According to AOC, Agents At Texas Detention Center Are Telling Migrants To Drink Water From Toilets
Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) has been under fire for months for the conditions of migrant detention facilities, including not giving children basic sanitary necessities, leaving out rotting food and providing standing room only conditions for migrants in some facilities.
AOC was on a trip to visit migrant detention centers with more than a dozen other House members Monday, and what they found has left them angered and in shock.
Democratic lawmakers described “appalling” conditions at a migrant detention center they visited in Texas at the U.S.-Mexico border.
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez accused U.S. border agents of conducting a program of “psychological warfare” against detained migrants who were told to drink water from toilets if they were thirsty.
California Rep. Judy Chu also said on Twitter that migrants were told to drink from the toilet if they wanted water. Pennsylvania Rep. Madeleine Dean in a tweet called conditions “far worse than we ever could have imagined.”
The lawmakers were taking part in a delegation organized by the Congressional Hispanic Caucus to El Paso and Clint, Texas, to investigate facilities used to detain undocumented immigrants. Ocasio-Cortez said on Twitter she “forced” herself into a cell to speak to women, who described “their treatment at the hands of officers as ‘psychological warfare’ – waking them at odd hours for no reason, calling them wh*res, etc.”
Upon leaving the facility, AOC immediately took to Twitter to detail the terrible conditions that migrants are facing in these detention centers.
“Just left the 1st CBP facility. I see why CBP officers were being so physically & sexually threatening towards me. Officers were keeping women in cells w/ no water & had told them to drink out of the toilets,” Ocasio-Cortez tweeted, referring to U.S. Customs and Border Protection.
AOC and other members of Congress pointed out how border patrol agents, ICE officers, and detention facility staff face zero accountability for their actions.
Two Democrats from Texas, Reps. Joaquín Castro, chairman of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, and Veronica Escobar, a freshman representative of the Hispanic Caucus, were also part of the group that toured immigration detention facilities in El Paso and Clint, Texas.
“We came today and we saw that the system is still broken,” Castro said at a press conference after their tour. “We are very concerned about the conditions in which people are being kept,” he said, as he and the other lawmakers were trying to speak above the din of protesters shouting, “America First!”
And the shocking report comes at the same time news broke of a secret Facebook group for border agents and their racist and sexist posts.
Her tweets came hours after Pro Publica reported that 9,500 Customs and Border Patrol agents had participated in a Facebook group replete with jokes about migrant deaths and sexist comments about lawmakers, including Ocasio-Cortez.
Customs and Border Protection said in a statement Monday it was opening an investigation into the Facebook group. It reported that members of the group shared a post in which a photo-shopped President Donald Trump is shown to force Ocasio-Cortez’s head toward his crotch and another illustration suggesting she engaged in oral sex with migrants.
“Today, U.S. Customs and Border Protection was made aware of disturbing social media activity hosted on a private Facebook group that may include a number of CBP employees,” said Assistant Commissioner Matthew Klein. He said the Department of Homeland Security’s inspector is beginning an investigation.
Reaction to the congresswoman’s visit to the detention center and the details were swift on Twitter.
The only way we are going to stop this cruelty is by creating change. And we can all do our part by calling, emailing, texting, or tweeting at our representatives. They have the power to stop this!
And many pointed out that if this is how CBP officers are acting while members of Congress are around…imagine how they act when they’re not.
“There’s abuse in this facility,” AOC tolda local El Paso NBC station. “This is them on their best behavior? And they put them in a room with no running water, and these women were being told by CBP officers to drink out of the toilet.”
Many took to Twitter to express their shock and outrage over the fact that this is happening in the USA in this day and age.
Some drew comparisons between the migrant prisons and the internment of Japanese-Americans during World War II.
While many others simply hoped that eventually all those guilty for these acts will finally be held accountable.
The best way we can hold those accountable is by getting out to vote. And voting not just for a new president in 2020, along with a new Senate, but also getting out to vote for your local representatives at the city, county, and state level.
Be the change you want to see!