Family separation

What Democratic campaigns would do for migrant kids on Day 1

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

2020 Democrats are being forced to reckon with a broken, complicated immigration system and offer solutions to a crisis that has become emotionally charged and politically risky.

The bottom line: There may be solutions to prevent so many migrant kids from coming into custody in the first place, but the answers we received showed the challenges of dealing with the status quo.

On the ground at Homestead's migrant detention facility

The view that most activists get into the Homeland, Fla. migrant detention facility. Photo: Alexi McCammond/Axios

HOMESTEAD, Fla. — In the blaring sun, at least nine Democratic presidential candidates have stood on stepladders this week to peer into the migrant detention center here where approximately 2,600 teenagers are being held.

Why it matters: The immigration crisis is becoming the defining issue of the 2020 election — at least for now — as Democrats criticize not only the conditions in which these children are being held, but also the Trump administration's handling of young migrants who have come to the U.S. with their parents.