winter blast in Texas, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki was asked about President Biden’s plan. She said the center would be a place where children can get access to education, mental health services and health services. She went on to say that the only other option was to send the children back, which was what the prior administration did. She believes reopening the facility is the best choice the administration has found because of the impact of COVID-19.
Analysts say there were one thousand migrant children housed at the Homestead facility in 2019.