by PEG Contributor Sonya Lewis, MD, MPH and Sarah Lewis, 2020 Voter
Last week, my daughter, Sarah, our dear friend and community member, Bob Milstein, and I traveled to Homestead, Florida to bear witness to the massive for-profit immigrant children’s detention center located there. This sprawling, heavily guarded facility once held as many 3,200 children who have committed no crimes and who have been cruelly separated from their families at the hands of the American government. Each day, witnesses gather on the perimeter of Homestead to draw attention to this abhorrent situation and to demonstrate to the children that they are loved and not forgotten. In my article, “ Homestead Reflections ” I elaborate upon what we saw and what we felt, and I suggest action steps that all of us can take to end this atrocity.
Prior to our departure, Sarah shared the following thoughts about her motivation for taking this trip:
“This trip will only have a meaningful impact if I use what I see in Homestead to light a fire under me and all of my friends and family who I will share this experience with. Going to Homestead is the beginning of this journey, not the end.
… I do recognize that I am extremely privileged to be able to drop everything and fly to Florida for three days, but that privilege is exactly why I have to do this. I need to use my resources for good. I need to use this trip to bring me one step closer to experiencing what life is like for an immigrant in this country because that is something that I will never truly be able to understand. I need to see this first hand, and to tell everyone I know about it because simply seeing it on the news every day is not enough.”
– Sarah Lewis, age 17, Ann Arbor, Michigan