Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., told a Minneapolis audience this week that the United Nations should be brought in to oversee the migration crisis at the southern border.
“We should do what any other country does, by dealing with this situation in a serious way," she told the audience on Tuesday. "So we have to bring in the United Nations High Commissioner on Refugees – an agency that has the expertise and the training to handle massive flows of refugees humanely."
Earlier, she declared that the U.S. is “losing our moral high ground” on the question of immigration and asylum. The Minneapolis Star Tribune reported that she made the remarks at a town hall on immigration in south Minneapolis.
“We are treating people like criminals when they have not committed a crime,” she said.
"It doesn’t make any sense for us to be committing these kinds of human rights violations, to have these policies in the way we interact with migrants and asylum seekers if we want to continue to be the kind of country that condemns countries in Africa, in Asia or Latin American countries for its treatment of refugees and asylum seekers,” she said.
Omar is one of the four freshman congresswomen, known as “The Squad,” who have played a prominent role in pushing the Democratic Party increasingly to the left on the question of illegal immigration and asylum. Many of the party’s 2020 hopefuls now embrace policies such as health care for illegal immigrants, the decriminalizing of illegal border crossings and abolishing or overhauling Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).
In response to the migration crisis, which has seen hundreds of thousands of migrants flooding to the border in recent months, the Trump administration has set out to tighten immigration law and increase enforcement at the border -- including closing loopholes in the law, and building new barriers at the border in places such as Arizona and Texas.
It has also been securing agreements with countries south of the border, including Mexico and Guatemala -- something that officials at the border recently told Fox News is having an effect in dissuading migrants from making the trip north.
Omar, who came to the U.S. as a refugee from Somalia, has advocated for a number of those extreme proposals. In May, she criticized Trump’s immigration plan and laid out a list of counter-proposals that would curb enforcement and grant amnesty to illegal immigrants already in the country.
"We need to abolish ICE and end all inhumane deportation and detention programs. We need to fight back against the criminalization of immigrants and those crossing the border,” she said. “We need to create a fair and accessible path to legal status and citizenship for all undocumented people in the United States.”