Immigration

Hundreds protest outside Homestead detention center on Mother’s Day

Protestors gather on Mother’s Day outside Homestead detention center

About 300 protesters gathered Sunday outside the Homestead detention center in South Miami-Dade.
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About 300 protesters gathered Sunday outside the Homestead detention center in South Miami-Dade.

More than 300 people flooded the streets Sunday outside the Homestead detention center for migrant children.

The “Mother’s Day March” took place at 920 Bougainville Blvd. in South Miami-Dade, where about 3,200 unaccompanied minors are being detained after crossing the southern border without their biological parents.

Dozens of religious organizations were shuttled in while many protesters traveled from out of state to participate.

The Homestead shelter, the only facility for migrant children operated by a for-profit corporation, has been shrouded in secrecy and cloaked in controversy from the moment it was reactivated in February 2018.

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Moms, activists, community leaders and children march during a Mother’s Day protest to shut down the country’s largest child detention facility outside the Homestead Detention Center in Homestead, Florida, on Sunday, May 12, 2019. Daniel A. Varela dvarela@miamiherald.com

Lawmakers scornful of President Donald Trump’s immigration policies have been blocked from visiting. Because it sits on federal land, Florida’s child welfare agency is barred from investigating allegations of abuse.

On Mother’s Day, protesters, who for months have been calling for the facility’s shut down, stood on ladders as they waved to children playing sports in a nearby field.

Some held signs that said “end child detention” while others paraded with banners that said: “Amber Alert: 3,000 kids missing.”

Miami-Dade police described the protest to be “peaceful.” There were no arrests or altercations, officials added.

Monique O. Madan covers immigration and enterprise; she previously covered breaking news and local government. Her work has appeared in The New York Times, The Boston Globe, The Boston Herald and The Dallas Morning News. She is currently a 2018-2019 Reveal Fellow at the Center for Investigative Reporting. She graduated from Miami Dade College and Emerson College in Boston.A note to tipsters: If you want to send Monique O. Madan confidential information, her email and mailbox are open. The address is 3511 NW 91st Ave, Doral, FL 33172. You can also direct message her on social media and she’ll provide encrypted Signal details.

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