Some day, Americans may look back on our treatment of immigrant children and feel shame.

They may think back to how about 2,000 children are living at Homestead, Florida in what has become the largest holding area for kids of immigrant families.

They are in tents. It’s hurricane season. They have no air conditioning. Many of them have been torn from the arms of their parents and sent there. They are allowed a phone call occasionally to relatives who are willing to give them a place to live. But, nevertheless, they are still in Florida, captives behind chain link fences.

This week, those in charge of the camp announced the children would no longer be taught English. They took their soccer balls away. They will no longer be allowed recreation. And they will now deny them access to attorneys with the Office of Refugee Resettlement.

Some of the children there are as young as 8 years old, according to a recent court filing reported in the Miami Herald.

These children are being treated worse than hardened criminals in our state prisons.

Some local activists are fed up.

Sue Busko, of Englewood Indivisible, said she understands the political leanings of those who would shut down our borders. She said those people should be respected for their views.

“But,” she said, “if they would look at these children. If they met them on the street, and we all went back to the point where we are all part of humanity, I don’t think anyone would want to hurt a child. And that is what we are doing.

“These children are at a vulnerable age and while they are under our care we should show them the best of us, not the worst.”

Sunday, between 9:30 a.m. and 10:30 a.m., three local groups who oppose the camp at Homestead will protest at the intersection of U.S. 41 and Jacaranda Blvd. in Venice.

“What they are doing at Homestead is just incredible,” said Bill Welsch, of Punta Gorda. “As human beings we should care how kids are treated regardless of the color of their skin. It seems we all should be able to agree on that. The conditions they are living in are unacceptable.”

If the children’s plight does not move you, there is one more fact that all Americans should be concerned about.

The Homestead camp is being run on a no-bid contract of $341 million awarded to a company whose board of directors include President Trump’s former chief of staff, Gen. John Kelly, according to a Miami Herald report. The camp is on federal property, so those in charge do not have to adhere to state regulations regarding the care of children. In other words, the Department of Children and Families, charged with the welfare of Florida children, has no say in how the kids in Homestead are treated.

No matter your political leanings, if the appalling situation in Homestead does not tug at your conscience, then shame on you.

These are not the gangsters that immigration opponents like to scare us with. These are not terrorists. These are children. Most cannot speak English. They are in a foreign country. They are separated from their parents. They are scared.

We cannot condone their hurt.

An editorial from the Charlotte Sun.


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