Detention Heart for Migrants: Unique look into the controversial youngsters’s facility in Homestead, Florida

Homestead, Florida – CBS News captured an exclusive video of the inside controversial shelter in Homestead, Florida, where migrant children are being held. It is the first time news cameras have been allowed into the center, which currently houses 2,600 unaccompanied minors.

Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar gave a brief tour to Manuel Bojorquez of CBS News. CBS News saw neat lunch lines, jam-packed classrooms, and kids moving around the sprawling campus single file.

Azar then pushes back against criticism annoying reports about conditions in Border Patrol facilities that are not part of his division.

“There has been a lot of factual misrepresentation or ignorance about Homestead and, frankly, the wider program we are running at HHS,” he said.

But attorneys who previously inspected Homestead and spoke to children said many had complained about the treatment here too.

“One of the things they claim is prison-like rules, which a lawyer said children used to express fear and concern about the enforcement of the protection rules. In some cases, they have been told that getting out of line could have an impact on their immigration case . Is that happening? ”Asked Bojorquez.

“Well, let me be really clear. That would be totally inappropriate. And the staff here were directed after this claim was made that such behavior or statements would be false and subject to discipline,” Azar said.

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At the Homestead internment camp.

CBS News

There are currently 13,500 minors in HHS care. CBS News wasn’t allowed to interview minors in Homestead, but it did show some of the smaller, stark dorms, though the facility has much larger halls that can accommodate more than 140 beds.

“We ask our kids what they prefer, and the kids actually prefer the larger dormitory room with more bunk beds and the larger environment you’re referring to,” Azar said.

“The lawyers don’t make that clear in this file,” said Bojorquez.

“I’ll go with the kids,” Azar replied.

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