Government officials turned away two Democratic members of Florida’s Washington delegation. They told Sen. Bill Nelson and Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, both Democrats, that they could not enter the Homestead Temporary Shelter for Unaccompanied Children in Homestead, FL, on Tuesday. An employee of the facility, which is maintained by the Department of Health and Human Services and houses nearly 1,200 children, insisted they needed “two weeks’ notice” in order to allow inside.
Speaking to reporters outside the center Sen. Nelson lashed out at H.H.S. for hiding the children from the lawmakers and reporters.
The company running [Homestead], which is a contractor, was happy to receive us. So I thought, back in Washington, in the secretary’s office, that they had thought better of what he had told me earlier. And what he told me earlier was that you had to have two weeks notice, you had to fill out the forms. I said ‘Mr Secretary, that is just bull-hockey. You know that is not true. I have a responsibility as oversight of your agency. We appropriate the monies that run your agency. In that capacity, we want to know that you’re doing your job right. And, at the same time, we have concern for the welfare and the caring of these children. And we want to see it.
Meanwhile, back in Washington Congressman Charlie Crist (D-St. Petersburg) joined over 190 of his colleagues to introduce legislation to put an end to the Trump Administration’s policy of separating children from their parents when seeking asylum at the border. The Keep Families Together Act creates procedures to assist with the reunification of separated families and requires child welfare training for Customs and Border Patrol agents.
“All of God’s children deserve to be treated with compassion. Ripping crying children from their parents fails this fundamental moral test,” said Crist. “If the Trump Administration refuses to stop its inhumane policy of separating families at the border, Congress must act.”
The Trump Administration is getting pushback from governors who are refusing to send National Guard troops to the Southern Border. Delaware’s governor is turning down a request to send National Guard troops to the United States’ southwest border.
Gov. John Carney, a Democrat, said he won’t use the guard in support of the Trump administration’s policy of separating immigrant children from their families. He said the state received a request Tuesday to send troops to the border.
In a statement, Carney said Delaware will help at the border if President Donald Trump revokes the current policy.
Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan, a Republican, and Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam, a Democrat, also announced Tuesday that they were recalling Guard troops and resources deployed to the border, in protest of the Trump administration’s policy.