Sen. Elizabeth Warren invited Florida town hall attendees to join her on a visit to a nearby facility that is holding unaccompanied migrant children.
The previously unplanned trip was scheduled just before the Massachusetts Democrat and 2020 presidential contender took the stage at a Miami town hall on Tuesday, and is set for Wednesday just hours before the first Democratic debate which is also to be held in Miami.
At tonight’s town hall in Miami, an audience member asked me to go to the Homestead detention center—where the Trump administration is holding immigrant children separated from their families—and shine a light on what’s happening. I’ll be there tomorrow—and I hope you’ll join me. pic.twitter.com/tf2aaOakbF
— Elizabeth Warren (@ewarren) June 26, 2019
“I’m going to Homestead tomorrow. Come with me,” Warren said Tuesday after an audience member called on her to visit the facility, “to bring the press” and “national attention” to the migrant children being held in what she described as a “prison.”
“We have to shut down that facility and shut it down now,” Warren says. Cheers of “shut it down!” break out.
— Dave Weigel (@daveweigel) June 26, 2019
The Democrat is apparently providing buses for anyone who is interested in joining her on the trip to the facility.
So when Warren said, in last night’s town hall, “I’m going to Homestead tomorrow, come with me,” it wasn’t just a rhetorical flourish. She’s chartering buses for anyone who wants to join her. https://t.co/VJXyaEw5U1
— Angus Johnston (@studentactivism) June 26, 2019
“It’s been a year ago right now, when we were first hearing about children separated from their parents at the border,” she told the crowd in the gymnasium at Florida International University. “I went down to McAllen, Texas, and visited one of these facilities.”
She shared that she had seen “cage after cage after cage” and “people who were frightened, people who didn’t understand what had gone wrong,” at the Texas facility which is run by Customs and Border Protection. “This is a bad time in America’s history.”
‘A government that can’t tell the difference between a threat posed by a terrorist, a criminal, and a little girl, is not a government that is keeping us safe,’ Warren said after speaking of the tragic death of a Salvadoran man and his two-year-old daughter.
A heartbreaking image showed Óscar Alberto Martínez Ramírez, a 25-year-old father and his 23-month-old daughter, lying face down on the Mexican side of the Rio Grande where they had died while attempting to swim across and enter the U.S. illegally.
An Associated Press report cited journalist Julia Le Duc’s story and photo which were published by Mexican newspaper La Jornada:
According to Le Duc’s reporting for La Jornada, Óscar Alberto Martínez Ramírez, frustrated because the family from El Salvador was unable to present themselves to U.S. authorities and request asylum, swam across the river on Sunday with his daughter, Valeria.
He set her on the U.S. bank of the river and started back for his wife, Tania Vanessa Ávalos, but seeing him move away the girl threw herself into the waters. Martínez returned and was able to grab Valeria, but the current swept them both away.
Former Texas congressman and 2020 candidate Beto O’Rourke bluntly blamed the deaths on President Trump.
Trump is responsible for these deaths. https://t.co/UZirFjh3fm
— Beto O’Rourke (@BetoORourke) June 26, 2019
New Jersey Democrat and 2020 hopeful Sen. Cory Booker also blamed the death of the father and child on President Trump Tuesday.
We should not look away. These are the consequences of Donald Trump’s inhumane and immoral immigration policy. This is being done in our name. https://t.co/mZQnREOjV0
— Cory Booker (@CoryBooker) June 25, 2019
O’Rourke announced his plans to visit the Homestead facility on Thursday.
I’m going to Homestead on Thursday. This administration’s inhumane policies of separating families and putting kids in camps must end.
— Beto O’Rourke (@BetoORourke) June 24, 2019
Rep. Eric Swalwell, also a Democratic 2020 contender, met with protesters outside of the Homestead center which he visited on Monday.
Today I visited the #Homestead Detention Facility. These children need homes, NOT a privatized prison.
— Eric Swalwell (@ericswalwell) June 24, 2019
The Homestead Temporary Shelter for Unaccompanied Children is about 30 minutes from Miami where Warren will be participating Wednesday in the first Democratic primary debates for the 2020 election.
Currently the Homestead facility, which is run by the Department of Health and Human Services, is holding about 2,300 children, according to a spokeswoman for the HHS’ Administration for Children and Families, Evelyn Stauffer, CNN reported.
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