Elizabeth Warren stopped short of promising a deportation moratorium if elected president when asked by the wife of an illegal immigrant with a criminal record being held by law enforcement.
“I am open to suspending deportations, particularly as a way to push Congress for comprehensive immigration reform,” Warren said in Raleigh, North Carolina, at Mijente’s presidential forum series. “I believe that what we’re doing right now with ICE focusing on people who do not pose a threat, that when ICE comes into our communities, takes our neighbors, our friends, our family members, that they do not make this country safer.”
The woman, a mother of five who has lived in the Winston-Salem area for 22 years, said through tears that her husband served more than a year in jail for drug possession charges. Within a week of his release in April, he was detained by Immigration and Customs Enforcement and is still being held in a Georgia facility. She asked the Massachusetts senator, 70, whether she would halt deportations, including for illegal immigrants who have had run-ins with the law.
Warren’s immigration plan calls for addressing “the humanitarian mess at the border” and reversing President Trump’s “discriminatory policies.”
“We need expanded legal immigration that will grow our economy, reunite families, and meet our labor market demands. We need real reform that provides cost-effective security at our borders, addresses the root causes of migration, and provides a path to status and citizenship so that our neighbors don’t have to live in fear,” she wrote in a Medium post.
On Friday, Warren reiterated that illegal immigrants would be given access to healthcare through her “Medicare for all” proposal, which her campaign estimates will cost the federal government $26 trillion.
“‘Medicare for all,’ as I put this together, covers everyone regardless of immigration status,” she said. “Because I believe healthcare is a basic human right, and we fight for basic human rights.”