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Lawmakers tour Florida migrant teen camp, want policy shift

Congressional Democrats from Florida and Texas have toured a migrant camp in Florida, where they say children are being held for too long in a place that has a "prison-like" feeling.

The lawmakers held a news conference Tuesday after visiting a facility in Homestead, Florida. They pledged to work for children who cross the U.S.-Mexico border to reunite with their families already in the U.S. The Democrats say those who cross with siblings, aunts or uncles should remain together.

Rep. Debbie Mucarsel-Powell says she met a girl who was separated from her aunt and had been at the Homestead center for nine months. Chairman of the Hispanic caucus, Texas Rep. Joaquin Castro was part of the delegation.

Children line up to enter a tent at the Homestead Temporary Shelter for Unaccompanied Children, Tuesday, Feb. 19, 2019, in Homestead, Fla. (AP PhotoWilfredo Lee)

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services offered a press tour last week, showing a large room where 144 teenagers slept in bunks.

Rep. Debbie Mucarsel-Powell, D-Fla., center, speaks to members of the media about her tour of the Homestead Temporary Shelter for Unaccompanied Children, as Rep. Donna Shalala, D-Fla., left, and Rep. Sylvia Garcia, D-Texas, right, look on, Tuesday, Feb. 19, 2019, in Homestead, Fla. (AP PhotoWilfredo Lee)

Two girls give high-fives as they play soccer at the Homestead Temporary Shelter for Unaccompanied Children, Tuesday, Feb. 19, 2019, in Homestead, Fla. (AP PhotoWilfredo Lee)

Rep. Sylvia Garcia, D-Texas, right, comforts Rep. Debbie Mucarsel-Powell, D-Fla., center, as she talks about their tour of the Homestead Temporary Shelter for Unaccompanied Children, Tuesday, Feb. 19, 2019, in Homestead, Fla. Rep. Joaquin Castro, D-Texas, left, chairman of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, and Rep. Donna Shalala, D-Fla., look on. (AP PhotoWilfredo Lee)

Josh Rubin demonstrates in front of the Homestead Temporary Shelter for Unaccompanied Children, Tuesday, Feb. 19, 2019, in Homestead, Fla. (AP PhotoWilfredo Lee)

Children line up to enter a tent at the Homestead Temporary Shelter for Unaccompanied Children, Tuesday, Feb. 19, 2019, in Homestead, Fla. (AP PhotoWilfredo Lee)

Rep. Joaquin Castro, D-Texas, second from left, chairman of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, speaks during a news conference after touring the Homestead Temporary Shelter for Unaccompanied Children with Rep. Debbie Mucarsel-Powell, D-Fla., left, Rep. Donna Shalala, D-Fla., second from right, and Rep. Sylvia Garcia, D-Texas, right, Tuesday, Feb. 19, 2019, in Homestead, Fla. (AP PhotoWilfredo Lee)

A woman with the Homestead Temporary Shelter for Unaccompanied Children, center, walks with Rep. Joaquin Castro, D-Texas, right, chairman of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, Rep. Debbie Mucarsel-Powell, D-Fla., center left, Rep. Sylvia Garcia, D-Texas, second left, and Rep. Donna Shalala, far left, on a tour of the shelter, Tuesday, Feb. 19, 2019, in Homestead, Fla. (AP PhotoWilfredo Lee)

Rep. Joaquin Castro, D-Texas, second from right, Chairman of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, and Rep. Donna Shalala, right, chat with demonstrators after their tour the Homestead Temporary Shelter for Unaccompanied Children, Tuesday, Feb. 19, 2019, in Homestead, Fla. (AP PhotoWilfredo Lee)

Police talk with demonstrators outside the Homestead Temporary Shelter for Unaccompanied Children, Tuesday, Feb. 19, 2019, in Homestead, Fla. (AP PhotoWilfredo Lee)

Children line up to enter a tent at the Homestead Temporary Shelter for Unaccompanied Children, Tuesday, Feb. 19, 2019, in Homestead, Fla. (AP PhotoWilfredo Lee)

FILE - In this June 23, 2018, file photo, a guard walks by toys placed for migrant children by protesters as they march to Homestead Temporary Shelter for Unaccompanied Children, in Homestead, Fla. Journalists were given a glimpse Wednesday, Feb. 13, 2019, of a new expansion at the south-Florida detention facility where nearly 150 teenage migrants sleep in rows of bunk beds in a large windowless room and use portable toilets housed in adjacent tents. (AP PhotoBrynn Anderson, File)