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

Democratic presidential hopeful Sen. Elizabeth Warren (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.

{mosads}“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 Trump 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 Buttigieg (D), Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) and former Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D-Texas).

Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-Calif.) visited the shelter Monday, while Sens. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) and Kirsten Gillibrand (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.

Tags Amy Klobuchar Beto O'Rourke Donald Trump Elizabeth Warren Eric Swalwell Kirsten Gillibrand Pete Buttigieg
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