94% of the kids at the Homestead, FL shelter are unaccompanied minors, 6% were separated from their parents


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Earlier this week, Sen. Bill Nelson claimed there was a “cover-up” after he was denied entrance to a shelter for migrant children in Homestead, FL:

“I think what they’re doing is a cover-up for the president”: U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson accuses Trump administration officials of a “cover-up” after he and another politician are denied entry to an immigrant detention center in Florida. https://t.co/Lidh6wPGMn

— AP South U.S. Region (@APSouthRegion) June 19, 2018

Well, today the shelter opened its doors to reporters and we now have some hard statistics about who’s actually at the shelter. According to the Miami Herald, there are 70 children who were separated from their parents out of a total of 1179 kids. That means roughly 94% of the children at the shelter were taken into custody at the border as unaccompanied minors and just 6% were separated from their parents:

On Friday, the Homestead facility housed 1,179 migrant children between 13 and 17 years old, including 70 who had been separated from their families at the Mexican border, said program director Leslie Wood. These numbers change day-by-day as children arrive in buses from the border or depart for permanent housing, usually with a parent or family member, Wood said. As of Friday morning, there were 792 boys and 387 girls. About 70 had been separated from their families at the border, and they are placed with the other children, Wood and Weber said.

So the “cover-up” is that Trump administration is caring for kids after their parents sent them to the U.S. by themselves? Add this to the articles of impeachment!

As for how the kids are treated at the shelter, well, here’s a summary from Patricia Mazzei of the New York Times. In summary, no cages, schooling, calls home and the World Cup:

Just toured the temporary shelter for unaccompanied children in Homestead, Fla. This is the second largest shelter in the country, after the one in Tornillo, Texas. No photo or video was allowed. Or interviews of kids. A few observations:

— Patricia Mazzei (@PatriciaMazzei) June 22, 2018

Reporters were not shown anything that resembled cages or kennels for children. "We just don't operate that way," the director said. This is a former Department of Labor Job Corps site. It has fully equipped dorm buildings.

— Patricia Mazzei (@PatriciaMazzei) June 22, 2018

Children are separated by age and gender, in groups of 12. They move around the large site in lines with a staff member. They wear badges that are scanned every time they go into a building. There are many more boys (792) than girls (387).

— Patricia Mazzei (@PatriciaMazzei) June 22, 2018

About 70 children have been separated from their parents, the director estimated. (It was 94 earlier this week, per Department of Health and Human Services.) The rest arrived to the U.S. by themselves. Only teenagers ages 13-17 are taken in at this shelter. It has room for 1,350.

— Patricia Mazzei (@PatriciaMazzei) June 22, 2018

The vast majority of the children are from El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras, the director said. Posters and instructions are written in English and Spanish. Most of the staff appeared to be bilingual.

— Patricia Mazzei (@PatriciaMazzei) June 22, 2018

The shelter was reopened on March 29 to cope with an influx of children arriving into the country. It had closed down last year after the number of arrivals dwindled. HHS scouted out the site in 2015 and opened the shelter in 2016.

— Patricia Mazzei (@PatriciaMazzei) June 22, 2018

When they arrive, children are given five days' worth of clothes and a hygiene kit, and assigned a bunk bed. The average stay is 25 days, the director said. Most children are eventually placed with a sponsor in the U.S., often a parent, relative, or family friend.

— Patricia Mazzei (@PatriciaMazzei) June 22, 2018

At the shelter, children follow a schedule that includes time for reading, English classes, math and other schooling, meals, sports and counseling. They get two 10-minute phone calls a week. To promote good behavior, they let children watch movies or sporting events on weekends.

— Patricia Mazzei (@PatriciaMazzei) June 22, 2018

The World Cup is in high demand at the shelter, the director said. A match will be shown Friday night (not live). Several classrooms they showed us had posters on the wall with students' World Cup predictions.

— Patricia Mazzei (@PatriciaMazzei) June 22, 2018

We saw boys playing soccer and basketball, and girls moving from classrooms to the dining hall. The director said one boy tried to escape since March. He ran around the campus before staff reached him. He was "anxious," the director said, and later calmed down.

— Patricia Mazzei (@PatriciaMazzei) June 22, 2018

Several of the kids said "Good morning" or "Buenos días" to the visiting reporters. Some carried workbooks. The walls are decorated with art made by the children, as well as posters about American civics. There are signs posted for how to report harassment or sexual abuse.

— Patricia Mazzei (@PatriciaMazzei) June 22, 2018

Florida Sen. Bill Nelson and Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz were denied access to this shelter earlier this week. Nelson decried a "coverup." They will now be touring it on Saturday, along with other lawmakers. Another tour will take place today, including for Sen. Marco Rubio.

— Patricia Mazzei (@PatriciaMazzei) June 22, 2018

HHS said it needed time to set up tours that wouldn't interfere with shelter operations.

— Patricia Mazzei (@PatriciaMazzei) June 22, 2018

The director insist4ed that the shelter is "not a detention facility," but of course, children aren't free to roam or leave.

— Patricia Mazzei (@PatriciaMazzei) June 22, 2018

Another interesting nugget: The children are not used to air conditioning, the director said, which explains why we saw so many of them carrying sweaters.

— Patricia Mazzei (@PatriciaMazzei) June 22, 2018

The facility, by the way, is expecting more children to arrive in the coming days.

— Patricia Mazzei (@PatriciaMazzei) June 22, 2018

To tackle a few questions: The teachers at the facility are not provided by the local school district. They have been hired directly by the contractor operating the shelter. Not all of them are certified.

— Patricia Mazzei (@PatriciaMazzei) June 22, 2018

There are guards across the facility. They did not appear to be armed. The facility is surrounded by chain-link fence.

— Patricia Mazzei (@PatriciaMazzei) June 22, 2018

***

Related:

JUST IN: Border Patrol says 'all' minors separated from their parents will be reunited by Sunday, June 24 https://t.co/IZlT3x9xSD

— Twitchy Team (@TwitchyTeam) June 22, 2018

Dear @Vice: Are you going to cancel Tom Arnold's show after he lied about Michael Cohen? What else is he lying about? https://t.co/lCoBEpgJO3

— Twitchy Team (@TwitchyTeam) June 22, 2018

Brandon Darby shares the 3 'most iconic' photos of the immigration crisis. Can you spot what they have in common? https://t.co/kE847DKIv8

— Twitchy Team (@TwitchyTeam) June 22, 2018

The post 94% of the kids at the Homestead, FL shelter are unaccompanied minors, 6% were separated from their parents appeared first on twitchy.com.

Source: twitchy.com


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