The Democratic Progressive Caucus of Florida (DPCF) is calling on every elected official in Florida to immediately denounce the Trump administration's border detention policies and do everything within their power to end the inhumane treatment of immigrants and asylum seekers.
"The silence of many Florida elected officials is deafening when it comes to the atrocities being committed in detention centers here in our own state," said DPCF President Michael Calderin. "All lawmakers have a responsibility to speak out against the way children are being treated."
"The intentional cruelty and neglect violates the laws of our country, as well as international standards of humane treatment. We would not tolerate other countries treating Americans this way and we cannot tolerate this administration's treatment of people who want to become Americans," said Calderin.
The DPCF has unanimously passed the following resolution:
WHEREAS the U.S. government is holding over three thousand child migrants, most of whom have been separated from their families by U.S. immigration officials, in a detention center in Homestead, Florida. Most of these children and their families have fled violence and poverty in Central America and are seeking asylum in the United States; and
WHEREAS because Homestead is an "emergency influx center," children are not protected by agreements that ensure licensing or that Florida child-care standards are met. Instead of being released to family members or other sponsors in the community to await hearings on their cases, these children spend weeks and months in inhumane detention; and
WHEREAS the U.S. government is intentionally disregarding the binding provisions of the Flores Agreement which does not permit unaccompanied minors to be detained in unlicensed facilities merely because they are on Federal property; and
WHEREAS the Homestead facility is the only child shelter for immigrants that is run by a for-profit corporation operated by a Florida-based company with a contract with the Department of Health and Human Services worth $220 million; employs former Homeland Security director John Kelly; and costs taxpayers at least $500,000 a day to operate; and
WHEREAS more than three months have passed since a federal judge ordered the Trump administration to reunite all the families it had separated as part of its "zero tolerance" immigration policy; and
WHEREAS these actions by the Trump administration are contrary to the principles of a democratic society and have resulted in and will continue to inflict lifelong emotional damage upon the children, who reportedly have been placed into danger of health problems, brutality, molestation; and
WHEREAS the detention centers would more correctly be described as concentration camps, an abhorrent concept for which there should be zero tolerance; and
WHEREAS the DPCF stands with immigrants, acknowledges their contributions to our country, supports their rights, seeks to be an ally to this oppressed population, and believes that families belong together.
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the DPCF urges Senators Marco Rubio and Rick Scott, Governor Ron De Santis, and all elected officials to work to close the Homestead Temporary Shelter, immediately reunite children with their loved ones or sponsors, and end collaboration with the Department of Homeland Security.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the DPCF supports the passage of the "Shut Down Child Prison Camps Act" that prohibits the Secretary of Health and Human Services from maintaining or operating any temporary emergency shelter, including the shelter in Homestead, Florida.
BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED that DPCF calls on Congress to recognize the right of people to claim asylum and decriminalize entry into the United States without proper documentation, so we never face this type of crisis again.