Elizabeth Warren and Amy Klobuchar go to the Homestead Migrant Jail in Florida forward of the primary Democratic Debate

Presidential candidates Elizabeth Warren and Amy Klobuchar visited a troubled detention center for unaccompanied migrant children in Homestead, Florida, on Wednesday, hours before the first democratic debate in Miami. Both senators missed the Senate vote on a $ 4.6 billion border security bill Wednesday.

The controversial for-profit detention center houses around 2,300 children aged 13-17 who were placed under the care of the Department of Health and Human Services after being detained at the border. Immigration attorneys filed a brief in federal court in May shocking testimonies kept by children in the facility. Democrats expressed growing concerns about the treatment of migrants in detention centers, blaming President Trump’s restrictive immigration policies for the poor conditions.

Neither Klobuchar nor Warren were allowed into the Homestead facility, which is about 30 miles from Miami, but Warren stood on a stepladder and looked over the gate. She said she saw children lined up and called the separation of migrant families at the border “a moral stain on the US that Donald Trump has left”.


Senator Elizabeth Warren stands on a ladder with an unidentified girl trying to wave to migrant children outside a detention center in Homestead, Florida on June 26, 2019.

Rhona Wise / AFP / Getty Images

“Pursuing policies that can be reduced to a basic idea – that maximize the pain inflicted on families who flee to the US to try to build some degree of security in their lives – are both fundamental and moral wrong, “Warren said addressing the press and supporters outside the facility.

Warren and Klobuchar weren’t the only presidential candidates to visit Homestead this week. Other visitors include Senator Kamala Harris, Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, Julián Castro, Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, Beto O’Rourke, New York Mayor Bill de Blasio, South Bend Mayor, Pete Buttigieg and Marianne Williamson. Jane Sanders, the wife of Senator Bernie Sanders, also visited the facility on Wednesday. Rep. Eric Swalwell visited the facility on Monday.


Senator Amy Klobuchar speaks to the media outside a detention center for migrant children in Homestead, Florida on June 26, 2019.

Rhona Wise / AFP / Getty Images

Warren and Klobuchar are in Florida for the first Democratic primary debate, where they will join eight other candidates on stage Wednesday night. A second discussion with 1 other candidate will take place on Tuesday.

Meanwhile it is The Senate passed its version of a supplementary border finance law Wednesday evening passed after the house bill had been rejected. The Senate’s bipartisan law was passed with 84 votes in favor to 8 against, and includes a non-partisan language for financing border security. Now it’s being sent back to the House for review, but Congress is leaving the House later this week for Independence Day recess, leaving very little time to reconcile the House and Senate versions.

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