Warren visits migrant care shelter, says children being marched 'like little prisoners'

Democratic presidential hopeful Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenWarren, Democrats urge Trump to back down from veto threat over changing Confederate-named bases OVERNIGHT DEFENSE: Joint Chiefs chairman says he regrets participating in Trump photo-op | GOP senators back Joint Chiefs chairman who voiced regret over Trump photo-op | Senate panel approves 0B defense policy bill Trump on collision course with Congress over bases with Confederate names MORE (D-Mass.) says she saw children being marched around “like little prisoners” during a visit to a migrant shelter Wednesday.

Warren told reporters in Florida that she looked at some of the children in the Homestead emergency care facility from a ladder, but she said she was not allowed into shelter itself, HuffPost’s Maxwell Strachan reported.

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“I saw a harsh, flat, packed down field with a couple of soccer goals in each one, baking in the sun and temporary shelters that were all covered up, and children being marched from one to another in single file with guards. I waved, some of the children looked over, some kept their heads down. Finally, a group of children waved and quickly pulled their hands down,” she said.

“There weren’t children playing. There weren’t children laughing the way children usually do when they’re moving from one place to another. These were children who were being marched like little soldiers, like little prisoners, from one place to another,” she added.

Tetiana Anderson, a spokesperson for shelter operator Caliburn International, said the Homestead shelter is not “‘prison-like,’ as some disingenuously assert.” “We operate temporary emergency shelters, not private prisons or detention centers,” she said in a statement to The Hill. “Those who suggest otherwise are intentionally creating a false and deceptive description to mislead the public and score political points.”

Warren, who visited the facility hours before she is set to appear center stage in the first Democratic presidential debate in Miami on Wednesday night, slammed the Trump administration for its policies on detaining migrant children and separating migrant families.

“These children did not commit a crime. These children pose no threat to people here in the United States of America, and yet they are locked up for weeks, for month, because our government is following a policy of inflicting maximum pain on families that flee here trying to build a better life, and [President TrumpDonald John TrumpSenate advances public lands bill in late-night vote Warren, Democrats urge Trump to back down from veto threat over changing Confederate-named bases Esper orders ‘After Action Review’ of National Guard’s role in protests MORE is] doing it for the worst of political reasons,” she said.

Warren also criticized U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) for “grabbing up” migrant families.

President Trump announced mass deportations that could target as many as 2,000 immigrant families June 17, but delayed the plan for two weeks to give Congress time to negotiate.

“That is not who we want to be as a country. We need to fight back against this,” Warren said.

Several other Democratic candidates have announced plans to visit the migrant shelter in Florida this week, including South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete ButtigiegPete ButtigiegScaled-back Pride Month poses challenges for fundraising, outreach Biden hopes to pick VP by Aug. 1 It’s as if a Trump operative infiltrated the Democratic primary process MORE (D), Sen. Amy KlobucharAmy KlobucharHillicon Valley: Biden calls on Facebook to change political speech rules | Dems demand hearings after Georgia election chaos | Microsoft stops selling facial recognition tech to police Democrats demand Republican leaders examine election challenges after Georgia voting chaos Harris grapples with defund the police movement amid veep talk MORE (D-Minn.) and former Rep. Beto O’RourkeBeto O’RourkeBiden will help close out Texas Democrats’ virtual convention: report O’Rourke on Texas reopening: ‘Dangerous, dumb and weak’ Parties gear up for battle over Texas state House MORE (D-Texas).

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Rep. Eric SwalwellEric Michael SwalwellNASCAR bans display of Confederate flag from events and properties Gloves come off as Democrats fight for House seat in California Grenell says intelligence community working to declassify Flynn-Kislyak transcripts MORE (D-Calif.) visited the shelter Monday, while Sens. Kamala HarrisKamala Devi HarrisRand Paul introduces bill to end no-knock warrants The Hill’s Campaign Report: Biden campaign goes on offensive against Facebook McEnany says Juneteenth is a very ‘meaningful’ day to Trump MORE (D-Calif.) and Kirsten GillibrandKirsten GillibrandWarren, Democrats urge Trump to back down from veto threat over changing Confederate-named bases Warren, Pressley introduce bill to make it a crime for police officers to deny medical care to people in custody Senate Dems press DOJ over coronavirus safety precautions in juvenile detention centers MORE (D-N.Y.) as well as former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julián Castro are reportedly making a trip to the shelter later this week.

Updated at 2:36 p.m.

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