Democratic New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez spoke Friday at a live-streamed town hall for her district where she pushed for an increase of the U.S. immigration cap amid the chaotic Afghanistan withdrawal.
Ocasio-Cortez initially discussed the deal made between former President Donald Trump and the Taliban. She then went on to advocate for the immigration cap being raised to 200,000 people. (RELATED: White House Backtracks After Top Dems Slam Biden’s Decision To Keep Trump’s Refugee Cap In Place)
“We must increase the refugee cap. It’s only 200,000. That’s minimum. I believe it should be higher. But that minimum is not just for Afghan nationals. That’s the total cap. That includes all refugees like those from Haiti and natural disasters and beyond,” Ocasio-Cortez stated.
“The U.S. left the largest airbase and announced a new deadline of August 31st. We were managing a delicate deadline from the former President of the US had committed to,” Ocasio-Cortez said referring to Trump’s deal.
General Kenneth F. McKenzie said that just over 100,000 civilians have been evacuated from Afghanistan as CNN reported, with over 60,000 being Americans.
“In a matter of weeks, we have evacuated tens of thousands,” Ocasio-Cortez said. “If you are a veteran, service member, Afghan, Afghan American and you know individuals in Afghanistan who need help with evacuation, we are assisting in coordinating with bringing people over.”
While other countries’ planes are leaving Kabul empty, there are private contractors evacuating refugees from Afghanistan to account for this.
“I’ve proposed a letter to the Biden administration to increase our annual refugee cap and quota to a minimum of 200,000 refugees this year,” she said, “we should assume the responsibility of increasing refugee cap numbers, I believe that’s the least we can do,” she said.
The current Biden administration’s proposed refugee cap sits at 62,500 for 2021, and 125,000 for 2022, according to Pew Research.
“I would like to remind those folks that many of these Afghan nationals are people who trusted and worked with the U.S.,” Ocasio-Cortez said, “I can’t stress enough that this is not just a left or right issue,” she continued.