- Associated Press - Monday, June 25, 2018

CUTLER BAY, Fla. (AP) - Two members of Florida’s congressional delegation toured a shelter where unaccompanied minors are being held south of Miami on Monday, and both agreed the children are being well cared for by Catholic Charities.

Republican Rep. Carlos Curbelo and Democratic Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz said during separate news conferences that they disagree with President Donald Trump’s former policy of migrant children being separated from parents who are detained at the U.S.-Mexico border. Trump signed an executive order last week ending the policy, but many children remain separated from their relatives.

“We’re going to continue working in Washington to end this policy of family separation permanently,” Curbelo told reporters. “There must be a way to both keep families together and enforce our country’s immigration laws.”

Wasserman Schultz said that while the children she saw at the Monsignor Bryan Walsh Children’s Village in Cutler Bay seemed happy, the policy that allowed them to be separated from their parents is “sadistic,” ”outrageous,” and “demonic.”

The Children’s Village is caring for about 70 children, including 22 migrant minors separated from their parents. Wasserman Schulz said the children she saw Monday were between the ages of 4 and 10 and most were from El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala.

Both lawmakers said they saw some children in classrooms and others had been taken on a field trip to an aquarium.

“The children were smiling they were happy,” Curbelo said. “We were able to ask them questions, and they all expressed that they were happy and at peace at this facility.”

Wasserman Shultz said she saw two minor girls who were at the center with their newborns, at least one of whom was born in the U.S. In that case, the young mother had also been separated from her own mother, who had been detained at the border, the congresswoman said.

On Saturday, Wasserman Schultz visited the Homestead Shelter for Unaccompanied Children, where 1,000 children are being housed, including 70 child migrants.

“I’m a parent,” she said. “I can’t imagine not being able to talk to my children any time I want to every single day.”

She added that she desperately wants the children reunited with their parents.

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