Senator Nelson denied entry to tour child migrant detention facility in Florida

HOMESTEAD, Fla. (AP) — On Tuesday, U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson was denied entry to tour a reopened Miami-area facility for children who entered the U.S. illegally and alone.

 

 

According to Senator Nelson's Twitter account, the facility told him they need "two weeks notice" to allow him inside. 

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Another Florida Democrat, U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, confirmed the facility’s use during an event Monday. But it was unclear how long the facility, known as the Homestead Temporary Shelter for Unaccompanied Children, had been open, or whether it’s housing children who came without their parents or those who’ve been separated from their parents by U.S. authorities.

 

 

 

 

The 1,000-bed facility is overseen by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Department spokesman Kenneth Wolfe said in an email Monday that it had reopened as “a temporary unaccompanied alien children program facility.” He did not provide additional details.

Several dozen children could be seen Tuesday morning playing soccer outside the building behind a chain link fence, mostly talking and shouting to each other in Spanish. Some did cartwheel flips while running across the field.

Reporters were not allowed onto the property. Security officials would not let reporters near the facility or provide details on conditions inside.

Martin Levine, from the Miami suburb of West Kendall, came to the facility with a sign showing a Nazi guard pulling a child away from a woman with a Jewish star, and saying “Nazis took children away. Trump inhumane.”

Levine said he believed the policy to separate families was immoral.

“This is not a Democrat or Republican issue, because all of the former first ladies have found this policy despicable,” Levine said.

Republican lawmakers from Miami-Dade County have condemned the policy of separating families crossing the U.S. border.

Florida’s other senator, Republican Marco Rubio, said in a tweet Tuesday, “Let’s change the law so we can hold families together while awaiting expedited hearings.”

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