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On Father’s Day, Hundreds March to Shut Down Child Detention Center

At Homestead Detention Center, children can spend weeks, even months in custody – which can cause lasting trauma and incalculable costs to children, families, and our communities. Photo: Public domain

Week of action demands an end to child detention

HOMESTEAD, FL – On Sunday June 16, hundreds of people from Florida and across the country will converge at the detention center in Homestead to demand its closure.

WHO: American Friends Service Committee, WeCount!, Florida Immigrant Coalition, United We Dream, New Florida Majority, Miami Workers Center, Family Action Network Movement (FANM), Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, T’ruah,  Bend the Arc, Unitarian Universalist Association, Unitarian Universalist Service Committee, and hundreds of faith leaders, immigrants, allies, and supporters.

WHAT: Rally and march to shut down the Homestead Detention Center

WHERE: Homestead Detention Center, 920 Bougainville Boulevard in Homestead, Fl. Livestream will be available here.

WHEN: Sunday June 16 at 2pm

“This Father’s Day, thousands of young people are separated from their families because of the harmful immigration policies of the Trump Administration,” said Mariana Martinez, an organizer with the American Friends Service Committee and a resident of Homestead. “Detention traumatizes young people and tears apart families and communities. The people of Homestead don’t want an economy based in the abuse of children.”

The Homestead detention center holds more than 3,000 teenagers, most of whom have fled violence and poverty in Central America and are seeking asylum. The American Friends Service Committee (AFSC) – a Quaker organization that has worked for immigrant and refugee rights for over 100 years – is working to shut down the detention center and end child detention.

“The Trump Administration’s immigration policies are manufacturing the need to detain migrant children,” said Kristin Kumpf, AFSC’s director of Human Migration and Mobility. “In the detention center, siblings are prohibited even from hugging one another. Children belong in schools and homes, not in prison camps. That’s why thousands of people from across the country are united in calling on the Office of Refugee Resettlement to shut down the detention center and instead focus on reuniting families and connecting children with sponsors.”

The campaign is calling on the leadership of the Departments of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) to close the detention center and stop using emergency influx facilities – instead ORR should work as quickly as possible to unite children with their sponsors. They are also calling on these agencies to stop collaborating with the Department of Homeland Security to criminalize and intimidate sponsors for migrant children.

The event in Homestead is the culmination of a national week of action to end child detention from June 9-16. For ongoing updates on the campaign, visit: https://migrantjustice.afsc.org/

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The American Friends Service Committee is a Quaker organization that promotes lasting peace with justice, as a practical expression of faith in action. Drawing on continuing spiritual insights and working with people of many backgrounds, we nurture the seeds of change and respect for human life that transform social systems.

 

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