[Pnews] Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Other Democrats Reject “Staged” Tour of Migrant Detention Facilities
ppnews at freedomarchives.org
Tue Jul 2 12:04:40 EDT 2019
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Other Democrats Reject “Staged” Tour of
Migrant Detention Facilities
Robert Mackey - July 1, 2019
_Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez_ resisted the efforts of Customs and
Border Protection officials to prevent her from speaking directly to
migrants detained in El Paso, Texas, on Monday, forcing her way into a
cell filled with women during a congressional delegation visit.
Emerging from the facility, Ocasio-Cortez wrote on Twitter
<https://twitter.com/AOC/status/1145766311794040834> that one of the
detained women “described their treatment at the hands of officers as
‘psychological warfare’ — waking them at odd hours for no reason,
calling them wh*res, etc.”
Ocasio-Cortez told reporters, in Spanish
English, that conditions at the facility were unacceptable and condemned
the behavior of the officers she encountered there. The detained women
were held without access to running water, Ocasio-Cortez said, and were
“told by CBP officers to drink out of the toilet.”
The comment set off a furious debate online, as conservative trolls
tried to argue that a kind of combination sink and toilet
installed in some CBP cells, which have been described by immigrant
rights advocates as filthy and disgusting, are perfectly acceptable.
Ocasio-Cortez replied later that the cell she forced her way into had no
working sink, and the detained women there were instructed to drink from
the toilet bowl.
This was in fact the type of toilet we saw in the cell.
Except there was just one, and the sink portion was not functioning
tried to open the faucet, and nothing came out.
So the women were told they could drink out of the bowl.
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) July 1, 2019
As the Democrats left to inspect a second detention facility — a CBP
station along the Mexican border in Clint, Texas, where detained
children have described appalling conditions
<https://youtu.be/BEvXhrMHhvY> — the pro-Trump Washington Examiner tried
to cast Ocasio-Cortez as overly aggressive. Another member of the
delegation, Rep. Joe Kennedy III, responded to the report by accusing
CBP officers of leaking “misinformation,” and described Ocasio-Cortez’s
decision to break away from the agency’s “staged” tour as entirely
appropriate congressional oversight.
. at AOC <https://twitter.com/AOC?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw> refused the rest
of the staged @CBP <https://twitter.com/CBP?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw>
tour so we could talk with 13 detained women in tears over lack of
access to medicine, showers, their children & basic decency.
— Rep. Joe Kennedy III (@RepJoeKennedy) July 1, 2019
officials at both facilities were “very resistant to congressional
oversight. They tried to restrict what we saw, take our phones, block
photos and video. Atmosphere was contentious and uncooperative.”
Although the CBP pressed the members of Congress to surrender their
phones before the tour started, at least one camera was smuggled in, by
Rep. Joaquin Castro, the Texas Democrat and Congressional Hispanic
Caucus Chair who organized the visit.
Here’s another photo from inside taken by @JoaquinCastrotx
we’re trying to comfort women trapped in cells.
This woman was telling me about her daughters who were taken from
her – she doesn’t know where they’ve taken them.
We held & listened to them. They were distraught.
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) July 2, 2019
For her part, Ocasio-Cortez said she felt menaced by the officers at the
El Paso detention center. “I was not safe from the officers in that
facility,” she told a reporter.
After the visit to Clint, Democrats, including Ocasio-Cortez, Rep.
Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts, and Rep. Rashida Tlaib of Michigan,
denounced what they had seen, speaking over a din of abusive comments
from Trump supporters gathered nearby.
"What we saw today was unconscionable," @AOC
<https://twitter.com/AOC?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw> says during visit to
border facility. "No woman should ever be locked up in a pen, when
they have done no harm to another human being. They should be given
water. They should be given basic access to human rights."
— Evan McMurry (@evanmcmurry) July 1, 2019
The Trumpist protesters were trying their best to pretend they were
pro-immigrant and diversity, but their mask disintegrated when
They yelled about how much they loved pork. When she said she loved
her country, they called her a foreigner. pic.twitter.com/4gdljhS8Ty
— Jonathan M. Katz?? (@KatzOnEarth) July 1, 2019
Rep. Rashida Tlaib had to endure a pro-Trump heckler yelling "We
don't want Muslims here either," "We don't care about Sharia law, we
care about Jesus Christ," "Go care about your own country." Video of
the scene in Clint: https://t.co/kL9tTbXV93 https://t.co/mxv7Bb1SRf
— Simon Romero (@viaSimonRomero) July 1, 2019
The visit came just hours after ProPublica reported
that Ocasio-Cortez and other lawmakers have recently been the target of
racist and sexist slurs on a Facebook group used by CBP officers.
According to A.C. Thompson of ProPublica, members of the 9,500-member
secret Facebook group for current and former Border Patrol agents joked
“about the deaths of migrants, discussed throwing burritos at Latino
members of Congress visiting a detention facility in Texas on Monday and
posted a vulgar illustration depicting Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez
engaged in oral sex with a detained migrant.”
The agency promised an investigation of the Facebook group. Matthew
Klein, assistant commissioner for the agency’s Office of Professional
Responsibility, said in a statement
that officers are “expected to adhere to CBP’s Standards of Conduct,
Directive No. 51735-013A both on and off duty, which states, ‘Employees
will not make abusive, derisive, profane, or harassing statements or
gestures, or engage in any other conduct evidencing hatred or invidious
prejudice to or about one person or group on account of race, color,
religion, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, age or disability.
This includes comments and posts made on private social media sites.'”
Member of the delegation to the border, including Rep. Nanette Barragán
of California, and Joaquin Castro, whose twin brother Julián is running
for president, called on CBP to fire all of the active officers trading
slurs about migrants and members of Congress on the secret Facebook group.
The comments made by @CBP
<https://twitter.com/CBP?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw> officials about
migrants and Members of Congress are reprehensible. Under no
circumstance should United States law enforcement officers use such
hateful, sexist and racist language. Anyone who was on this secret
Facebook page should be fired immediately.
— Nanette D. Barragán (@RepBarragan) July 1, 2019
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