New Mexico Rep. introducing bill to grant temporary asylum to Canadian Freedom Convoy protesters

New Mexico Republican Rep. Yvette Herrell said she's introducing a bill to grant temporary asylum to Canadians protesting in the Freedom Convoy
Protesters of the Freedom convoy gather near the parliament hill as truckers continue to protest in Ottawa, Canada on February 7, 2022.

Rep. Yvette Herrell (R-N.M.) said she's introducing a bill to grant temporary asylum to Canadians protesting in the Freedom Convoy, a movement led by truckers and farmers to end the ongoing COVID-related mandates and lockdown.

The protest began after Canadian Prime Minister Trudeau mandated that truckers crossing the U.S. border with Canada be fully vaccinated or quarantine.

The convoy quickly received worldwide support, with nearly $10 million in donations initially pouring into crowdfunding platforms intended to support it.

But instead of ending the mandates and lockdown policies, Canadian Prime Minister Trudeau invoked the Emergencies Act for the first time in Canadian history. Under the Emergencies Act, banks can immediately freeze or suspend bank accounts of protesters without a court order and be protected from civil liability.

Trudeau claims the blockades were "illegal and not peaceful protests and have to stop" and instructed riot and mounted police to arrest those blocking the streets of Ottawa, including protesters on foot.

Ottawa's Police Chief announced: "If you are involved in this protest, we will actively look to identify you and follow up with financial sanctions and criminal charges. Absolutely. This investigation will go on for months to come."

In response, Herrell said, "Justin Trudeau's heavy-handed crackdown against peaceful protesters in Canada is not the action of a Western Democracy, but that of an authoritarian regime like Venezuela.

"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," she said

Herrell said her proposed legislation would temporarily grant asylum to Canadian protesters.

Nearly 200 protesters have been arrested in Ottawa since Feb. 18, according to police.

Trudeau's methods are "way out of line," Herrell told "Fox & Friends." "It’s heavy-handed ... a crackdown on issues like this do not deserve or warrant what he's trying to do. They have not invoked something this serious since World War I or World War II. Truly, this is an attack on those who want to peacefully protest and protect, really, [at] the end of the day, our freedom."

U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) says he remains "deeply concerned about the abuse — seizing money and employing violence against peaceful protesters — that we're seeing in Canada."

Three Republican attorneys general — Todd Rokita of Indiana, Mark Brnovich of Arizona, and Ken Paxton of Texas — all announced efforts to protect Americans who donated to the Canadian protesters after the crowdfunding site GoFundMe initially said it was blocking the fundraising and donating the $10 million to charities it selected. GoFundMe offiials later said it would return the money to donors.

The majority of the Canadians supporting or involved with the Freedom Convoy "have simply participated in the time-honored tradition of peaceful protest," Rokita said.

After a hacker broke into the website of GiveSendGo, another platform accepting donations for the Freedom Convoy, Rokita said the hacker's "primary objective is to squelch free speech through their harassment and intimidation of the protesters."

While the Canadian government may choose to silence Canadians, "Hoosiers will not be silenced from speaking out in defense of their liberties, whether through direct participation in rallies or through contributing resources to fellow patriots staging the demonstrations," Rokita said.

Cruz also asked, "Are there any civil liberties organizations remaining? Or are they all now on the side of jack-booted thugs?"

The Canadian Civil Liberties Association has sued. "The government has brought in an extreme measure that should be reserved for national emergencies, a legal standard that has not been met," the organization argued. "Emergency powers cannot and must not be normalized."

Herrell's bill isn't likely to pass in a Democrat-led Congress.