HARTFORD (AP) — Connecticut U.S. Rep. Rosa DeLauro is leading an oversight visit to a holding center for detaining migrant children in Florida.
The Democrat plans to visit a facility in Homestead, Florida. She’ll be joined by 10 of her Democratic colleagues Monday.
DeLauro leads a House subcommittee with jurisdiction over the Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Refugee Resettlement. She said that Congress has a “moral responsibility to conduct oversight and ensure children in our care are being taken care of.”
“Too often, standards of care have been ignored, and children have languished in warehouse-like situations for months without being put into a sponsor’s care,” she said in a statement announcing the visit.
Advocates have complained that HHS’ largest holding centers— the facility in Homestead, a converted Walmart in Brownsville, Texas, and a now-closed tent camp at Tornillo, Texas— have traumatized children through overcrowding and inadequate staffing.
DeLauro plans to speak to reporters Monday morning after the visit and hold a hearing this month about the resettlement office’s program.
Connecticut U.S. Rep. Jahana Hayes joined seven fellow Democrats earlier this month on a tour of the same facility. She said after that what she saw inside the center was “not anything I would want for my children.”
The private company that runs the site has said it provides “vulnerable, unaccompanied youth people” with shelter and services, including classes, recreation and medical care.