Ilhan Omar Begs for the U.S. To Take Afghan Refugees: It’s a ‘Critical Moment’
credits Biden with 'evacuating over 70,000 people from Kabul'
Omar said the news of the “families scrambling to get on American planes” “instantly” reminded her of her childhood, sitting with her grandfather in a refugee camp.
Omar wrote of her grandfather, who told her, “Only in America can you ultimately become an American."
"Everywhere else, we will always feel like a guest.”
He was right. I was lucky to become an American, not a guest, and ultimately represent my new home of Minnesota in the halls of Congress. But right now, there are thousands of Afghans, many of whom risked their lives to help the United States, who are wondering if they will have that same opportunity to make new lives here.
Omar quoted Biden, who said during his presidential campaign the U.S deserves an immigration policy that reflects our highest values as a nation.”
Omar also spoke of immigration policy throughout history but failed to emphasize the American citizens are still stranded.
She then credited Biden with “evacuating over 70,000 people from Kabul” before noting “tens of thousands” more need U.S. assistance.
“My office alone has received over 5,000 requests from people trying to get family members and colleagues out of Afghanistan just in the past two weeks—representing tens of thousands of individuals who are afraid for their lives,” she wrote.
Though she briefly mentioned 13 U.S. service members who lost their lives earlier this week, the lawmaker said it serves as “yet another reminder of the terror the people of Afghanistan continue to face.”
Omar believes the U.S. should allow Afghan citizens to “emigrate here immediately using national interest waivers and humanitarian parole.”
“We must hold the airport in Kabul and lead an international coalition to evacuate every person who is fleeing for their lives in Afghanistan,” she said.
She went further, calling on America to address the human rights crises in Central America, Haiti, Syria, and Libya.
She managed to throw in climate change as well, saying it will be “one of the defining political challenges of the coming century.”
“I’m glad that the President allocated $500 million to help resettle Afghans, but we must do more."
"The reconciliation package should include funding to address this. And we must live up to our promises to increase the refugee cap,” she demanded.
Earlier this week, fellow 'squad' member, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, called on Biden to resettle a minimum of 200,000 Afghan refugees.
The socialist Rep said she supports increasing the number of available Special Immigrant Visas (SIV) to 200,000 as thousands of Afghans try to flee the country.
Ocasio-Cortez told The Independent:
"I believe we need to move, and the administration needs to move as quickly as possible and as expansively as possible, ensuring that we are raising the amount of refugee visas to whatever amount is necessary."
"I would say the rock bottom is 200,000, but I think it should be whatever is necessary."