Opinion: Immigration Detention Centers must end

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Image courtesy of Canstockphoto
By Silda Martinez

A lawsuit filed recently against a detention center in Homestead, Florida — a facility that has been closed, and not housed one migrant since Aug. 3 — revealed how children were affected due to the lack of proper care.

It’s time for the government to take action against the horrifying living conditions immigrant children are being put through. President Donald Trump instead of helping the migrant children of the facilities he creates terrible policies like the Family Separation Policy.

Enough is enough, our government needs to help facilities like Homestead and change policies for the better.

Homestead Facility is known to be the country’s only for-profit detention facility for immigrant children, according to AXIOS news story by Dan Primack. The facility is owned by Caliburn, a company owned by a private equity firm, DC Capital Partners.

The first nine months Homestead facility opened for business, DC partners profited $17 million, coming from the AXIOS news story.

Homestead used the excuse of being an influx shelter as a way to skirt past the legal limits in the 1997 Flores Settlement Agreement, which the trump administration is trying to overturn.

The facility in Homestead is the largest detention center in the country having housed 14,300 unaccompanied minors since March 2018, according to CBS news story by Graham Kates.

Kids slept in military-type dorm rooms ranging in capacity from small rooms that fit 12 young children, to enormous halls shared by as many as 200 17-year-old boys in rows of beds about shoulder-width apart.

Government lawyers are attempting to bar the statements of physicians treating the children kept in the facility. In an interview done by attorney Hope Fyre, a guatemalan immigrant child told her that many children in the facility were “harmed by lengthy detention at homestead”.

The interview revealed how children who were detained for too long were subjected to “prison like” rules. Children feared breaking simple rules such as hugging or touching their own siblings and not finishing meals would hurt their chances of being released earlier.

Several children reported days-long delays when in need of medical treatment.“In my opinion, the government is causing irrevocable mental and physical harm to every immigrant child held in immigration detention, ” said doctor Marsha Griffin, co-chair of the American Academy of Pediatrics, in the AXIOS news story.

Homesteads case is not the first case made against the violation of children immigrant facility living conditions. Facilities all over different states are doing the same thing. Yet they are not being helped or talked about by our government.

Facilities being able to get away with this disgusting treatment is not okay. Migrant children don’t have a voice to stand up for their rights, it’s only right the government provides one for them.

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