Rep. Ilhan Omar visited a Texas facility for unaccompanied migrant children Friday and claimed it was reminiscent of how she began her journey to the United States.
“It took me back to being a young kid just like themselves,” Omar said during a five-minute speech in Carrizo Springs, 50 miles inland from the border. “I myself was a child who fled, like these kids, unconscionable violence. This is not about politics and playing games; it’s about the humanity of these children.”
The Minnesota progressive was one of seven House Democrats in a delegation that toured a semi-new building that includes space for almost 1,000 teenagers. Lawmakers talked to children who came from a range of countries, including Guatemala, Nicaragua and El Salvador.
“The kids said they just want to be treated with dignity and don’t know who the president is,” she said. “They’re looking for an opportunity to survive and thrive. At the heart of this conversation are children fleeing unconscionable situations.”
She then compared the Central American parents to her father’s decision to flee Somalia when she was eight.
“The parents are making a responsible decision because they want their kids to live and have an opportunity,” the Squad member said. “You have an administration now that says, we are going to deploy maximum humanity and dignity in treating people in regards to our policies.”
She said the Trump administration believed “you had to create maximum pain in order for immigrants not to come to our border.”
A group of Republican senators also visited south Texas Friday, criticizing President Joe Biden for the ongoing crisis and his administration’s frequently misleading statements.
Sen. Ted Cruz, who represents the Lone Star State, posted shocking photos from a facility in Donna, along the border, claiming, “these are the pictures the Biden administration doesn’t want the American people to see. This is why they won’t allow the press. This is a humanitarian and a public health crisis.”
- Other Republican senators also chimed in with condemnation of how the current administration is handling the situation.
Democrats did not lay blame on the Biden administration for the influx of migrants overcrowding the system; instead, as has been the case for weeks, including yesterday’s presidential press conference, they blamed former President Donald Trump.
Delegation members said it will take time to address “the root problems” in Central America and build a system to process asylum-seekers’ claims.