Apparently, having an actual border and taking action against those who illegally cross it is such a heinous thing to Rep. Ilhan Omar that we need the United Nations in the United States to deal with it.
Yes, really. Welcome to America à la “Squad.”
“We should do what any other country does, by dealing with this situation in a serious way,” she said.
“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.”
According to the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Omar made the remarks at a Minneapolis forum on immigration, an issue on which she said that the United States was “losing our moral high ground.”
“What we face is not an invasion,” she said. “This is not an invasion, it’s an immigration crisis.”
She also believes that people illegally crossing our border aren’t really doing anything illegal.
“We are treating people like criminals when they have not committed a crime,” Omar 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.”
Because apparently, every single one of these asylum seekers meets the credible fear threshold.
“We’re all here tonight because we all recognize that immigration is one of the defining civil rights and human rights issue of our time,” she told the audience, calling immigration a “broken system.” On the last count, she’s right, although perhaps not in the way she had intended to be.
I suppose Omar would prefer we focus on virtually anything that doesn’t have to deal with the recent allegations that she’s been funneling campaign funds to a married man she’s allegedly having an affair with.
That being said, while the idea of the United Nations taking a significant role in United States border policy may go over well with the base, I suspect this isn’t exactly going to endear her to moderates or those who aren’t already enamored with “the Squad.”
There were no calls for the UNHCR to intervene during the Obama administration’s border crisis, during which — as any conservative will remind you — the whole “children in cages” thing started.
What’s changed now? Well, for starters, the percentage of illegal immigrants requesting asylum.
In 2014, Department of Justice data shows, 47,528 migrants requested asylum. In 2016, that number was up to 82,386. By 2018, that number had nearly doubled to 162,881. Through June 30, 2019, the total for the year was 157,408.
It’s worth digging a bit deeper on those numbers, though. There are two types of asylum applications, “affirmative” and “defensive.”
An affirmative application is from someone who has yet to face deportation hearings. Defensive asylum, meanwhile, involves individuals who were already facing deportation. The percentage of defensive asylum cases has spiked significantly, as The Washington Post noted in April.
And, as The New York Times’ Thomas Friedman noted, the percentage of illegal immigrants claiming asylum after being apprehended has gone from 1 percent to roughly 30 percent in just a period of a few years.
So, yes, the system is broken. Yes, there’s an immigration crisis. The problem, however, isn’t one for the UNHCR, which is best suited to handle migrant flows from countries like Syria and Burma where there’s an actual human rights crisis.
There’s no way to look at those numbers and not realize that the massive spike in asylum claims isn’t based on any great humanitarian emergency that’s developed of late in Central America.
Instead, this is a matter of shifting tactics.
Even without all of this, there’s something deeply distressing about a politician inviting the United Nations in to deal with a matter of policy.
This is has nothing to do with solving a border crisis and everything to do with how the Trump administration has been handling it.
From reducing the credible fear threshold — which is low enough that three-quarters of asylum seekers currently meet it — to working with other Central American countries to ensure they secure their borders and take in asylum seekers themselves, the administration is taking common-sense steps, and common sense currently drives the left crazy.
Thus, it’s time for the UNHCR to come in and tell us what-for.
The likelihood of this happening is roughly zero. The current administration isn’t going to countenance it. If a Democratic administration takes over in 2021, the call for UNHCR intervention is going to go poof, no matter how bad the border crisis gets.
As a peek into what Ilhan Omar and the new American left thinks of U.S. sovereignty at the southern border, however, this is a dangerous and telling proposal.
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