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Ilhan Omar: The media is missing the point on the border crisis


Rep. Ilhan Omar wants the media to change the way it covers immigration.

“I think that there are some failures that are taking place,” the Minnesota congresswoman told CNN’s Chief Media Correspondent Brian Stelter on “Reliable Sources” Sunday. “And it’s really important for us to show the basic humanity and treat the causes of migration in the region.”

As of Saturday, more than 5,000 unaccompanied children were in US Customs and Border Protection custody, according to documents obtained by CNN. This news comes as President Joe Biden’s administration attempts to quickly devise solutions to address the evolving immigration situation.

The media largely has focused on the number of unaccompanied children at the border. But Omar is urging media outlets to address the root causes of the immigration crisis and focus on “cruel and contradictory” foreign policies.

The conversations around immigration is currently centered around “gaining political points,” Omar said.

“It’s not about the safety of Americans,” she added.

Republicans are ramping up their attacks on Democrats over the ongoing crisis at the border. Last week, they introduced a new ad campaign that accused Biden of opening the border instead of focusing on opening schools and businesses.

Omar took a stand of her own week, wrote a letter to Biden’s Director of Domestic Policy, Susan Rice and Secretary of Homeland Security, Alejandro Mayorkas, urging the Biden administration to issue an Executive Order announcing a plan to phase out contracts between ICE and state, county, and local jails and prisons.

On Sunday, Mayorkas declined to provide a timeline for when the Biden administration will open new facilities capable of handling the surge of unaccompanied children at the southern border.

— CNN’s Priscilla Alvarez and Michael Warren contributed to this report.

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