“Her attempt to distract from her continued use of misleading, overblown statements ended up in her making yet another misleading, overblown statement.”
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., claimed during an Instagram live video Wednesday that the U.S. has a “deliberate policy” to “cage children at the border and inject them with drugs.”
Ocasio-Cortez’s audacious remarks came during a diatribe about being the “youngest woman to ever be elected to the United States Congress” who has “plenty of time to learn.”
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“I’m 29. I’m the youngest woman to ever be elected to the United States Congress. I have plenty of time to learn. And I’m not afraid to make mistakes and iterate in public,” Ocasio-Cortez said. “And frankly, if the mistakes that I’m making are just a one-off rhetorical thing, you correct it, acknowledge it, and move on.”
The freshman congresswoman continued by comparing her errors to the purportedly much worse sins committed by President Donald Trump and his administration.
“At least I’m not trying to cage children at the border and inject them with drugs,” Ocasio-Cortez said in a clear reference to Trump’s immigration policy. “That’s not a mistake. That’s a deliberate policy based on their national origin. That’s not a mistake. That’s just cruelty. And that’s just wrong.”
The claim that it’s U.S. policy to “cage children” and “inject them with drugs” did not go unnoticed by critics of Ocasio-Cortez.
Ocasio-Cortez’s claims appeared to be plainly misleading, as the Independent Journal Review’s Madison Dibble noted in a fact-check of the congresswoman’s remarks.
“As far as caging children being a ‘deliberate policy’ of the United States, that’s not true,” Dibble wrote.
“A Ninth Circuit court ruling required that children not be detained in adult prisons after illegally crossing the border with their parents,” Dibble continued. “The 1997 ruling in Flores v. Reno set forward the policy of keeping children in separate facilities while the parents are being legally processed.”
“That law wasn’t ever codified by any state or the U.S., meaning that there is not an official policy for family separation, rather a court ruling,” Dibble said.
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Dibble also pointed out that Ocasio-Cortez voted for Barack Obama, who oversaw the policy of family separation at the border during his time as president.
“Ocasio-Cortez claimed that she was not part of the caging of children,” Dibble wrote. “But she did vote for former President Barack Obama who was in charge while children were being separated from their families and being held in subpar facilities.”
As far as the claim that children were forced to be injected with drugs, Dibble pointed out that too was false.
“The congresswoman was likely referring to a lawsuit that was filed in 2018 that alleged that a detention center in Texas gave children psychotropic drugs to reduce anxiety,” Dibble said. “While that may be the policy of that facility, there is no legislation that mandates or even condones the practice.”
Dibble said a court ruling halted the practice at the facility.
“A judge ruled that the facility must stop the practice because it was illegal and the judge ordered that all children be removed from the facility,” Dibble wrote.
Concluding her fact-check, Dibble took aim at Ocasio-Cortez for continuing to mislead her followers.
“Her attempt to distract from her continued use of misleading, overblown statements ended up in her making yet another misleading, overblown statement,” Dibble said in conclusion.
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- Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., speaks during an Instagram Live video on April 3, 2019.: Screen grab