WATCH LIVE: U.S. Reps. Ilhan Omar, Rashida Tlaib to respond to travel restrictions in St. Paul

ST. PAUL — Congresswomen Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., and Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich., are set to hold a news conference at the state Capitol on Monday, Aug. 19, to respond to travel restrictions imposed on their visit to the Middle East.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu last week denied Omar and Tlaib entry into the country for a proposed tour at President Donald Trump’s suggestion, saying the pair sought to “damage Israel and to foment against Israel.”

Omar and Tlaib have supported the Palestinian-led “boycott, divestment and sanctions,” or BDS, a movement that Palestinians say is aimed at voicing objection to Israeli military occupations. Opponents of BDS say the movement is an anti-Semitic effort to destroy Israel.

An advisory for the news conference said the congresswomen would discuss the travel restrictions as well as potential policy responses. People impacted by the travel restrictions were also expected to appear at the news conference. The news conference is set to take place on Monday at 3 p.m.

Watch the news conference here:


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The two Democrats are members are part of the so-called “squad” of freshmen liberal lawmakers of color who have frequently come under fire of the president. Trump has said Omar and Tlaib are becoming the face of the Democratic Party. And he has called on them to go back to the countries from which they came. All four are U.S. citizens and three were born in the United States. Omar came to the U.S. as a refugee from Somalia and gained citizenship in the United States.

Ahead of the news conference, Republican state lawmakers called on Omar to drop her support for BDS.

“Congresswoman Omar is once again making headlines because of her support for a movement that Democrats and Republicans agree is anti-Semitic,” state Rep. Ron Kresha, R-Little Falls, said in a news release. “She should reflect on her own statements about BDS and reconsider her support for this anti-Semitic movement.”