I met the migrant kids in detention centers. There's no reason they must live like this.

To start with, it’s enormous — with more than 1,500 children when we visited and 2,500 children today, far too large to provide the individualized attention any child needs. It’s wholly unsuitable for children who have suffered significant trauma — violence and persecution in home countries, dangers on the journey, abusive conditions in immigration holding cells upon arrival…

Children held in Homestead also told us that staff repeatedly told them that breaking any rule, including something as minor as failing to walk in single file or accidentally touching another child, even a sibling, would mean more time locked up and could get them deported.

That was a lie, but the children didn’t know that. Many already been in the Homestead detention center for three months or more, well in excess of the 20-day limit that usually applies to unlicensed facilities, and they were understandably anxious about doing anything that might extend their detention time.