Things That Matter

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.

Credit: @SFGate / Twitter

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.

Credit: @AOC / Twitter

“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.

Credit: @AOC / Twitter

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.

Credit: @BBCWorld / Twitter

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.

Credit: @AOC / 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.

Credit: @AOC / Twitter

“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.

Credit: @AOC / Twitter

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.

Credit: @AOC / Twitter

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!

READ: Historians And AOC Agree That Detention Centers Look Like Concentration Camps But Conservatives Don’t Want To Hear It

AOC Doesn’t Want Us To Go Back To 70-Hour Work Weeks When We Reopen The Economy

Things That Matter

AOC Doesn’t Want Us To Go Back To 70-Hour Work Weeks When We Reopen The Economy

CSPAN

For the past month and a half, the United States has seen a sweep of stay-at-home orders meant to protect communities and individuals from the deadly coronavirus. While these mandates have worked to “flatten the curve” of causing hospitals to be overwhelmed they have also caused massive job loss amongst Americans. Which is why many have taken to the streets to push back against quarantine orders and secure their jobs back.

Still, at this time researchers have tirelessly tried to explain that reopening the economy is not in the best interest of public health, or the country.

That’s why when President Donald Trump took to Twitter to encourage online extremist communities to push back against orders, many of us were not thrilled.

In a series of tweets last Friday, Trump called to “LIBERATE MINNESOTA!” Later he called to “LIBERATE MICHIGAN!” and “LIBERATE VIRGINIA, and save your great 2nd Amendment. It is under siege!”

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, in particular, was not amused. In a recent interview with VICE, AOC slammed President Trump’s support of protesters calling to “liberate” various states from their lockdown orders.

“Only in America, does the president, when the president tweets about liberation, does he mean ‘Go back to work,’” the progressive legislator said. “We have this discussion about ‘going back’ or ‘reopening’ — I think a lot of people should just say, ‘No, we’re not going back to that. We’re not going back to working 70-hour weeks just so that we can put food on the table and not feel any sort of semblance of security in our lives.”

In another portion of the interview, Ocasio-Cortez talked about the virus’s impact on her district.

“I have to call family members, congregations, and people in our community offering condolences day in and day out. I have to talk to teenage kids who have lost their parents. I have to talk to spouses that have lost their husband or wife of several decades,” Ocasio- Cortez said speaking of her district which encompasses Queens and the Bronx.

. “I have to talk to people who have lost their pastor or who have lost their imam or who have lost their spiritual leader of their community, and you know, I have to talk to people who say, ‘Where am I going to get my next meal,’ or ‘Am I going to be evicted from my apartment next month?’” 

AOC Gets Real About Biden’s Sexual Assault Allegations, Becomes First Member Of Congress To Even Bring It Up

Things That Matter

AOC Gets Real About Biden’s Sexual Assault Allegations, Becomes First Member Of Congress To Even Bring It Up

Scott Heins / Getty

With the Democratic primary season all but officially over, Vice President Joe Biden is now the presumptive nominee. He’s got the endorsements of his primary competitor, Bernie Sanders, and his former boss, President Obama.

Although Rep. Ocasio-Cortez hasn’t explicitly endorsed the former VP (she was a surrogate campaigner for Sanders), she’s come out in support of his candidacy since Sanders dropped out of the race. However, despite her strong support for his campaign, AOC admits there are still stones left unturned regarding Biden’s sexual assault allegations.

In an interview, AOC says it’s absolutely ‘legitimate to talk about’ the allegations against Joe Biden.

Credit: Paul Sancya / Getty

The congresswoman was asked about the allegation against the former vice president during an online forum hosted by The Wing, a women’s network and community space, by a questioner who said she was strongly opposed to President Trump’s reelection but that she also “really resent[s] the fact that the other choice is someone who has a really long history of being creepy to women,” citing the allegation by former staffer Tara Reade.

“I think it’s legitimate to talk about these things,” AOC responded, according to CBS News. “And if we want, if we again want to have integrity, you can’t say, you know — both believe women, support all of this, until it inconveniences you, until it inconveniences us.”

“I think a lot of us are just in this moment where it’s like, how did we get here? You know, it almost felt like we started this cycle where we had kind of moved on from, you know, from all of this. And now it feels like we’re kind of back in it,” she added. “You know, the most diverse field that we’ve ever seen — that we’re kind of back kind of replaying old movies in a way.”

Reade herself responded to AOC’s insights, saying she was proud to have the congresswoman weigh in — for the first time — on her allegations in a public way.

In the summer of 2019, Ms. Reade was one of several women to accuse Biden of a history of inappropriate touching and invasion of personal space. At the time, he said that while he apologized if he made anyone feel uncomfortable, he was not sorry for any of his intentions.

It was in the midst of the primary contest this spring that Reade made a more serious and more specific allegation against Biden, accusing him of pinning her against a wall and seriously assaulting her in the spring of 1993.

The Biden campaign has vehemently denied the allegation – although Biden hasn’t spoken about this particular one in public at all.

Credit: @JoeBiden / Twitter

His campaign told the New York Times, “It is untrue. This absolutely did not happen.” They also cited Biden’s role as an author of the Violence Against Women Act in response to the accusation.

“Vice President Biden has dedicated his public life to changing the culture and the laws around violence against women,” Kate Bedingfield, a deputy Biden campaign manager, said in a statement to the Times.

“He authored and fought for the passage and reauthorization of the landmark Violence Against Women Act. He firmly believes that women have a right to be heard — and heard respectfully.”

AOC also said it’s not fair to prioritize beating Trump in November over hearing the stories of survivors.

Credit: @CharlotteAlter / Twitter

“A lot of us are survivors, and it’s really, really hard and uncomfortable,” Ocasio-Cortez said, adding that choosing not to talk about the allegations is the “exact opposite of integrity.”

It’s “not okay” to prioritize beating Trump over discussing ugly and sensitive accusations against the other candidate, she said, because those issues are “very legitimate things.”

Despite the call for transparency, AOC committed to supporting Biden in his campaign against Trump.

Credit: Scott Heins / Getty

Speaking during a Wednesday morning appearance on “The View,” she said she was “absolutely” supporting presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden, arguing that “the stakes are too high when it comes to another four years of Trump.”

My community especially has been so impacted by the Trump administration,” AOC said of her feelings on the general election choices.

“For a lot of communities, this is an issue of life or death. We’ve had kids in cages, we’ve had a pandemic response that happened way too late, that has cost us lives, we have people that don’t have access to critical care that they need. I think it’s really important that we rally behind our Democratic nominee in November,” she continued.

AOC, who endorsed Sanders last fall, went on to speak out against voters going with a third-party candidate if Biden isn’t their ideal pick.

“I think it’s important to communicate some empathy. I know for a lot of people this was not the outcome that they may have wanted, and this was not the choice that they wanted to make. But ultimately, when it comes to those two, I don’t think it’s particularly close in terms of what communities will be made more vulnerable,” she continued.