(CNN) — Long delays at the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) office in Orlando force hundreds of migrants, including children, to wait in long lines and some people have even chosen for sleeping outside in tents or inside their cars, according to tweets posted by Congressman Darren Soto.
“Our immigrant families deserve more respect than this inhumane treatment”, tSoto tweeted on Saturday.
Soto sent a letter DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas and Acting ICE Director Tae Johnson, stating that at least 250 people were experiencing delays and calling for an investigation and quick fix. The letter is dated April 29, 2022.
“Many of these people have recently arrived in the United States and are seeking appointments with immigration agents. Men, women and young children have been seen sleeping in cars and tents in the Florida heat as they await processing,” Soto said in the letter.
Migrants being processed by federal immigration agents at the US southern border and allowed to travel to states across the country to reunite with their families. Immigrants are usually given a deadline to register at the local immigration office upon arrival at their final destination.
“They only receive about 60 people a day,” Miguel García told WESH-TV, CNN affiliate, on Friday. Garcia said she had been waiting outside the immigration office for five days and a list of 200 names had been written to honor places in line.
Garcia, a Venezuelan national, crossed into the US through Texas three months ago and was ordered to wear an ankle monitor with a tracking system when immigration agents processed him, he told WESH-TV. The deadline for Garcia’s ICE check-in is unclear.
“As the Department has continually stated, DHS has put in place a comprehensive government-wide plan and has established a Southwest Border Coordination Center (SBCC) to manage any potential increase in the number of migrants found at border,” ICE said in a statement to CNN on Saturday.
“In FY21, ICE shifted its operations away from family detention while continuing to monitor its detention operational needs and adjust as necessary,” the agency added.
“General operational changes are being made to ICE’s civil detention system by quickly adapting to influx, contract changes, and other developments that help the agency fulfill its missions of homeland security, border security, and public safety,” it read. on the ICE statement.
CNN has also reached out to DHS for comment and did not immediately hear back.