Massive crowd gathers on the homestead to protest Florida detention heart for unaccompanied minor immigrants – CBS Miami

HOMESTEAD (CBSMiami / AP) – Immigration has been one of the biggest political and humanitarian problems in the US in recent years.

Dozens of people protested on Sunday outside a facility in South Florida that has become the country’s largest detention center for immigrant children.

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A coalition of religious groups and immigrant lawyers said they wanted the Homestead detention center to be closed.

The demonstrators held signs that read “Houses instead!”. and “Stop Separating Families” when they hit drums and sang civil rights-era protest songs.

“Turn it off! Turn it off!” yelled protesters.

Lucy Duncan, an official with the American Friends Service Committee, asked protesters for a moment of silence to remember children who died in federal custody but not in the Homestead facility. She poured water into a potted plant when each of the seven names was read.

“It’s a moral outrage,” said Duncan. “We need justice to break through. We have to remember these names. “

Organizer Kristin Kumpf said 800 people from 22 countries had signed up for the protest on Father’s Day.

Immigrant attorneys have filed legal documents to compel President Donald Trump’s administration to quickly release immigrant children from the Florida detention center. According to official information, up to 3,200 young people with a migration background could be accommodated in April.

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Proponents accuse the government of violating a decade-old settlement that requires immigrant children to be immediately released to relatives or other godparents or sent to childcare facilities.

One activist, Sydney Solis, said: “This is a crime against humanity! This is a war crime, ”she continued.

“This is a nationwide movement that says these children should not be incarcerated,” said District 8 Miami-Dade County Commissioner Daneilla Cava Levine.

Activist David Nürnberg added: “It is not surprising that they are being held here under these conditions.”

The immigrant attorneys have filed hundreds of pages of court records by teenagers describing the “prison-like” conditions that prevailed at the Homestead facility.

The children testified that they were allowed limited phone calls and asked them to abide by a number of strict rules or else they could be at risk of being extended or deported. Many said they had limited access to their social workers and described frustration with the process of reuniting with relatives or sponsors.

“The law is not being followed in this case,” said Danielle Levine Cava, a Miami-Dade County commissioner who spoke at the protest.

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(© Copyright 2019 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All rights reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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