Democratic presidential hopeful Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenPorter loses seat on House panel overseeing financial sector OVERNIGHT ENERGY: Nine, including former Michigan governor, charged over Flint water crisis | Regulator finalizes rule forcing banks to serve oil, gun companies | Trump admin adds hurdle to increase efficiency standards for furnaces, water heaters DeVos mulled unilateral student loan forgiveness as COVID-19 wracked economy: memo 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.

ADVERTISEMENT

“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 TrumpCIA chief threatened to resign over push to install Trump loyalist as deputy: report Azar in departure letter says Capitol riot threatens to 'tarnish' administration's accomplishments Justice Dept. argues Trump should get immunity from rape accuser's lawsuit 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 ButtigiegOn The Money: Retail sales drop in latest sign of weakening economy | Fast-food workers strike for minimum wage | US officials raise concerns over Mexico's handling of energy permits Buttigieg confirmation hearing slated for Thursday James Murdoch predicts 'a reckoning' for media after Capitol riot MORE (D), Sen. Amy KlobucharAmy KlobucharGoogle completes Fitbit acquisition Hillicon Valley: Fringe social networks boosted after Capitol attack | Planned protests spark fears of violence in Trump's final days | Election security efforts likely to gain ground in Democrat-controlled Congress US Chamber of Commerce to stop supporting some lawmakers following the Capitol riots MORE (D-Minn.) and former Rep. Beto O'RourkeBeto O'RourkeBoebert appears to carry gun on Capitol Hill in new ad 7 surprise moments from a tumultuous year in politics Mexican president breaks with other world leaders, refusing to acknowledge Biden win until election is finalized MORE (D-Texas).

Rep. Eric SwalwellEric Michael SwalwellSwalwell compares Trump to bin Laden: They 'inspired and radicalized' Pelosi names 9 impeachment managers House Judiciary Democrats ask Pence to invoke 25th Amendment to remove Trump MORE (D-Calif.) visited the shelter Monday, while Sens. Kamala HarrisKamala HarrisOn The Money: Retail sales drop in latest sign of weakening economy | Fast-food workers strike for minimum wage | US officials raise concerns over Mexico's handling of energy permits Biden scolds Republicans for not wearing masks during Capitol attack Biden and the new Congress must protect Americans from utility shutoffs MORE (D-Calif.) and Kirsten GillibrandKirsten GillibrandDemocrats looking to speed through Senate impeachment trial With Senate at stake, Georgia is on all our minds Build trust in vaccines by investing in community workers 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.