Norcross receives permission to visit detained immigrant children

Shara Dae Howard
July 10, 2018 - 6:40 pm
Donald Norcross

Dave Madden/KYW Newsradio

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CAMDEN, N.J. (KYW Newsradio) — Although Rep. Donald Norcross said he saw migrant children, who are housed in a detention center, being well taken care of, he said separating them from their families was wrong.

He previously tried to visit the Center for Family Services facility in South Jersey but was denied. After two weeks of being barred from the center by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, he was allowed in on Monday, and he reported back to the public what he observed.

"I didn't go there with some partisan agenda. I went there to make sure the kids were safe," Norcross said. 

He feared for the worst, that the children would not be in the best conditions. But he was pleasantly surprised.

"What I saw was something all Americans can be proud of," he said. "These children were being well cared for."

A judge granted the Trump administration a two-week extension to reunite all the separated children with their families. Of the three children housed at this particular center, ranging in age from 13 to 17, two have been placed back with their families. One child is still waiting to be reunited with his father, though they were able to talk via Skype.

Although they have been reunited with their families, Norcross said the compounding problem with the reunification effort of other children is the Trump administration's failure to keep appropriate records of separated children.

"If we in the United States can't come to an agreement on comprehensive immigration reform, don't take it out on the kids," he said. "That's why this policy is so wrong. It's everything that is different to us as humans and Americans. We want to make sure we take care of the children. It's not their fault."

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CLARIFICATION: An earlier version of this story suggested that the Center for Family Services had barred Norcross. It was the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services that had prevented access.