FEATURED:

Ocasio-Cortez on border tensions: Applying for refugee status isn't a crime

Ocasio-Cortez on border tensions: Applying for refugee status isn't a crime
© Stefani Reynolds

Rep.-elect Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) said Sunday that it's not a crime to seek refugee status, a comment that comes as tensions mount over a band of Central American migrants reaching the U.S.-Mexico border. 

"Asking to be considered a refugee & applying for status isn’t a crime," Ocasio-Cortez tweeted. 

"It wasn’t for Jewish families fleeing Germany. It wasn’t for targeted families fleeing Rwanda. It wasn’t for communities fleeing war-torn Syria. And it isn’t for those fleeing violence in Central America."

Ocasio-Cortez's tweet quoted a separate one from NBC News that featured a photograph of migrants running from a border crossing after U.S. border agents fired tear gas. 

ADVERTISEMENT

The agents began spraying tear gas after some migrants attempted to breach a border fence between Tijuana and California, according to The Associated Press. 

The news service noted that the breeze carried the tear gas from border agents "hundreds of yards."

The incident occurred just after the U.S. suspended pedestrian crossings at the San Ysidro port of entry. 

The migrants that were at the border crossing in Tijuana are members of the so-called migrant caravan that has gained widespread attention.

Most of the individuals are from Central America and fleeing violence. 

President TrumpDonald John TrumpJoaquín Castro: Trump would be 'in court right now' if he weren't the president or 'privileged' Trump flubs speech location at criminal justice conference Comey reveals new details on Russia probe during House testimony MORE has repeatedly lashed out at the band of migrants and has referred to the caravan as an "invasion." He's also threatened to shut down the border completely if Mexico does not hold the migrants while the U.S. processes their asylum claims. 

He said Saturday night "migrants at the Southern Border will not be allowed into the United States until their claims are individually approved in court."

"We only will allow those who come into our Country legally," he wrote on Twitter. 

The Washington Post reported on Saturday that Mexico's incoming administration has agreed to Trump's requested policy that would force migrants to stay in Mexico as they seek asylum.