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Bowman Blames Decades of US Capitalism, Imperialism for Flow of Asylum-Seekers

"The best we can do is implement a 21st century Marshall Plan and help to rebuild Central America in the same ways that we have destroyed it."

A Central American woman and her son cross the Rio Grande on February 8th, 2021 to surrender to the border patrol at the Texas United States crossing. (Photo: David Peinado/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images)

A Central American woman and her son cross the Rio Grande on February 8th, 2021 to surrender to the border patrol at the Texas United States crossing. (Photo: David Peinado/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images)

New York Democratic Congressman Jamaal Bowman appeared on CNN's "Inside Politics" Sunday evening and said decades of U.S. imperialism and capitalist interests in Central America are largely responsible for those now seeking asylum at the nation's southern border.

Bowman emphasized the U.S. must prioritize better resources, safety, and housing to those currently seeking asylum, while also committing to rebuilding communities the U.S. helped destroy in Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, and elsewhere.

"We wanted their land and their natural resources, and we were engaged in coup d'etats and other behaviors in those areas in order to do so. Now we have to right our wrongs."—Rep. Jamaal Bowman (D-N.Y.)

"We need to have an honest conversation about immigration," he told host Abby Phillip. "We have disrupted the political, social, and economic systems in Central America for over a century, because of our personal capitalist interests."

"The best we can do is implement a 21st century Marshall Plan and help to rebuild Central America in the same ways that we have destroyed it," Bowman continued. "We wanted their land and their natural resources, and we were engaged in coup d'etats and other behaviors in those areas in order to do so. Now we have to right our wrongs."

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Bowman's comments follow continued accusations from Republican Congress members that a crisis is unfolding at the border. Many immigration lawyers and experts have refuted this claim which they argue is a distraction from implementing effective humanitarian solutions.

Bowman concluded his thoughts on immigration by imploring U.S. officials do everything in their power to provide asylum to as many of those seeking safety as possible.

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