Elizabeth Warren released a far-reaching immigration agenda on Thursday that envisions a significant shift in US 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 was released ahead of her appearance alongside three Democratic presidential rivals at a forum hosted by the League of United Latin American Citizens, the AP reports. With the Democratic Party's base enflamed by the separation of migrant families and dismal conditions reported in detention centers, Warren is one of several 2020 presidential hopefuls offering a dramatically different strategy.
The Massachusetts senator's plan would not go so far as to abolish US Immigration and Customs Enforcement, an effort last year that failed to reach critical mass. But Warren is calling for a wholesale reorientation at both ICE and US 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. Warren would also create "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." If elected, Warren 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." (The Homeland Security boss defended conditions at Border Patrol centers.)