Homestead detention Center

AL DIAZ / MIAMI HERALD

The government has spent more than $33 million in 46 days to keep the Homestead detention center up and running even though no children are housed there, according to federal officials.

On Wednesday, Jonathan Hayes, the acting director of the Office of Refugee Resettlement — the agency in charge of housing unaccompanied migrant children — testified at a House Appropriations subcommittee hearing, along with other Department of Homeland Security leaders, about mental health services for migrant children.

AL DIAZ / MIAMI HERALD

The Homestead detention center for unaccompanied immigrant children is expected to begin accepting kids again as early as October or November, federal government sources say, even though it officially shut down less than two weeks ago.

Sources close to the operation told the Miami Herald the federal government is anticipating an influx of children at the border some time in October.

Ellis Rua / Miami Herald

The Miami Herald has obtained official copies of the federal government’s detailed hurricane plan for the Homestead Detention Center.

Susan Stocker / South Florida Sun Sentinel

Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz isn’t sure exactly what goes on inside the nation’s migrant detention facilities, but she wants to ability to check without warning that she’s coming.

Wasserman Schultz put forth a bill Monday prohibiting congressional members from being denied entry to any migrant facility operated by the Department of Homeland Security, the Department of Health and Human Services or private contractors working on those agencies’ behalf. The bill also would allow congressional members to visit facilities without notice.

Wilfredo Lee / AP

Citing what it calls a slew of human-rights violations, Amnesty International is calling on the U.S. government to shut down the Homestead detention center before children in Miami-Dade start school again next month.

WILFREDO LEE / AP

The Homestead detention center is no longer taking in new children at its facility, government officials say.

The hold on the placement of unaccompanied minors began at least two weeks ago alongside the efforts of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to downsize its child population by more than half, to 1,300 from 2,700.

“There are no plans to close Homestead at the moment,” an HHS spokeswoman told the Miami Herald in a text Monday.

Gerard Albert III / WLRN News

Members of the U.S. House of Representatives oversight committee toured the Homestead child detention center Monday morning. 

JOE RAEDLE GETTY IMAGES

In Florida, immigration is a hot-button issue for voters. And during two nights of Democratic debates last week, many of the 20 candidates repeatedly leveled criticism of Trump’s immigration policies and his handling of the crisis on the U.S.-Mexico border. 

Some even spoke in Spanish. 

But was that enough to satisfy Florida Democratic voters? 

At least one prominent Florida Republican called out the debate’s moderators and the candidates for failing to bring up the immigration issues that most affect the state.

ELISE AMENDOLA / AP

A day after company officials toured the Homestead detention center for unaccompanied immigrant teenagers, Bank of America decided it will pull out of the private prison and detention industry.

The banking giant’s decision to withhold credit from facilities like the one in Homestead — which houses roughly 3,000 migrant teens — comes after company officials visited the property on Tuesday, sources told the Miami Herald. The bank would not confirm a visit to the facility.

When Austin Savage heard about the migrant children who said they didn't have toothbrushes, soap or enough to eat at a nearby Border Patrol station, the concerned resident headed to the store. He loaded up a van full of toiletries, diapers and other supplies and drove to the facility in Clint, Texas.

But he said the agents in the parking lot refused to speak to him.

"The agents were just choosing to ignore us," Savage said, adding that he tried on Sunday to deliver the donations and again on Monday. "And neither attempt was successful."

Daniel A. Varela / Miami Herald

Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., was denied entry to the Homestead detention center for migrant children on Wednesday, just hours before the first debate of the 2020 election cycle in downtown Miami.

Daniel A. Varela / Miami Herald

The new must-visit South Florida landmark for Democratic presidential hopefuls is a place so exclusive and secretive that most have no shot of getting through the front door.

Lily Oppenheimer / WLRN

"I've got a plan." That's how Democratic presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren starts a lot of her sentences. It's also what many of her fans say resonates with them.

Miami Herald

Miami is just days away from hosting the first Democratic national presidential debate. Last week, President Donald Trump officially launched his campaign and called for Immigration Customs and Enforcement agents to detain thousands of undocumented immigrants across the country, including here in Miami.

MATIAS J. OCNER / Miami Herald

Florida officials received a report in May of alleged child sexual abuse at the Homestead migrant shelter, marking the seventh report of such abuse at the controversial federal facility.

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