Miami, Florida – After weeks of organizing from immigrant communities and allies on the ground, Axios reported that President Biden announced his opposition towards reopening the Homestead detention center in Miami-Dade County to house unaccompanied children. After learning of the Biden administration’s plans to reopen the detention center last month, United We Dream, AFSC, FLIC, WeCount!, and SPLC spearheaded actions in Florida, including a car rally outside Homestead, demanding the facility be permanently shut down. Our coalition will remain vigilant to ensure this site never opens again.
Thomas Kennedy, Florida State Coordinator of United We Dream said:
“President Biden’s commitment to not reopen Homestead is a victory delivered by and for our brave movement leaders who jumped into action the moment we heard Homestead might reopen. We are grounded by the power of our organizers and remain vigilant about fighting for the safety and protection of all immigrants. Homestead is certainly not the only facility where abuse and neglect have run rampant. The dark and inhumane legacy of detaining children and families is very much alive as more facilities continue to open. We will continue to do everything in our power to release immigrants from detention.”
Cynthia Garcia, National Campaigns Manager for Community Protection of United We Dream, said:
“Homestead’s closure is a testament to the power of directly-impacted immigrants and allies who have consistently used their voices to call attention to the trauma centers like these perpetuate. But our fight doesn’t end with Homestead’s closure. Detention in any form is inherently rooted in a punitive and racist system that continues to disproportionately harm and kill Black and brown communities.
As more facilities open up to detain unaccompanied children arriving at the border, Republicans have sought every opportunity to perpetuate racist, anti-immigrant narratives to criminalize our communities, the latest being Minority Leader McCarthy’s visit to the border. The Biden administration is fully capable of instituting a truly humane infrastructure rooted in welcoming immigrants with compassion, dignity and respect without relying on detention facilities. By reappropriating the billions in funding allocated to ICE and CBP each year, the Biden administration has every opportunity to invest in community-based resources that prioritize the safety and humanity of all immigrants arriving at the border and stop the expansion of detention facilities. Unfortunately, at this moment we are still seeing a high number of detentions, deportations, and expulsions, and we call on President Biden to keep to his promise to stop deportations.”