On Monday, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and other lawmakers visited U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) detention camps in Texas, later going on social media to decry the conditions. The New York congresswoman accused CBP officers of being “physically and sexually threatening” and claimed women there were forced to drink water from toilets.
She also railed against a private Facebook group in which CBP officers which made cruel jokes about migrant deaths as well as lewd posts about Ocasio-Cortez. The CBP acknowledged the “disturbing social media activity” and announced that an investigation is underway into what U.S. Border Patrol Chief Carla Provost called “completely inappropriate” posts.
Today, CBP was made aware of disturbing social media activity hosted on a private Facebook group that may include a number of CBP employees. CBP immediately informed DHS Office of the Inspector General and initiated an investigation. Full statement: https://t.co/JdPNcZz36S pic.twitter.com/9f7BgKKrgU— CBP (@CBP) July 1, 2019
Ocasio-Cortez’s account of the “systemic cruelty” and “abuse” she witnessed has sparked outrage and calls for reform within CBP. But Fox Nation’s Tomi Lahren was among the conservatives left unmoved by the congresswoman’s treatment.
In a scathing tweet posted Monday, Lahren defended the CBP officers and called Ocasio-Cortez “completely out of line and a disgrace to this nation.”
You have zero awareness of what our @CBP officers do on a daily basis. Are you surprised they don’t want to be around you? No law enforcement official would. You’re completely out of line and a disgrace to this nation. I feel sorry for our @CBP officers who had to be near you. https://t.co/Q19DbtH0hX— Tomi Lahren (@TomiLahren) July 1, 2019
Lahren, who is promoting her new book, went on to attack liberals, tweeting, “the demonization of CBP is disgusting.”
The Left hates law enforcement, period. Gets in the way of growing their precious illegal immigrant voting bloc. The demonization of @CBP is disgusting. They are dealing with this invasion every single day while Democrats just come down for a photo op & shed crocodile tears.— Tomi Lahren (@TomiLahren) July 1, 2019
Both comments drew sharp criticism. Many cited ProPublica’s report exposing the private CBP Facebook group and the fact that Ocasio-Cortez had actually visited the facilities.
When my job is hard, I don't torture people to blow off steam.— J.H. Jamshidi 🌈 (@britneysho) July 2, 2019
You can't even call them law enforcement when they break more laws than they enforce.
I don't hate law enforcement. I do hate YOU & racist cops who kill unarmed Americans. And your Illegitimate president just had a photo op with a murderous dictator, Republicans would lose what little bit of mind they had left if it was Obama who did that.— DΔX™ (@Dax_x98) July 2, 2019
Wow! This is textbook projection!— Tris Resists (@TrisResists) July 1, 2019
I’m honestly embarrassed and ashamed for you Tomi!
But, be best, amirite? 🙄
Since she has actually visited the facility and you have not I think she might know a little more than you.— Stevie Ann (@stevieanntas) July 2, 2019
Really, Tammy? That’s who you feel sorry for? ‘Cause I feel sorry for the children sleeping on concrete under foil blankets. I’m not sure what’s wrong with you. Maybe this right wing grift of yours has caused you to shed some humanity.— Daniel Johnson (@NorgeDan) July 2, 2019
Ocasio-Cortez hasn’t responded to Lahren’s jibes, but has continued to speak out about the “inhumane behavior” she says she experienced.
And to these CBP officers saying they felt “threatened” by me -— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) July 2, 2019
They were literally discussing making a GoFundMe for an officer who attacked my on my tour.
They confiscated my phone, and they were all armed. I’m 5’4”.
They’re just upset I exposed their inhumane behavior.
When you pair:— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) July 2, 2019
- 9,500 current + former CBP officers are part of a violently racist & sexually violent secret Facebook group
- Corroborating accounts of abuse
- CBP couldn’t control their own officers for a Congressional tour
What else do you call that but a rogue agency?
Other Democrats on the trip to Texas have echoed her concerns.
This moment captures what it’s like for women in CBP custody to share a cramped cell—some held for 50 days—for them to be denied showers for up to 15 days and life-saving medication. For some, it also means being separated from their children. This is El Paso Border Station #1. pic.twitter.com/OmCAlGxDt8— Joaquin Castro (@JoaquinCastrotx) July 1, 2019
Just left the first CBP facility. The conditions are far worse than we ever could have imagined.— Congresswoman Madeleine Dean (@RepDean) July 1, 2019
15 women in their 50s- 60s sleeping in a small concrete cell, no running water. Weeks without showers. All of them separated from their families.
This is a human rights crisis.
2) Facilities are wholly inadequate. Cells maxed to capacity, concrete floors...It felt jail-like. No way to keep a child or innocent human being. Group of 13 women from Cuba were in tears when we spoke with them.— Rep. Joe Kennedy III (@RepJoeKennedy) July 1, 2019
Our oversight is not deterred. Congress won't let up.— Rep. Joe Kennedy III (@RepJoeKennedy) July 1, 2019
We can't just focus on the children anymore. I met grandmothers, mothers and fathers who are suffering. This is devastating. The look in one father's eyes broke me. I can't look away. #CloseTheCamps— Rashida Tlaib (@RashidaTlaib) July 1, 2019
"If you want water, just drink from a toilet." That's what border patrol told one thirsty woman we met on today's #DemsAtTheBorder trip. These are the same CBP personnel who threatened to throw burritos at members of Congress. Changes must be made. #DontLookAway pic.twitter.com/dW34DRduDA— Judy Chu (@RepJudyChu) July 1, 2019
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