Newly elected left-wingers have a simple message for Trump as he defends using violence against refugees

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Ilhan Omar
Ed Sykes

Recently elected politicians Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Ilhan Omar are speaking up for refugees on the US-Mexican border, taking a clear stand against Donald Trump’s ongoing propaganda.

“This is life and death”

Trump recently sought to militarise the border as Central American people fled the consequences of decades of US imperialism. And after authorities fired tear gas at refugees on 25 November, Ocasio-Cortez tweeted against Trump’s militarisation. Calling for a more respectful and peaceful response, she asked:

She also insisted:

Omar, whose own family fled to the US as refugees when she was a child, also spoke out. She stressed:

And she called on Trump to stop his “abuse of power”:

A country of immigrants that hates immigration

Without immigrants, the United States simply wouldn’t exist. But it no longer seems proud to say “Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free”. Because under Donald Trump, US soldiers on the border now have permission to use lethal force. And the US Customs and Border Protection authorities only have to claim that rocks hit four officers in order to explain away their use of tear gas against unarmed refugees, including mothers and children. The country’s president, meanwhile, seeks to justify a hostile response by insisting (repeatedly, and without evidence) that “many” of the refugees are “stone cold criminals”.

The most damning fact, however, is why refugees are fleeing from their home countries. Because it’s very much to do with the US. It’s a story of many, many decades of imperialist interference in Latin America; one which involves countless CIA operations, support for coups and brutal right-wing dictatorships, and vicious destabilisation campaigns which violated international law. And the US still mercilessly targets its opponents in Latin America with sanctions, smears, and other attacks while shamelessly supporting repressive allies.

Any US politician with an ounce of integrity, self-respect, or basic humanity would therefore be welcoming refugees with open arms. But such values aren’t Trump’s strong point. Fortunately, left-wing politicians like Ocasio-Cortez and Omar are proudly planting that flag right into the heart of establishment politics. And they couldn’t have picked a better time to do so.

Featured image via YouTube screenshot

We need your help ...

The coronavirus pandemic is changing our world, fast. And we will do all we can to keep bringing you news and analysis throughout. But we are worried about maintaining enough income to pay our staff and minimal overheads.

Now, more than ever, we need a vibrant, independent media that holds the government to account and calls it out when it puts vested economic interests above human lives. We need a media that shows solidarity with the people most affected by the crisis – and one that can help to build a world based on collaboration and compassion.

We have been fighting against an establishment that is trying to shut us down. And like most independent media, we don’t have the deep pockets of investors to call on to bail us out.

Can you help by chipping in a few pounds each month?

The Canary Support us
  • Show Comments
    1. I’m curious Alexandra Ocasio Cortez has sadly jumped the shark on Anti-Russia hysteria, Palestine, lionizes John McCain, supports the Pivot to Asia, but does Omar also endorse the Anti-Russia conspiracy theories, and I know she supports BDS but curious her thoughts on Syria and whether she supports Tulsi Gabbard’s Stop Funding Terrorist Act which would end US support for ISIS and Saudi/Qatari backed ‘rebels’ of which there are no moderates there. And ending Western efforts for regime change in socialist reformist countries like Venezuela, Nicaragua, and elsewhere I hope both don’t support that. Sadly much of the Western left are socialist reformers at home but imperialists overseas and are very inconsistent.

    Leave a Reply

    Join the conversation

    Please read our comment moderation policy here.