State Senator Annette Taddeo (D-Miami) on Thursday denounced the recent decision by the Trump Administration to slash fundamental aid to detention centers housing thousands of migrant children, likening the move to heavy-handed tactics used by some of the world’s most repressive regimes.
“This president’s personal war with migrants seeking asylum not only violates basic human rights, but flaunts the basic tenets of our constitution,” Sen. Taddeo said. “Even children swept up in armed conflicts have rights such as education and recreation guaranteed under the Geneva Convention. Only tyrants would ignore them.”
The state constitution requires that any child living in Florida receive an education, without regard to their immigration status. So, too, does state statute, which makes education compulsory for all children between the ages of 6 and 16, and provides that violators can be prosecuted. If the federal government will not pay for the education of these children, the state of Florida may well be obliged to step in to provide one.
Senator Taddeo made her comments following news reports yesterday that the Trump Administration was gutting financial assistance to education, legal assistance, and recreation programs at the detention centers housing the children, including the one in Miami-Dade County housing approximately 2,700 children.
“When I visited the Homestead Detention center, I left with the feeling that these children were in a prison-like facility,” said Sen. Taddeo. “Now, the Trump Administration is shutting off their lifeline to any semblance of normalcy – no physical exercise, no outdoor games, no teachers and no lessons – their lives bound by the stark walls that surround them. These are the tactics of brutal governments. They should not be ours.”
The impending cuts not only promise additional hardships imposed on the children, but the state of Florida as well, the Senator warned. Senator Taddeo is sending a letter to the Governor and Secretary of Education to inquire about the State of Florida’s plan to ensure that these children are receiving the legally required education.