HOMESTEAD, FLA. (WSVN) – Protesters gathered outside the migrant detention center in Homestead with a patriotic display they hope will reach President Donald Trump.
The group is reciting the U.S. Constitution as part of a performance piece by artist and University of Miami professor Xavier Cortada, Thursday.
“‘We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union,’” the protesters said in unison outside the facility. “‘We hold these truths to be self evident that all men are created equal.’”
Flanked by a determined group of supporters, Cortada is hoping the patriotic performance piece will get Trump’s attention.
“I’m not trying to politicize the day that we’re supposed to celebrate the greatness of this country,” said Cortada, “but the best way I can celebrate this country is by acknowledging the things that are wrong with it.”
Congressional lawmakers and presidential hopefuls have recently visited detention facilities in Florida and across the country.
Footage from inside the centers have shown migrants in cramped and extremely overcrowded quarters.
“There’s got to be a more just and sensible way of dealing with people seeking political asylum,” said Cortada.
However, Trump has refused to close the centers despite seeing and hearing about the conditions inside.
“If illegal immigrants are unhappy with the conditions in the quickly built or refitted detention centers,” Trump tweeted on Tuesday, “just tell them not to come. All problems solved!”
Trump is also pushing back against Democrats and is blaming lawmakers, who are complaining about the lack of resources, for failing to act on immigration reform.
“One of the alarms we’ve been continually sounding is the over-saturation of our facilities by virtue of a broken immigration system,” said U.S. Customs and Border Protection Deputy Commissioner Robert Perez.
During Thursday’s demonstration, protesters shouted words of support when they got a distant glimpse of the older children as they were moved from one side of the facility to another.
“There’s nothing I can personally do today to get those kids united with their families, for these families to come together again” said Cortada, “but by asserting the fact that we are American today on Independence Day, and by reading the very document that guides and controls the way we govern one another, we give ourselves hope for a better future.”
Two U.S. House of Representatives committees are planning hearings on the treatment of thousands of migrants held after crossing the southern border.
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