Warren's immigration plans reflect party's leftward shift

Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., speaks during a campaign stop at town hall in Peterborough, N.H., Monday, July 8, 2019. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)

WASHINGTON — Elizabeth Warren released a far-reaching immigration agenda on Thursday that envisions a significant leftward shift in U.S. policy, including the remodeling of immigration enforcement agencies "from top to bottom" and new limits on the detention of migrants who enter the country.

Warren's immigration proposal, released ahead of her appearance alongside four Democratic presidential rivals at a forum hosted by the League of United Latin American Citizens, comes as President Donald Trump's detention policies continue to spark fierce Democratic pushback and stoke public debate. With the Democratic Party's base enflamed by the separation of migrant families and reported dismal conditions in detention centers, Warren is one of several 2020 presidential hopefuls offering a dramatically different strategy that promises to connect with liberal and Latino voters — but also give Trump an opening to attack.

The Massachusetts senator's plan would not go so far as to "abolish" U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, a progressive effort last year that failed to reach critical mass even with Democratic voters and drew harsh criticism from Trump and the GOP. But Warren is calling for a wholesale reorientation at both ICE and U.S. Customs and Border Patrol, which enforces immigration laws at the border.

"I'll reshape CBP and ICE from top to bottom, focusing their efforts on homeland security efforts like screening cargo, identifying counterfeit goods, and preventing smuggling and trafficking," the candidate wrote in a Medium post outlining her platform.

Warren would also dent the Trump administration's detention practices by creating "a Justice Department task force to investigate accusations of serious violations" in facilities that house migrants, giving that effort "independent authority to pursue any substantiated criminal allegations."

Several elements of Warren's immigration framework are also supported by other Democrats seeking the party's nomination to take on Trump next year.

If elected, she wrote, she would "issue guidance ensuring that detention is only used where it is actually necessary because an individual poses a flight or safety risk." New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker's immigration plan, released last week , was billed by his campaign as a near-outright end to immigration detention.

Warren also vowed to shift federal immigration courts out of the Justice Department's purview, which is part of former Texas Rep. Beto O'Rourke's plan. She aligned with multiple other Democratic presidential contenders — including Sens. Bernie Sanders and Kamala Harris — in supporting an end to the prosecution of border crossings as criminal offenses, rather than civil.

Former Vice President Joe Biden, who did not join Sanders and Harris in raising his hand when asked about decriminalizing border crossings during last month's Democratic presidential debate, reiterated to CNN recently that he does not agree with such a shift in immigration policy. Biden is scheduled to join Warren in addressing LULAC at Thursday's Democratic presidential forum in Milwaukee, alongside Sanders, O'Rourke and former Housing Secretary Julian Castro.

Must Read

AP witnesses rescue of migrants off Libya, 4 bodies found

Aug 18, 2016

A Spanish aid group rescued more than 100 migrants Thursday from three separate migrant boats off...

Undersea surprise: Big-eyed squid looks more toy than animal

Aug 18, 2016

A team of scientists and technicians scanning the rocky ocean floor off Southern California...

Speedo USA, 3 other sponsors drop Lochte after Rio incident

Aug 22, 2016

Ryan Lochte loses four major sponsors over a drunken incident during the Rio Olympics that he...

Mylan boosts EpiPen patient programs, doesn't budge on price

Aug 25, 2016

Mylan, now in the crosshairs over severe price hikes for its EpiPen, says that it going to expand...

Image of Asia: Speaking to Taiwan's troops at military drill

Aug 25, 2016

Image of Asia: Taiwan's President Tsai Ing-wen delivers a speech at a military exercise in southern...

Weather, 20 December
Houston Weather
+7

High: +11° Low: -2°

Humidity: 83%

Wind: NNE - 7 KPH

Canberra Weather
+27

High: +27° Low: +17°

Humidity: 87%

Wind: W - 20 KPH

Roissy-en-France Weather
+6

High: +6° Low: -5°

Humidity: 87%

Wind: ENE - 7 KPH

Florence Weather
+9

High: +9° Low: +6°

Humidity: 97%

Wind: ENE - 17 KPH

Parga Weather
+7

High: +16° Low: +4°

Humidity: 100%

Wind: SE - 25 KPH