House

New Mexico rep to introduce bill offering asylum to Canadian truckers protesting vaccine mandates

Rep. Yvette Herrell (R-N.M.) said on Saturday that she would be introducing legislation that would grant temporary asylum to those involved in the Canadian trucker protests.

“Just as we provide asylum for political prisoners, we should do the same for truckers who have been subjected to violence, had their property confiscated, and their bank accounts frozen by a government that is quickly becoming the embarrassment of the free world,” Herrell said in a statement on Twitter.

“I am introducing legislation that would temporarily grant asylum to innocent Canadian protesters who are being persecuted by their own government. We cannot be silent as our neighbors to the north are treated so badly,” she added.

Between Friday and Saturday, officials said that 170 people were arrested in Ottawa in connection to the demonstrations that took place against COVID-19 protocol measures in Canada, The Associated Press reported

The protests had dragged on for three weeks, but the street in front of Parliament Hill — where the majority of the demonstrations had been taking place — saw no protesters by early afternoon on Saturday, the newswire noted. 

The protests had already resulted in economic consequences, including for the auto industry, with the demonstrations having blocked the Ambassador Bridge that connects Detroit to Windsor, Ontario. Automakers said they suffered reduced shifts and parts shortages as a result of the blockage. 

“Illegal blockades and occupations are not peaceful protests – they’re a threat to jobs and communities, and they cannot continue,” Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau tweeted on Thursday. 

Earlier that week, he invoked the Canada’s Emergencies Act to clamp down on the protests.

But U.S. officials are concerned that the protests seen in Canada could be making their way to Washington, D.C. and elsewhere. Capitol Police said that they were aware of plans for truck convoys to come to the District around the time of President Biden’s first State of the Union. 

“Law enforcement agencies across the National Capital Region are aware of plans for a series of truck convoys arriving in Washington, DC around the time of the State of the Union. As with any demonstration, the USCP will facilitate lawful First Amendment activity,” Capitol Police said.

“The USCP is closely coordinating with local, state and federal law enforcement agencies, including DC’s Metropolitan Police Department, the United States Park Police, the United States Secret Service and other allied agencies to include the DC National Guard,” the law enforcement agency added.

Tags Canada Capitol police Joe Biden Justin Trudeau Yvette Herrell

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