Dems visit shelter for migrant children, call it 'chilling'

Dems visit shelter for migrant children, call it 'chilling'
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A group of House Democrats paid a visit to a shelter for migrant children on Tuesday and sharply criticized the facility, calling it "chilling." 

Democratic Reps. Debbie Mucarsel-PowellDebbie Mucarsel-PowellVulnerable Democrats swing behind impeachment push Democrats launch bilingual ad campaign off drug pricing bill Lawmakers to watch during Wednesday's impeachment hearing MORE (Fla.), Donna ShalalaDonna Edna ShalalaOvernight Health Care — Presented by That's Medicaid — House panel unveils rival fix for surprise medical bills | Democrats punt vote on youth vaping bill | Pelosi drug bill poised for passage after deal with progressives House Democrats to vote on flavored e-cigarettes ban next year Ways and Means Committee announces rival surprise medical billing fix MORE (Fla.), Joaquin CastroJoaquin CastroHispanic Democrats demand flu vaccines for detained migrants Pelosi faces tough choices on impeachment managers Hillicon Valley: Google to limit political ad targeting | Senators scrutinize self-driving car safety | Trump to 'look at' Apple tariff exemption | Progressive lawmakers call for surveillance reforms | House panel advances telecom bills MORE (Texas) and Sylvia GarciaSylvia GarciaHillicon Valley: Senators ask Trump to halt Huawei licenses | Warren criticizes Zuckerberg over secret dinner with Trump | Senior DHS cyber official to leave | Dems offer bill on Libra oversight On The Money: Trump signs short-term spending bill to avoid shutdown | Pelosi casts doubt on USMCA deal in 2019 | California high court strikes down law targeting Trump tax returns Lawmakers introduce bill to 'protect' consumers from Facebook's digital currency MORE (Texas) visited the temporary shelter for unaccompanied migrant children in Homestead, Fla.

Castro, the chairman of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, called the system of facilities for migrant children part of a "morally bankrupt system."

Mucarsel-Powell vowed to reunite the migrant children in Homestead with their families.

The Homestead shelter is said to be the largest facility for unaccompanied children in the country, currently housing roughly 1,575 people between the ages of 13-17, according to CBS News's Miami affiliate.


The Department of Health and Human Services announced in December that it would be adding 1,000 beds to the shelter.

Homestead initially opened in 2016 after a record number of migrant children crossed the border. It closed in 2017 but reopened in March last year to accommodate an influx. 

Migrant children who illegally cross into the U.S. must be sent to a government shelter, like Homestead, where they stay until they can be united with relatives or other sponsors while awaiting immigration court hearings, under the so-called Flores agreement.

The Trump administration is reportedly working on new regulations that it says would terminate and replace that rule.

The administration tried to curb families illegally immigrating by enforcing a "zero tolerance" policy that resulted in children being separated from their parents. President TrumpDonald John TrumpRepublicans aim to avoid war with White House over impeachment strategy New York Times editorial board calls for Trump's impeachment Trump rips Michigan Rep. Dingell after Fox News appearance: 'Really pathetic!' MORE eventually retreated from the practice after intense bipartisan backlash.