EXCLUSIVE: Rep. Anna Paulina Luna, GOP Lawmakers Call For Details On Migrant Shelters

Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

Henry Rodgers Chief National Correspondent
Font Size:

GOP Florida Rep. Anna Paulina Luna and other Sunshine State Republicans sent a letter Friday to Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Xavier Becerra, calling for details on how many migrant shelters and beds there are in the state of Florida.

The Daily Caller first obtained a copy of the letter to Becerra, which asks for specifics regarding the death of 17-year-old Ángel Eduardo Maradiaga Espinoza of Honduras, who died in a shelter in Safety Harbor, Florida. Luna also calls for greater transparency, claiming in the letter that many of her constituents had no idea the shelter was operating near them.

“As our community regroups from last week’s tragedy, we write today to learn more about where this [Office of Refugee Resettlement] network operates. Please provide us with a list of the facilities that ORR runs, or contracts with, to house [Unaccompanied Alien Children] in the state of Florida, as well as how many beds each of these facilities offers. We look forward to your timely response,” the lawmakers wrote.

Sen. Rick Scott, Rep. Gus Bilirakis and Rep. Laurel Lee also signed the letter.


(DAILY CALLER OBTAINED) — … by Henry Rodgers

“The unexplained tragedy of a migrant child dying in the hands of the federal government at a Safety Harbor shelter has saddened and shocked my district,” Paulina Luna told the Caller before sending the letter. “The fact that Pinellas residents were kept in the dark about the fact that this shelter was in our backyard is both worrisome and unacceptable. Many of my constituents remain deeply concerned about why we weren’t given information about this shelter operating out of our home and how it directly affects our lives.” (RELATED: ‘They Killed My Daughter’: 8-Year-Old In Border Patrol Custody Was Seen By Three Medics The Day She Died, Mom Says)

“We are requesting that HHS provide Florida residents with a full list of how many migrant shelters are operating in our communities, which is a simple and reasonable ask. I will continue to push for HHS to be fully transparent about this moving forward,” she added. (RELATED: Migrant Child Dies In Federal Custody, Marking Third Such Death In Two Months)

HHS did not immediately respond to a Caller inquiry about the letter.