Congresswoman Frederica Wilson said Tuesday in South Florida that those who have mocked social networks of immigrant deaths and members of Congress should be put on trial.
During a visit to the immigration detention center in Homestead, south of the city of Miami, Wilson and several of his colleagues in the House of Representatives called for “closing” these private prisons and “immediately” bringing together minors with relatives who live in the United States.
“We are going to close them and work with whomever to close them, and (those who make fun of the situation) should be prosecuted,” said the legislator.
“It’s an unacceptable, despicable culture,” said Democratic congresswoman Donna Shalala after the visit.
The ProPublica investigations website reported Monday that alleged Border Patrol agents (CBP) used a private Facebook group to joke about the death of migrants and mock Hispanic congressmen.
“You can not intimidate members of Congress, scare members of Congress, it’s against the law, and it’s a shame in the United States,” Wilson said.
“We need to close this because what it is is a deposit for children for profit,” lamented Congresswoman Brenda Lawrence, who denounced that they are not being treated “with humanity.”
He stressed that he had been surprised that these children have only 15 minutes to have lunch, when in prison prisoners are granted half an hour.
For his part, Congressman John Lewis said he was “deeply moved” after the visit. “It’s not right, it’s not fair, we have to do something,” he said.
Shalala explained that she spoke with about twenty of these children and they all had written down names of family members with whom they could stay in the United States.
Wilson pointed out that minors can be prosecuted without being in a detention center.
“We are not treating them as we treat our children, they should be taken immediately to their families in the United States,” he said.
Other congressmen who attended were Jahana Hayes, Katherinne Clark and Maddeleine Dean.
Hayes, who said that the center currently houses 2,292 children who arrived without relatives in the country, showed distrust of how minors are treated by pointing out that those they saw was “too perfect, perfectly done” and that they might have missed the opportunity to ask help the Congress.