There are 2,500 children being held like prisoners in a camp in our own backyard, and regardless of how you feel about immigration policy, we have an obligation to treat children with dignity and humanity.

Let’s debate our approach to immigration in this country another day. Today we have children as young as 8 years old living in a tent city where they are ushered around like inmates. They have no access to true education or recreational activities, which is very telling about how our government lacks empathy for these children, since even our most hardened criminals have access to such activities.

Nearly a month ago, the Trump administration decided to eliminate recess time for soccer games and education of children sitting in camps near the border. They said it was about money. I say this is inhumane and encourages the child abuse that media is starting to report on at these centers.

As far as the money is concerned, a for-profit business is being paid $750 per child, per day to run this detention center. The company led by John Kelly, President Trump’s recently departed chief of staff, is being paid nearly $1.9 million a day to detain children in Homestead.

Something is blatantly wrong here. Miami-Dade County Public Schools Superintendent Alberto Carvalho has offered to step in and make sure the children are being educated and properly cared for. This is of course logical, since the district is already providing this service at two much smaller facilities in our county, Boy’s Town and His House.

The government has responded by ignoring all concerns coming from him and other community leaders. Congresswoman Donna Shalala reiterated the superintendent’s offer in writing and they disregarded it as well.

Our community is so generous and loving that teachers have volunteered to counsel, teach and play with the detained children simply because it’s the right thing to do, and they have turned a deaf ear to us as well. Regardless of where you stand on the issue of immigration, we can all agree that this is appalling.

These are children … young lives with emotional and developmental needs that need to be nurtured.

Let the politicians argue in Congress and let us the United Teachers of Dade step in and help. We want to see the children get a proper education and be treated with respect and dignity. Imagine this, our underfunded public schools spends $41.27 per student for each's education per day. This demonstrates that these companies are profiteering off of children and intentionally mistreating them. We want to, can, and should help.

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