2020 Democrats visit Florida migrant children's shelter following debate

2020 Democrats visit Florida migrant children's shelter following debate
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At least 11 Democratic presidential candidates visited a child migrant detention facility in Homestead, Fla., this week either before or after taking the debate stage in Miami.

2020 Democrats Sen. Kamala HarrisKamala Devi HarrisSenate Democrats push for arms control language in defense policy bill Top adviser on Sanders: 'He's always been underestimated' 'The Simpsons' pokes fun at Trump's feud with 'the squad' MORE (Calif.), Sen. Kirsten GillibrandKirsten Elizabeth GillibrandSenate Democrats push for arms control language in defense policy bill Sanders unveils plan to double union membership in first term The Hill's 12:30 Report: Biden expands lead in new national poll MORE (N.Y.), South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete ButtigiegPeter (Pete) Paul ButtigiegTop adviser on Sanders: 'He's always been underestimated' Biden, Sanders lead Trump in hypothetical match-ups: poll The Hill's Morning Report - Trump hews to NRA on guns and eyes lower taxes MORE, former Colorado Gov. John HickenlooperJohn HickenlooperPoll: Trump trails three Democrats by 10 points in Colorado The Hill's Campaign Report: Battle for Senate begins to take shape The Hill's Morning Report — Trump and the new Israel-'squad' controversy MORE and former San Antonio Mayor Julián Castro visited the facility Friday morning, entering and exiting the processing building of the facility together.

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Author and 2020 candidate Marianne WilliamsonMarianne WilliamsonWilliamson unveils plan to create Cabinet-level Department of Peace Castro qualifies for next Democratic primary debates Marianne Williamson says she will remove Oval Office portrait of Andrew Jackson if elected MORE arrived later, and Sens. Bernie SandersBernie SandersSenate Democrats push for arms control language in defense policy bill Top adviser on Sanders: 'He's always been underestimated' 'The Simpsons' pokes fun at Trump's feud with 'the squad' MORE (I-Vt.), Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenSenate Democrats push for arms control language in defense policy bill Top adviser on Sanders: 'He's always been underestimated' 'The Simpsons' pokes fun at Trump's feud with 'the squad' MORE (D-Mass.) and Amy KlobucharAmy Jean KlobucharSenate Democrats push for arms control language in defense policy bill The Hill's Morning Report - Trump hews to NRA on guns and eyes lower taxes Harris to appear in CNN climate town hall after backlash MORE (D-Minn.) and New York Mayor Bill de BlasioBill de BlasioThe Hill's 12:30 Report: Biden expands lead in new national poll De Blasio brushes off low poll numbers: 'The vast majority of Democratic voters are going to make their decision late' NYPD fires officer in Eric Garner case MORE (D) and former Texas Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D) visited the center earlier this week.

While candidates were allowed inside the processing building on Friday, they were “denied” access to tour the facilities, Buttigieg said.

Several candidates instead took turns speaking to a crowd outside the facility, with Harris slamming the Trump administration as one “that prefers to beat people down instead of lift them up,” adding, “That’s why we need a new president of the United States.”

“Part of the strength of our nation is supposed to be that we have strong arms,” Harris said in a video posted on Twitter. “We are seeing a breakdown not only of our moral values but of our democracy.”

The Trump administration has continued to come under fire for its immigration policies, and recent reports have drawn attention to poor facilities at migrant detention centers. Congress this week passed a $4.6 billion spending package aimed at addressing issues at the U.S.-Mexico border.

Video taken Friday shows Gillibrand and Harris standing shoulder to shoulder as they meet with women and children whose family members have reportedly been deported.

Several candidates, including Harris, Gillibrand, Hickenlooper and Castro, also made a point to walk to the ladders to try and see the children inside the facility, which holds about 2,300 people. 

Castro told reporters that while standing by the ladders, he saw kids marching in lines, wearing orange hats “the color of prison uniforms.”

He shouted to them in Spanish, “We are here for you, you are not alone.”

Ten 2020 Democrats took the debate stage Wednesday night, while an 10 additional candidates faced off Thursday night.