Yesterday, Caliburn International, the for-profit company that runs the Homestead immigrant detention center for children in Florida, canceled its plans to sell $100 million in shares on the stock market, citing “market forces.” It seems that attention from the media, activists, and others is making an impact!
Homestead detention center is the largest detention site for migrant children in the U.S. – and the only “emergency” influx center, which makes it exempt from federal law governing licensing and standards related to child detention. Most children detained at Homestead have fled violence and poverty in Central America and are seeking asylum in the United States. But instead of being released to family members or other sponsors in the community to await hearings on their cases, they are being held in prison-like conditions, sometimes for months.
AFSC has been working in concert with local partners since last summer to protest the detention of children in “emergency” influx centers like Homestead. In recent weeks, our staff and constituents have spoken at press conferences, joined a roundtable discussion held by a delegation of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, and shared information and questions with policy makers. We are now working with partners to develop a national campaign.
In the weeks and months ahead, you’ll hear more from us about how you can help advocate for an end to immigrant child detention and other unjust policies. But today, we hope you will celebrate with us this significant development that is very much tied to sustained advocacy for humane immigration policy by people across the country – including the AFSC community.