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-PowellHispanic Democrats announce 'Latina Prosperity Principles' Gun epidemic is personal for lawmakers touched by violence Democrats race against clock with push for impeachment MORE (Fla.), Donna ShalalaDonna Edna ShalalaOvernight Health Care: Watchdog finds DEA allowed more opioids even as overdose deaths rose | Judge temporarily blocks Georgia abortion law | Three states report more vaping deaths | Dem proposes new fix for surprise medical bills Centrist Democrats fret over impeachment gamble Pelosi announces launch of formal impeachment inquiry into Trump MORE (Fla.), Joaquin CastroJoaquin CastroThe Hill's Campaign Report: Impeachment fight to take center stage at Dem debate The Hill's Campaign Report: Warren, Sanders overtake Biden in third-quarter fundraising Joaquin Castro volunteers to play his brother on 'SNL' MORE (Texas) and Sylvia GarciaSylvia GarciaAudience laughs when Mueller jokes about member of Congress lying Here are the 95 Democrats who voted to support impeachment WHIP LIST: The 228 House Democrats backing an impeachment inquiry 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 TrumpGiuliani says he is unaware of reported federal investigation Louisiana's Democratic governor forced into runoff Lawmakers focus their ire on NBA, not China MORE eventually retreated from the practice after intense bipartisan backlash.