Monday, March 4, 2024

Ocasio-Cortez says migrant women were told to drink out of toilets at detention center

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) said that migrant women at a Customs and Border Patrol facility in Texas were held in cells without water and told by officers to drink out of the toilet.

“This was them on their GOOD behavior in front of members of Congress,” Ocasio-Cortez tweeted yesterday, after her visit to a CBP detention facility in El Paso, Texas. She was part of a delegation of more than a dozen Democratic members of Congress visiting facilities where migrants are held at the border.

“What we saw was appalling and disgusting,” Rep. Judy Chu (D-Calif.) said in a video on Twitter after the visit to the El Paso border patrol station. Ocasio-Cortez said she “forced” herself into a cell with migrant women, where one told her officers were waging “psychological warfare” against them by waking them at odd hours and calling them “whores.”

When officers allegedly laughed during the visit in response to migrants drinking out of toilets, Ocasio-Cortez said that a superior she had brought this up to, said the officers were “under stress” and acting out. As part of their Texas border visit Monday, House Democrats met with activists and advocates, went to an Office of Refugee Resettlement facility holding unaccompanied migrant children, and then visited a detention center in El Paso, before continuing to another one in Clint.

Earlier yesterday, ProPublica reported that thousands of current and former CBP agents were part of a secret Facebook group, in which some joked about migrant deaths, and others discussed throwing burritos at Latinx members of Congress who were expected to visit facilities Monday. One member also posted a derogatory illustration of Ocasio-Cortez that depicted her engaging in sexual acts with a migrant in detention.

Several House Democrats visiting the border condemned the alleged CBP agents’ postings; “They’re threatening violence on members of Congress,” Ocasio-Cortez tweeted. “How do you think they’re treating caged children+families?”