Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D., Mass.) on Friday said she would consider suspending the deportation of illegal immigrants in a bid to force Congress to pass immigration reform.
"I am open to suspending deportations, particularly as a way to push Congress for comprehensive immigration reform," Warren said at a forum hosted by the Latino activist group Mijente.
Warren added that she also supports decriminalizing illegal border crossings to prevent the prosecution of people who up to this point have been "treated as criminals simply for having crossed the border." She blamed Immigration and Customs Enforcement for "focusing on people who do not pose a threat," saying the federal law-enforcement agency does not "make this country safer."
"There's a lot of room for where we need to move here," Warren said.
Warren's statement comes just a day after fellow candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders (I., Vt.) released a comprehensive immigration reform plan that vows to temporarily halt deportations. Sanders's plan also promises to decriminalize illegal border crossings, end construction of President Donald Trump's border wall, and "provide comprehensive care to everyone in America," including noncitizens.
Both Warren and Sanders stand in opposition to their 2020 rival and former vice president Joe Biden, who said in July that illegally crossing the border should be considered a crime.