Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez said in an interview Tuesday that the United States has a “responsibility” to take in immigrants because of its destructive influence around the world.
Speaking on “Ebro in the Morning,” a radio show on the New York City hip-hop station Hot 97, Ocasio-Cortez recalled visiting Customs and Border Patrol facilities in Texas early this month. She declared that the people she saw there were “refugees” whom the United States helped to drive from their homes.
“These people are refugees,” the New York Democrat said, though a small fraction of immigrants are ultimately recognized as such. “They are fleeing political persecution. They are fleeing violence. They are fleeing social destabilization, which the United States has played a role in. We’ve played a role in it.”
Ocasio-Cortez went on to give examples of supposedly destructive U.S. interventions abroad.
“When we decide to drop bombs in Yemen, and have conversations about getting involved in Syria and Iran and Central America, we are participating and we are opening ourselves up to destabilizing a region,” she said. “And when you destabilize a region, people flee. And I believe, then, we take the responsibility.”
“There’s room in this country,” she added.
Ocasio-Cortez was apparently referring to U.S. support for Saudi Arabia’s war against Houthi rebels in Yemen, which since 2015 has killed thousands of civilians and exacerbated a national famine. But the U.S. military has only fired at the Gulf country in limited retaliation for attacks on its warships.
When it comes to Syria, Iran and Central America, Ocasio-Cortez and other left-wing critics of the Trump administration have led many of the “conversations” about alleged Trumpian invasion plots.
The congresswoman has also repeatedly condemned U.S. foreign policy and suggested that she views immigration to the United States as akin to a human right, helping to push her party leftward on the issue.
Ocasio-Cortez tells more horror stories about immigrant women
Earlier in the Hot 97 interview, Ocasio-Cortez elaborated on the conditions she saw at the Border Patrol facilities. She did not repeat her dubious past claims that detained migrant women were “drinking out the toilets.” But she did recall seeing “13 women on a concrete floor.”
“Their hair was falling out, they had sores in their mouths,” she said.
Addressing the many skeptics of her horror stories, she said: “No one wants to believe that the situation is as bad as it is, and so it’s easier to accuse us of lying.”
Host Ebro Darden, for one, accepted Ocasio-Cortez’s account without question. He blamed President Donald Trump’s “zero tolerance” immigration policy, which he said “now criminalizes anyone that comes across the border.”
“They’re getting treated as criminals not as people seeking for asylum,” he said. “I think the mainstream media’s gotten away from that, and I don’t believe the public quite understands the fact that the president, once he said ‘This is a no-tolerance,” it moved into a difference zone.”
“Exactly,” Ocasio-Cortez replied.
She failed to note that Americans have stopped fixating on Trump’s zero-tolerance policy because it ended over a year ago. Anyway, crossing the U.S.-Mexico border without authorization has been a crime for 90 years, and the law has been systematically enforced since 2004.
“This has always been about race”
Instead, Ocasio-Cortez transitioned to bashing the Republicans. She accused GOP lawmakers of hypocrisy because, in some cases, they celebrate economic growth while also seeking to limit immigration.
“On one hand, Republicans love to say the economy’s going great, unemployment’s at all time lows, blah blah blah, you know, everything’s going amazing, we cant even hire enough people,” she said. “And then on the other hand, they’re talking about how immigration is bad, and how we cant have immigrants.”
The real reason Republicans are immigration restrictionists is because they’re racists, she declared. As proof, she cited Trump’s suggestion earlier this month that she and three other freshman Democratic congresswomen “of color” “go back and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came.”
“By the way, this has never been about undocumented immigrants, it’s never been about this,” Ocasio-Cortez said. “They’ve always said that, but to the point that you are now telling members of Congress to quote unquote ‘Go back to your own country,’ you showed your hand. You showed your hand. This has always been about race.”
“They don’t believe in a future”
Ocasio-Cortez rejected Trump’s attendant charge that she and her “squad” hate the United States. She argued that his “Make America Great Again” slogan proves that he is the one “trashing the country.”
However, at another point in the interview, she added fuel to the president’s allegations that the congresswomen “hate Israel.”
When Darden said that “white supremacist Jews” are “legit aligning with racism and white supremacy” and “what’s going on with Israel and Palestine: is “very very criminal” and very very unjust,” she replied: “Absolutely.”
— RNC Research (@RNCResearch) July 30, 2019
Later, Ocasio-Cortez argued that whereas Democrats have plans for America ― from decriminalizing illegal immigration to providing healthcare for all ― Republicans simply want to destroy the country’s future.
“They don’t know how to govern, and not only do they want to continue business as usual, they want to deepen this,” she said. “Their goal is to make sure that frankly that government as we know it is dismantled, and the way that they justify it is by having this argument that none of this is worth it.
“That’s like really the core of it,” she continued. “They don’t believe in a future. I mean i just don’t think they believe in a future for the United States, so they’re just like, let’s just get ours.”
Ocasio-Cortez was proud enough of her performance to tweet out a clip from the interview later in the day.
“That was one of the most in-depth political interviews I’ve had in a long time,” she gushed.