Ryan visits migrant child-detention center in Florida

Staff report


U.S. Rep. Tim Ryan conducted an oversight visit Monday of the Homestead Emergency Influx Care facility – a migrant child-detention center in Homestead, Fla., – with several Democratic colleagues from the House Appropriations Committee.

The facility, which is the largest in operation for migrant children in the U.S., houses boys and girls age 13-17 who have arrived in the country without their parents or legal guardians. There are currently more than 2,000 migrant children being held at the Homestead detention center.

The facility is run by Comprehensive Health Services, the nation’s only for-profit youth migrant shelter operator.

According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the average daily cost to care for a child at an influx facility is about $750 a day.

Ryan of Howland, D-13th, said: “I leave this facility with more questions than when I entered. The fact that these children are still incarcerated is a failure of the Trump administration’s approach. We are spending $750 a child, and there is no real accountability of where that money goes. The level of trauma these kids have is real and persistent. We need a comprehensive trauma-informed care program that addresses what they are going through.”

He added: “To make matters worse, when these kids turn 18, they are literally shackled by ICE and taken out of the facility. There is absolutely no reason why a kid who is 17 years old one day and 18 years old the next should suddenly be treated like a criminal. We need to get children out of these facilities immediately and reunite those separated with their families. They deserve better, and we must all demand better from the United States of America.”

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