HOMESTEAD, Fla. — Unaccompanied migrant children from the U.S.-Mexico border are no longer being sent to a facility in South Florida, CBS4 in Miami confirmed.
The television station said the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services confirmed the minors will no longer be sent to the Homestead facility. A spokesperson also said the number of children crossing the border is down.
HHS said it's too early to determine what will happen to the facility or whether it will completely close its doors. CBS4 said the last time it was closed, maintenance was kept up in case it needed to reopen.
The move comes after Democratic candidates toured the facility last month. Candidates who toured the facility included Elizabeth Warren, Amy Klobuchar, Beto O'Rourke, Pete Buttigieg, Kirsten Gillibrand, Julian Castro and Kamala Harris.
The Miami Herald said the hold on sending minors to the facility came about two weeks ago. The newspaper said since the hold began, about 1,000 children have been reunited with immigration sponsors or moved to other shelters.
The newspaper said the move is also an effort to shrink the facility's population from 2,700 to 1,300 in order to be considered "safe" in case a hurricane hits South Florida. The Herald said the facility has a capacity for 3,200 beds.
CBS4 said on July 3, the population was 2,252. Now, it's 1,309, all ages 13 to 17 years old.
The Homestead facility is run by Caliburn International. The children in the facility are waiting to be reunited with families or paired with sponsors after a government screening. Many have fled violence in their home countries and will end up seeking asylum.