HOMESTEAD, Fla. (FOX 13) - U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson planned Tuesday to visit a reopened Miami-area facility for children who entered the U.S. illegally and alone but was turned away along with Florida Democrat, U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz.
As federal agents separate migrant children at the southern border, they are sending hundreds of unaccompanied migrant children to a fenced-in complex near in South Florida.
A video from Florida Aerial shows children playing soccer on a filed within the fenced enclosure, but the media and federal lawmakers have not been allowed inside.
After being turned away, Sen. Nelson tweeted, "The company running this facility told us we would be welcomed to tour the facility. [Health and Human Services] then denied us entry and said that they need two-weeks notice to allow us inside. That’s ridiculous and it’s clear this administration is hiding something."
Nelson also said, "This is a federally contracted facility here. This is the involvement of federal funds. This is in my state of Florida… and we are being denied entry to see about the welfare of children as well as to find out about the children that have been separated from their parents and that is why we are here."
HHS just blocked us from entering its facility in Homestead, Florida to check on the welfare of the children being held here. They are obviously hiding something, and we are going to get to the bottom of this. pic.twitter.com/q4m6Zd0ck2— Senator Bill Nelson (@SenBillNelson) June 19, 2018
"This is absolutely ridiculous. The administration’s action today to deny us access to their Homestead, Florida facility where they are holding 1,000 migrant children is against EVERYTHING that we as a country stand for. They ought to be ashamed of themselves," Sen. Nelson tweeted.
Wasserman Schultz said the two-week policy "continues to smack of cover-up."
Nelson said he will raise the issue in the Senate.
Meanwhile, President Trump said his administration’s decision to ramp up separations of families at the border could end if Congress changed immigration laws.
“We don't want people pouring into our country. We want them to come in through the process, through the legal system and we want, ultimately, a merit-based system where people come in based on merit," said President Trump.
Texas Senator Ted Cruz is among the senators pressing for new legislation that would prevent the Trump administration from separating families who illegally enter the United States to seek asylum.
"We can keep families together. All of us are horrified at the images we're seeing - we're seeing little, little boys, little girls pulled away from their mothers and fathers,” said Senator Cruz. "We can stop this. The legislation that I'm filing this week would prohibit separating families, would mandate that kids should stay with their parents."