Letter: Time to shut down child detention

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Editor of the Reformer,

Beginning on June 9, which happened to be International Children's Day, and culminating on June 16, Father's Day, there will be a Week of Action at the "Emergency Influx Facility for Migrant Youth" located in Homestead, Florida.

The administration's inhumane treatment of asylum seekers coming across the southern border includes isolating children under 18 years and placing them in "detention centers." The largest center is a for profit facility at the former Homestead Air Force Base. Since it is on federal land, there is no ability for Florida to investigate this facility, and the quality and conditions in this center are secretive, unregulated, and unknown. This facility, built to house 1,000 children between the ages of 13 to 17, now houses approximately 3,000 youths. These children have traveled to the border under harsh conditions and arrive traumatized, often without family, only to be sent to what are essentially jails for children.

The cost to taxpayers is $775 or more per day per child! Needless to say, some people are reaping huge profits from detaining these children, and just this past week, the administration ordered the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to cease offering English classes and recreational soccer to the children in order to save money.

You may visit https://migrantjustice.afsc.org/events, migrantaction@afsc.org for more information.

There are many related articles about the Homestead facility on the web. A particularly informative one can be found at https://www.miaminewtimes.com/news/tornillo-activists-want-to-close-homestead-miami-child-migrant-camp-11079161.

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We will travel to Homestead to participate in the action on June 16.

If you are so moved, please lend your support to this action by writing or calling your Senators and Congresspeople, going to an event, or adding in whatever way you can to the pressure on the Administration to close these facilities.

This shameful imprisonment of children must end.

Thank you,

Harriet and Burt Tepfer

Putney, June 9


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