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Pocan Presses Trump Administration on $720k Daily Cost of Empty Homestead Detention Center

Sep 18, 2019
Press Release

U.S. Representative Mark Pocan (WI-02) today released the following statement in response to answers from Jonathan Hayes, Director of DHHS’ Office of Refugee Resettlement, indicating that despite the Homestead detention center no longer detaining children, they continue to pay for the cost of keeping the center open.

“Today, after questioning the Trump administration, I learned that the cost to keep the vacant for-profit Homestead detention center in Florida is almost $600 a bed--$600 that is directly lining the pockets of Caliburn, the private company that runs the facility,” said Congressman Pocan. “My consistuents are wondering why it costs $600 for an empty bed and over $750 to detain a child in deplorable conditions when they could pay the same to stay the night in the Four Seasons or a Trump Hotel. President Trump’s disastrous and disgusting family separation policies have resulted in nothing but a blatant disregard for human life and a failure to support migrants families who are seeking refuge in this country.”

Rep. Pocan understands we need to ensure capacity to care for unaccompanied children who come into this country, but the American people continue to be faced with numerous unanswered questions.

  • Why is the government bankrolling a shuttered facility on behalf of a for-profit company?
  • How many other empty facilities is this Administration funding in anticipation of detaining more unaccompanied children, what about Fort Still and Carrizo Springs?
  • If it costs $750 to detain a child, why are we paying $600—almost 80% of the cost of caring for a child—to a private facility running an empty detention center?