Donald Trump

2020 Dems Visit Homestead Detention Facility Ahead of Miami Debates

The candidates have been spending plenty of time in South Florida in the days leading up to the debates

White House hopefuls in Miami for the Democratic debates are trekking to nearby Homestead to visit a large migrant detention facility.

The stops are intended to draw attention to President Donald Trump's immigration policies, which have seen migrant children separated from their families. Homestead is about 40 miles southwest of Miami and is a spot where the U.S. is detaining migrant teens.

Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren visited the site Wednesday, with Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar making a stop later in the afternoon.

"What is happening at Homestead to children, what is happening as the direct result of activities of the United States government is wrong," Warren said outside the facility. "It is a stain on our country and we must speak out."

"We still have kids that we don't know where they are and we still haven't gotten accurate numbers and we still think there's some separation going on," Klobuchar said.

Actress and activist Alyssa Milano also tweeted videos of her visit to the Homestead facility Wednesday morning.

Former Texas Rep. Beto O'Rourke is scheduled to visit the site on Thursday.

And on Friday, California Sen. Kamala Harris, former housing secretary Julian Castro, former U.S. Rep. John Delaney and Pete Buttigieg, the mayor of South Bend, Indiana, all plan to visit.

Given the massive field of 20 candidates, the debate will be split over two nights, with ten candidates appearing each night at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts. Warren is among those who will appear Wednesday night, while former Vice President Joe Biden and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders are among Thursday's group.

There was tight security at the Arsht Center Wednesday, with officers on horseback patrolling nearby and streets blocked to traffic.

Groups of candidate supporters also gathered nearby, along with some supporters of President Donald Trump.

Alma Gonzalez and her husband traveled from Tampa to attend the debate and said the tickets were hard to come by.

"This is like the pre-season game right, you get to see all of the teams on the field before they've gotten too polished up, you get to see the raw footage of who they really are," Gonzalez said.

The candidates have been spending plenty of time in South Florida in the days leading up to the debates. Warren held a town hall on the campus of Florida International University Tuesday night to discuss student loan debt and other issues, while O'Rourke held his own town hall on education in North Miami.

Buttigieg held two Florida fundraisers on Monday night and stayed in Florida for debate prep.

"There's a buzz in the air, you can feel it, lots of people here, the media, this is priceless media coverage, we can't get this kind of stuff," said Bill Talbert, with the Miami Convention and Visitors Bureau.

The debate will air live across NBC, MSNBC and Telemundo and also stream online free on this website,,, the NBC News mobile app and OTT apps, in addition to Telemundo’s digital platforms.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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