Dem Congresswoman Joins Migrant Caravan for Border Crossing, Helps Five Asylum Seekers Enter U.S.

US Rep. Pramila Jayapal, D-WA. (JASON REDMOND/AFP/Getty Images)
December 2, 2018

Democratic Rep. Pramila Jayapal (Wash.) joined the migrant caravan on Saturday in their attempt to cross the border, condemning President Donald Trump for "creating the crisis." She said she was able to help five asylum seekers gain access to the United States.

"I was able to successfully assist 5 asylum seekers - 2 unaccompanied minors, a mother and her 9 year old child, and a young man with a serious medical condition - into the United States," she wrote in a tweet.

The five people she assisted were initially denied entry.

"Initially they were denied, in violation of U.S. and international law, but I was able to intervene and ensure that they could simply present themselves for asylum in the United States," she said in a followup tweet.

Before she went to the border, Jayapal blasted Trump for "lying" about the caravan and creating a crisis for his own political benefit.

"The president is lying about this caravan, he’s fear mongering," Jayapal said. "He’s trying to use people who are seeking asylum and literally running from death just for his own political benefit and that’s a disgrace. He is creating a crisis at the border."

Jayapal, the newly elected chair of the House Progressive Caucus, cited in an interview the reason for her trip to the border was fueled by the border patrol's use tear gas for crowd control after nearly 500 migrants tried to rush the border.

"When I read the report about a week ago that kids and moms were being tear gassed, I just couldn’t sleep," she said. "I want to go see for myself what is happening, what happens to asylum seekers as they get to the border, how are they turned back, what’s happening to them in between, where the conditions in which they’re living.

The Department of Homeland Security released statistics that showed the use of pepper spray was used by previous administrations. In fact, the Obama administration used pepper spray at a higher rate than the Trump administration.