Central Florida could host a camp for children detained at the southern border

The Trump administration is exploring Central Florida as they search for possible sites to open a camp that will hold immigrant children detained at the southern border.

Florida Representative Anna V. Eskamani posted screenshots of an email from the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) onto her Facebook page. The email stated that the office is exploring Central Florida as an option for opening a migrant detention camp for undocumented children. 

It specifically stated that "Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) in HHS' Administration for Children and families is conducting exploratory assessments of vacant properties in Virginia, Central Florida, and Los Angeles to lease for potential future use as state-licensed permanent shelter locations for unaccompanied alien children (UAC)."

The email went on to say that the "search for an addition of permanent licensed facilities is being pursued to reduce the potential need for temporary influx shelters in the future."

It also said that "Due to the crisis on the southern border, ORR has seen a dramatic increase in referrals of (unaccompanied children) from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security this Fiscal Year and continues to operate in emergency influx mode."

Representative Eskamani captioned the Facebook post "We should be closing camps, now opening new ones. #CloseTheCamps."

The letter did not specify which parts of Central Florida are being targeted or any other details about the facilities under consideration. There is already a detention camp for children in Homestead, Florida.

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has referred over 58,500 unaccompanied alien children to the refugee office in 2019 so far. That is over 57 percent more than the same time in 2018, the letter stated.

This story was written in Orlando, Florida.