Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) is using the refugee crisis arising from the Russian invasion of Ukraine as a platform for her effort to grant accessible pathways to US citizenship.
AOC made her argument to Rachel Maddow on MSNBC Tuesday evening after Joe Biden’s State of the Union Address. Maddow was interested in the “Squad” member’s thoughts on using overwhelming public sympathy for Ukrainian refugees to end the “demonization” of illegal aliens crossing the southern American border. Ocasio-Cortez took the conversation even further by promoting amnesty.
AOC pointed at the proposals to grant Temporary Protection Status (TPS) to refugees from the Russian invasion as a reminder that the way the US has treated “thousands of people” who have sought asylum or legal refuge, at the country’s southern border, particularly Haitian refugees” is “frankly, not right.”
TPS eligibility is based on a person’s country of origin and the Secretary of Homeland Security is authorized to designate foreign countries based on conditions. TPS status can be granted if a country’s nationals cannot return home safely or if their native country cannot handle their return.
She continued that when America accepts refugees, we should “make it for everybody, no matter where you come from,” essentially arguing that TPS status should not be tied to a person’s country of origin. She added that her idea should be supported by the “extraordinary support” for Ukrainian refugees.
AOC said that all refugees inside the US should be treated the same as how the world is treating Ukrainian refugees.
AOC said that if Ukrainian refugees are granted TPS, all TPS recipients should have citizenship paths. She acknowledged an undefined risk but noted that the country should take advantage of a “profound opportunity” to correct a “crooked path.”
She retweeted a video of her comments on MSNBC posted by a user who said her proposal should be extended to abolishing ICE, fighting racism and “ending white supremacy.”
The UN has estimated that around one million people have fled Ukraine as refugees to neighboring European countries. As the Russian military is reportedly expanding attacks on civilian targets, the number of people leaving Ukraine is sure to increase.