Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) visited Tijuana on Sunday to meet immigrant families and deported military veterans at the U.S.–Mexico border, as reported by The San Diego Union-Tribune.
Tlaib, who represents Michigan’s 13th Congressional District, rose to prominence as the first Palestinian woman to serve in Congress, as well as her involvement in the quartet of Democratic congresswomen of color elected in 2018 dubbed “The Squad,” which also includes Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (N.Y.), Ayanna Pressley (Mass.), and Ilhan Omar (Minn.).
Tlaib has spoken out about the need for immigration reform, stating that there’s a “need to adopt a humane immigration and asylum process and pass real immigration reform.”
Tlaib has been a vocal critic of the Trump administration’s immigration policies in the past. Visiting the border again, Tlaib wanted to bring stories back to Washington, D.C. that accurately convey the conditions of people who are affected by current immigration policies.
“I think it’s really powerful to look at the eyes of a mother who’s been separated from her children and understand the sense of urgency that she has,” Tlaib told reporters in a press conference in San Ysidro.
During the trip, Tlaib spoke to students at a middle school and addressed the former military members who are now forced to leave their “adopted country” that they served.
The congresswoman plans to return to San Diego and Tijuana again, although during her recent trip, she encountered conservative protests during two of her planned speaking engagements.
The founder of one of the conservative groups, attorney Daniel Piedra of the Freedom of Conscience Defense Fund, wrote a letter to the principal of the Poway school Tlaib was slated to speak at. Piedra said, “Rep. Tlaib has a public history of making anti-Semitic remarks and espousing animosity toward the State of Israel.” Piedra stated that this rhetoric “should be condemned” after a synagogue shooting in Poway that occurred last April.
Tlaib responded by saying, “The most American thing you can do is protest and say ‘I disagree with you.’”
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