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‘The Squad’: Who are the congresswomen in Trump’s firing line?

By Chris Robertson, news reporter

Donald Trump has come under fire after taking aim at a group of Democrat congresswomen, telling them to "go back and help fix" their "broken and crime-infested countries" – despite them being American.

Despite not naming anyone in his tweets, it is widely thought he referred to four congresswomen, known widely as the "The Squad" – Ilhan Omar, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Rashida Tlaib and Ayanna Pressley.

The Squad have since been out to defend themselves against the president, accusing him of running "the most corrupt administration in our history". But who are they?

• Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

Ms Ocasio-Cortez, was elected in the 2018 midterms as a congresswoman for New York's 14th district. She is of Puerto Rican descent and a Spanish speaker.

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At the age of 29, AOC, as she is often known, is the youngest woman to ever serve in the US Congress.

Her politics are to the left of many others in her party, drawing criticism from senior figures such as Joe Biden and Nancy Pelosi, who have expressed scepticism at her ability to represent Democrats who can win a general election in a competitive district or state.

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She is hugely popular on social media, with 4.7m followers on Twitter and 3.8m on Instagram, and her posts frequently go viral across the world – leading many of her colleagues to ask her to help them with their own social media profiles.

Ms Ocasio-Cortez has submitted legislation in the house called the Green New Deal – which aims to phase out fossil fuels and overhaul the US' infrastructure. The legislation is not supported by Republicans, with only a handful of Democrats voicing their public support.

She supports progressive policies – particularly on immigration (she is big advocate for abolishing US Immigration and Customs, or ICE), LGBT+ equality, taxation and healthcare.

  • Ilhan Omar
Representative-elect Ilhan Omar, D-MN, attends a press conference in the House Visitors Center at the US Capitol in Washington, DC on November 30, 2018. (Photo by MANDEL NGAN / AFP)        (Photo credit should read MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)

Ms Omar, who was born in the Somali capital of Mogadishu, is a congresswoman for Minnesota's fifth district, and is one of only two Muslim women in Congress.

She is the only one of The Squad who was not born in the US, but she is nonetheless an American citizen.

She made a number of firsts when she was elected to office in 2018's midterm elections, including being the first Somali-American to serve, the first "naturalised" citizen from Africa to enter the house and the first woman of colour elected in Minnesota.

Ms Omar is a also a strong critic of US immigration policy, and has vehemently opposed President Trump's travel ban as well as his wider stance on immigration.

Like Ms Ocasio-Cortez, she has called for ICE to be abolished.

She supports free tuition for students with low incomes, a $15 minimum wage and expanding Medicare for All.

She has been the subject of death threats from political opponents, faced criticism for wearing a hijab, and been falsely linked to the 9/11 attacks in 2001.

However, she has come under fire for her criticism of Israel and her opposition to supporting Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido.

  • Ayanna Pressley
Massachusetts Democratic congressional candidate Ayanna Pressley addresses a town hall meeting in Roxbury, Massachusetts, October 13, 2018. (Photo by - / AFP)        (Photo credit should read -/AFP/Getty Images)

Ms Pressley is a congresswoman for Massachusetts' seventh district, and was elected alongside Ms Omar and Ms Ocasio-Cortez in the 2018 midterm elections.

In her primary election, she defeated ten-term incumbent Mike Capuano before running unopposed in her election.

She is the first black woman to be elected from Massachusetts.

In her victory speech after her primary victory, she called President Trump "a racist, misogynistic, truly empathy-bankrupt man", and is backing his impeachment.

Much like the rest of The Squad, she has called for the de-funding of ICE and Read More – Source

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