Democratic presidential hopeful Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenHarris tops Biden in California 2020 poll The Hill's Morning Report - A raucous debate on race ends with Trump admonishment Democrats fret over Trump cash machine 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 John TrumpPompeo changes staff for Russia meeting after concerns raised about top negotiator's ties: report House unravels with rise of 'Les Enfants Terrible' Ben Carson: Trump is not a racist and his comments were not racist 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 ButtigiegPeter (Pete) Paul ButtigiegHarris tops Biden in California 2020 poll The Hill's Morning Report - A raucous debate on race ends with Trump admonishment The Hill's 12:30 Report: Trump digs in ahead of House vote to condemn tweet MORE (D), Sen. Amy KlobucharAmy Jean KlobucharKlobuchar fundraises for McConnell challenger: 'Two Amys are better than one' The Hill's 12:30 Report: Trump digs in ahead of House vote to condemn tweet The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by JUUL Labs - House to vote to condemn Trump tweet MORE (D-Minn.) and former Rep. Beto O'RourkeBeto O'RourkeThe Hill's 12:30 Report: Trump digs in ahead of House vote to condemn tweet Poll: Biden, Sanders and Warren lead 2020 Democrats in New Hampshire Poll: Biden leads 2020 Democrats by 13 points, followed by Sanders, Warren and Harris MORE (D-Texas).

Rep. Eric SwalwellEric Michael SwalwellMatt Gaetz hints prosecutor won't press charges against threatening caller for political reasons Fundraising numbers highlight growing divide in 2020 race The Hill's 12:30 Report: Pelosi looks to squash fight with progressives MORE (D-Calif.) visited the shelter Monday, while Sens. Kamala HarrisKamala Devi HarrisHarris tops Biden in California 2020 poll The Hill's Morning Report - A raucous debate on race ends with Trump admonishment Democrats fret over Trump cash machine MORE (D-Calif.) and Kirsten GillibrandKirsten Elizabeth GillibrandThe Hill's 12:30 Report: Trump digs in ahead of House vote to condemn tweet 'Game of Thrones' scores record-breaking 32 Emmy nominations The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by JUUL Labs - House to vote to condemn Trump tweet 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.