Pastor claims reports of mistreatment at Homestead migrant facility are wrong

HOMESTEAD, FLA. (WSVN) - Religious leaders who have been volunteering for years at the Homestead migrant facility claim politicians are wrong about the conditions being reported.

“Everything we’ve done here at this shelter is out of a deep concern and compassion for these children,” said Pastor Russell Black.

Black and other leaders said they have firsthand knowledge of how the children are being treated inside.

They allege that the politicians who stopped by during the Democratic presidential debate are not giving accurate accounts of the conditions.

“I was overwhelmed with surprise at the great care that was provided for these children,” Black said.

The pastor said some ministers and religious groups have been volunteering in Homestead for the past few years to help the many children who come to the facility with nothing and are then cared for by the staff.

“They are given new clothing. They are given at least two pairs of shoes,” Black continued. “They are given nice places to sleep.”

Many of the migrants being held at the facility were sent there after a treacherous journey to the United States border.

The volunteers said they’ve seen the emotional toll weighing on the kids.

“I will say this with 100% confidence,” Black said, “not one time was the emotional response due to any sort of neglect or abuse here. It was more than anything the overall difficult experience that they’re going through by leaving what they’re familiar with and going to something unfamiliar.”

The focus on Homestead comes ahead of the reported ICE raids by the Trump administration beginning over the weekend.

“People come into our country illegally, we’re taking them out legally,” President Trump said. “It’s very simple.”

It still remains unclear, even to Miami Mayor Francis Suarez, how many people will be targeted.

“We have not been notified about the scale of the operation. We haven’t been notified about the time,” Suarez said. “We have not been notified about who’s being targeted, so frankly, it’s difficult as mayor to figure out what’s going to be happening in our city.”

Protests are set to take place around the country, including Homestead and at the ICE facility in Miramar.

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