Critics slam Rep. Ilhan Omar over tweet claiming the ‘Latinx community’ would be harmed by merit-based immigration

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With hopes of strengthening the economy and protecting American workers, President Donald Trump recently announced a new proposal that would move the U.S. away from an immigration policy based on family ties and toward one based on merit — and as expected, Democrats weren’t too fond of the idea. But one freshman congresswoman took things a step too far.

Critics pounced on Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) after she tweeted that proposals of a merit-based system are “fueled by racism” and would adversely affect the “Latinx community.”

The congresswoman later deleted the tweet after reporters and Republicans alike pointed out that her message wasn’t exactly “Latinx”-friendly.

Fueled by racism

Rep. Omar may have deleted her ill-advised tweet that backfired, but not before screenshots were captured of her controversial comment that seemed to suggest that Hispanic immigrants wouldn’t measure up under a merit-based system.

“A ‘merit based’ immigration policy is fueled by racism toward the Latinx community,” Omar wrote on Tuesday. “Our immigration policies shouldn’t be based on discrimination, fear, or bigotry.”

Called out

That tweet from Omar caught the eye of Republican Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, the self-described son of a Latino immigrant from Cuba.

The 2016 presidential hopeful tweeted on Tuesday that he was “troubled” to hear “that Dems seem to believe Hispanic immigrants can’t qualify for skills-based legal immigration.”

Low expectations

Omar also faced critique from Mark Krikorian, director of the Center for Immigration Studies, a non-profit think tank.

“Omar’s statement assumes that Hispanics could not make the cut in a merit-based system, which I assume is why she deleted the tweet,” Krikorian said. “But whatever the final criteria are when the White House plan is actually released, they’re guaranteed to be race-neutral, and there will be people of all kinds who could meet them.”

Krikorian added: “Omar is herself making a racialist argument — i.e., she [is] saying that any policy change that changes the national-origins makeup of the current immigration flow is ‘racist,’ which is ridiculous.”

Omar may have initially thought she’d hit on a winning message. After all, accusing the president of racism has become a favorite pastime of liberals as of late.

But the freshman congresswoman’s plans backfired in a humiliating fashion — and unfortunately for her, while she can delete as many tweets as she wants, screenshots of her controversial messages will live on forever.

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