Rep. Carlos Curbelo reported Tuesday morning “truly uplifting” conditions at a Miami shelter for immigrant children and confirmed the reunification process for families separated at the U.S.-Mexican border has begun.
Mr. Curbelo, Florida Republican, visited a center for migrant children on Monday run by Catholic Charities. There he saw and interacted with about 70 children, 22 of whom were separated from their families because of the Trump administration’s zero-tolerance policy. The youngest in the group of those separated was 5 years old.
He explained on MSBNC’s “Morning Joe” that the facility provided children with “colorful” bedsets and toys. He also reported seeing a group of children on their way to the Miami Seaquarium.
Mr. Curbelo, who said he “strongly opposed” President Trump’s policy, noted that while there have been “very painful images” of separation at the border and other detention facilities, what he saw Monday was “truly uplifting.”
“You could tell that they had gone through a difficult experience, but you could also tell that they were being treated with extraordinary kindness,” he said.
Mr. Curbelo confirmed that the reunification process began for some children at the shelter.
He explained that he met with Secretary of Homeland Security Kristjen Nielsen last week, who confirmed that it would start once parents were back in DHS custody after being processed by the Justice Department.
Mr. Curbelo was told that some of the children from the facility were already on their way back to their families after they were released by DHS.
“We must find the balance between enforcing our country’s immigration laws because we cannot be a lawless country, that is true,” he said, “But we also cannot traumatize children in this way, and we must keep families together as much as possible.”
• Gabriella Muñoz can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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