Omar: ‘We Owe Haitians’ Asylum — ‘Obviously Systemic Racism at Play’

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Representative Ilhan Omar (D-MN) said Monday on MSNBC’s “The ReidOut” that the United States contributed to the problems in Haiti.

Therefore, she argued we “owe” Haitians the right to seek asylum as thousands gather at the U.S.-Mexico border.


Omar said, “What we have seen was cruel, inhuman, and violation of domestic laws and international laws, the right to seek asylum is an international right. I know this because I would not be here today if I wasn’t able to seek asylum in the border of neighboring country Kenya. To see this kind of atrocious, disturbing images at our border should really make every single American’s skin crawl.”

She continued, “I heard people say many of the Haitians that are at our border might not have grounds to seek asylum. These are people that have experienced a national disaster, which allows for people who experience that to seek asylum. They’ve also experienced political violence, political upheaval. They have experienced a crisis after crisis. We have also contributed to that. Generations of Haitians have experienced American policy that has contributed to their starvation, to the criminalization that they are dealing with, and to the inhumane policies that continue to destroy the lives of Haitians. So not only do we owe Haitians the right thing of allowing them to seek asylum here, but we also owe them the kind of policies that would allow for them to dictate the ways in which they want to run their country.”

Omar said, “When it comes to our immigration policy for so many years, cruelty has been very much embedded in it. There is obviously systemic racism at play here. We’ve seen people come to the border, and the fact we’re dealing with mainly Black migrants and Black immigrants and asylum seekers at our border in this kind of way, really speaks to the kind of racism, systemic racism that is embedded in that department and all the departments that deal with our immigration policy.”

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