Front entrance of the shelter on Bougainville Blvd.

Front entrance of the shelter on Bougainville Blvd.

As accusations fly

condemning the Homestead Shelter for Migrant Children for inhumane conditions, a private interview was obtained with several employees and volunteers who work with the

children on a day to day basis.

In confidence, this is what they had to say: “When the children are admitted into the facility they are immediately given medical attention which includes vaccinations and proper medical treatment, if needed, plus dental care. The children are given clothing which consists of two pairs of shoes, two pairs of slacks or Capri slacks, several pairs of shorts, five shirts or blouses and appropriate under garments.

Housing accommodations consist of pods

containing 6 bunks (12 beds). Boys and girls are in separate buildings. Each pod has 24 hour chaperones that rotate in shifts. Boys have male chaperones, while girls are watched by women. All personnel have had extensive background checks prior to employment. To avoid chances of abuse, adult supervision is rotated on a daily basis.”

Another point of interest, “If complicated dental work is needed, the child is escorted outside the facility for a private appointment."

A summary of a daily routine was given stating “There are three healthy meals served daily with three additional snacks. For order, it is true the children are marched to school and other activities. Education consists of classes in Spanish as well as lessons in English. A variety of subjects are taught similar t

o the Miami-Dade County school system. School supplies are provided as well as items for crafts. Activities include exercise, dance, singing, art and more. Outside activities include sports (soccer/basketball) and exercise.”

As the day comes to a close, “Individual showers are taken, one child at a time.”

I asked if there are any children kept in cages inside this facility? The answer came back a strong, “no,” but they additionally commented that “The photo of a child in a cage that was being flashed on the news was actually taken in 2013 under the previous administration.”

To get an idea of the children’s lives prior to arrival at the center, I switched gears to another gentleman who has served as a volunteer inside the facility. He expressed: “Many of these children arrived to the U.S. by paid runners (coyotes) without family members. At religious services, a large number of the girls told of sexual abuses they encountered during their travels. Others told of the horrible conditions in their homeland.”

It seems that the Homestead facility is offering housing and education similar to our own citizens in spite of the uncontrollable flow of illegals crossing the border. As far as denied entry to politicians and those running for office, no one is allowed to enter the facility without a background check that takes 14 days to process. Recently, Ex-Senator Bill Nelson, who along with others, attacked the credibility of the facility, was allowed to enter and view the operation. As he exited, much of his criticism was toned down.

If the facility is found to be inhumane, then it needs to be closed, but not until after an alternative plan is put in place. Yet if the facility is successfully operational as my sources expressed, then the migrant children will remain safe and cared for until they can be released to family or sent back to their home countries.

(1) comment


they are treated like VIPs.

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