The Democrat referred to the term as ‘derogatory’ and said that it dehumanizes immigrants
Michigan Democratic Rep. Rashida Tlaib claimed during her testimony before a House committee hearing that no person in the United States in “illegal.”
The Democrat referred to the term as ‘derogatory’ and said that it dehumanizes immigrants, without noting any difference between ‘illegal’ and ‘legal’ immigrants.
Tlaib said Friday during a House Oversight Committee hearing:
“First, no one is illegal. That term is derogatory now because it dehumanizes people. You can say any other forms of maybe ‘coming in without any regulations’ or so forth, but the use of ‘illegal’ is disrespectful, and I ask my colleagues to try in so many way to not dehumanize our immigrant neighbors who are trying to come in for safe haven.”
Tlaib, who is the daughter of Palestinian immigrants, weighed in on the southern border crisis before focusing on the alleged mistreatment of illegal aliens at detention facilities, which has since been pushed by fellow Democrat Alexandria Ocasio Cortez.
The congresswoman then claimed that “dangerous ideology” was governing the country.
The Michigan Democrat made an effort to convey a grim picture of Customs and Border Protection (CBP) as she described accounts of different people she met in their custody.
She recounted moments she met families detained after crossing the border.
“The dehumanization is not only with those families but also with the agents that we’ve had to do this to these families,” Tlaib concluded in her testimony.
But other lawmakers took issue with Talib’s notion that the term “illegal” is offensive.
“If anyone is in the United States unlawfully, then they are, in fact, an illegal,” said Kentucky GOP Rep. James Comer later on during the committee hearing.
“And let me be clear: This is not a manufactured crisis. This is a problem that is getting worse every day, yet this Congress continues to do nothing about the real problem at the border.”
According to The Daily Caller: The Friday hearing, titled “The Trump Administration’s Child Separation Policy: Substantiated Allegations of Mistreatment,” focused on the handling of migrants in CBP custody.
The hearing was originally only going to highlight the testimony of four Democratic lawmakers, but Chairman Elijah Cummings at the last-minute allowed four Republicans from border states to join in after Ranking Member Jim Jordan proposed that their perspective also be added.
While all eight lawmakers provided testimony about the same subject, their analysis of the crisis appeared miles apart.
The four Democratic congresswomen concentrated mainly on alleged abuse of detainees at the hands of CBP agents and called on the U.S. government to reform laws that would build a better environment for asylum seekers.
New York Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, for instance, demanded reforms to metering and detention policies and scrutinized the Trump administration’s Remain in Mexico program.
Republicans also converged on the need for legislative reform, but their calls revolved around changing the laws that have added to the immigration crisis.
The Flores settlement, and the way the U.S. government handles family units, they argued, have created an incentive for foreign nationals to enter the country illegally.
The fact that CBP detention facilities are flooded, one Republican said, was not CBP agents fault, but a result of the enormous number of illegal immigrants crossing the U.S.-Mexico border.
“I want everyone to think of a busy emergency department,” stated Tennessee Rep. Mark Green, “and a massive natural disaster occurs and they are hundreds of patients flooding that emergency department. They’re treating people in hallways. They’re treating people in the parking lot … it’s not the doctors’ fault that patients are everywhere.”