The plight of migrant children being held in reportedly unkempt U.S. detention facilities is a “bad time in America’s history,” Massachusetts U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren told a Miami crowd Tuesday night.
Today, Warren plans to visit the Homestead Detention Center, which is currently housing more than 2,000 migrant children, many of whom have been separated from their parents.
She told a campaign audience of about 1,300 that one way to correct the problem is for the U.S. to provide more financial aid – not less – to Central American countries like Honduras and Guatemala, where many undocumented people are fleeing violence to enter the U.S. along the southern border. The Huffington Post reported on Tuesday that Warren is also now calling to repeal the law criminalizing unauthorized border crossings.
With twenty of the 24 Democrats running for president in Miami this week for the debates, other candidates are expected to also make appearances at Homestead. Former Texas U.S. Rep. Beto O’Rourke plans to go Thursday.
Warren is considered the biggest candidate on the debate stage on Wednesday night, with most of the other major candidates (based on the polls) debating on Thursday night.
Warren was introduced to the stage Tuesday night by North Florida Democratic state Rep. Dotie Joseph, who championed Warren for fighting for the middle class.
“She persists,” Joseph said. “She is a persister.”
Warren also blasted President Trump for the recent escalation of hostilities with Iran. She said flatly she would not go to war with that country if she were in charge, and said that, contrary to the way he campaigned in 2016 about not getting the U.S. into wars, she says the president has made the world less safe.
“Foreign policy by tweet is not working for us,” she cracked.
Described by the New York Times this week as a “pugilist on the left,” Warren blasted what she said was the “corruption” that touches everything in Washington, and laid out her plan to try to eliminate it, including ending “lobbying as we know it,” blocking the “revolving door” between Wall Street and Washington, making the U.S. Supreme Court follow conflict of interest ethics guidelines, and ensuring that every single person running for political office publish their tax records. That last statement drew one of the biggest cheers of the evening.
Warren also talked about making big, structural changes to the economy, which for her would include giving unions more powers. “Unions built the American middle class, and unions will rebuild the middle class,” she said.
She spoke extensively about one of her more ambitious proposals, a two-percent wealth tax. A family’s wealth above $50 million would be taxed at two percent. The tax proceeds would pay for universal child care, provide universal pre-kindergarten for three-year-olds, and raise wages for childcare workers and pre-school teachers.
The revenue from the two-percent wealth tax would would go to cancel student debt for 95 percent of college students and provide $50 billion for historically black colleges.
A CNN fact check says that there is uncertainty about how much revenue the two-percent wealth tax could bring in, or if it could even be implemented.
In speaking about the climate crisis, the Massachusetts senator specifically called out Republican megadonors Koch Industries, claiming that in the 1990s they hired “bought and paid for experts to raise doubt about climate change.” She said she is a fan of the “Green New Deal,” but said climate change is a global problem, and she believes that a green economy could bring millions of new jobs.
“Do you want to understand why we face a climate crisis today?” she asked. “It’s because of twenty-five years of corruption in Washington.”