Democratic Rep. Frederica Wilson of Florida threatened prosecution for people who make fun of Congress online after a ProPublica report Monday revealed that Border Patrol agents had been disparaging immigrants and congresspeople in a private Facebook group.
"Those people who are online making fun of members of Congress are a disgrace, and there is no need for anyone think that is unacceptable (sic)," Wilson said Tuesday. "We're gonna shut them down and work with whoever it is to shut them down, and they should be prosecuted. You cannot intimidate members of Congress, frighten members of Congress. It is against the law, and it's a shame in this United States of America."
Wilson and other members of Congress were visiting a child detention center for unaccompanied minor illegal immigrants in Homestead, Florida. Wilson left the tour saying she wanted to close the facility down.
"This administration has shown a blatant disregard for the mental and physical health of children in custody," Wilson said, according to WBFS-TV. "They're spending weeks, and even months, in detention conditions that are tantamount to living under house arrest. We are upset about it.
"We came today to say we will shut this down because this does not have to be this way," Wilson continued. "These children can be processed and sent to foster care, they can be processed and sent to next of kin, aunts, grandmothers, people in the community who know them and that's what we are fighting for today."
Wilson did concede, however, that the children were being "looked after in a clean environment."
The shelter in Homestead houses about 3,000 children between the ages of 13 and 17 years old. Officials told WBFS that most children are reunited with family members, and the average stay is 25 days. The children reportedly have six hours per day of school along with recreational activities.