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Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez: migrants at holding facilities are “drinking out of toilets”

July 01, 2019

In a series of tweets, Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) lambasted the conditions of migrant holding facilities after having made a visit to a separate facility earlier in the day.

“Now I’ve seen the inside of these facilities,” she tweeted. “People drinking out of toilets, officers laughing in front of members [of] Congress. I brought it up to their superiors. They said ‘officers are under stress & act out sometimes.’ No accountability.”

Ocasio-Cortez also tweeted that “CBP officers were being so physically &sexually threatening towards” her and that “Officers were keeping women in cells w/ no water & had told them to drink out of the toilets.”

She said that she spoke to some of the women who described their situation as “psychological warfare.” The congresswoman then slammed the Trump administration’s request for extra funding to deal with the humanitarian crisis at the border.

Ocasio-Cortez went on to describe what she had seen at this facility and what people in this facility had told her, such as children being denied soap and toothpaste and the “desperation, lack of sleep, trauma, despair” that these women said they were enduring.

Other Democratic lawmakers were also present during this visit to the migrant holding facility. Former Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Joaquin Castro reportedly snuck a phone into one of these stations (according to congresspeople, phones were confiscated before they were allowed to enter the facility) and recorded women in their cells.

“This moment captures what it’s like for women in CBP custody to share a cramped cell – some held for 50 days,” Castro tweeted alongside a video, “for them to be denied showers for up to 15 days and life-saving medication. For some, it also means being separated from their children.”

Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib (D-Mi.), who also visited the facility, tweeted that the situation “devastating,” calling for the “camps” to close.

Congresswoman Madeleine Dean (D-Pa.) tweeted that “the conditions are far worse than we ever could have imagined” and called the situation a “human rights crisis.”

Brandon Judd, president of the National Border Patrol Council, criticized Ocasio-Cortez’s comments, calling them “baseless and ridiculous” allegations.

“Nobody is forced to drink out of a toilet and nobody is told to drink out of a toilet,” said Judd. “It’s completely and totally a baseless and ridiculous allegation and frankly it needs to be investigated and she needs to be exposed.”

“How can you have the moral high ground if you are going to throw facts out the window and spew falsehoods?” said Judd. “She gives absolutely no contexts to these allegations that she is making and by not giving context she is trying to paint a false narrative and a false picture and she needs to be held accountable for that.”

President Trump on Monday signed a $4.6 billion emergency spending bill to address the situation at the southern border. The funds will be directed towards addressing the poor conditions and overcrowded migrant holding facilities following a surge of illegal border crossings in recent months.

– MK. II

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