NEW YORK – Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez unloaded on President Donald Trump on Saturday, bashing his immigration policy as one that focuses on “ethnicity and racism.”
At her first town hall event in Queens since the president’s weeklong bashing of her and three other minority congresswomen — Reps. Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, Rashida Tlaib of Michigan and Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts — that included a tweet advising they “go back” to the countries they came from — the freshman firebrand vowed, “we’re gonna stay right here.”
“All you have to do is hear what the president said this week,” she said. “It’s not about immigration. When the president starts telling American citizens to ‘go back’ to their countries, this tells you that this president’s policy are not about immigration, but ethnicity and racism.”
She later told reporters, “He’s putting millions of Americans in danger. That’s what the real problem is, it’s not about me, it’s what he’s telling people in this room and rooms across the country.”
The Queens lawmaker also railed at the Trump administration’s separation of children from their families at the southern border, and called for “a 9/11 style commission.”
“They were charged with investigating and digging up every nook and cranny of the system,” she said of the panel created after the terror attacks. “Even if we do reunite the children, you create lifelong trauma after 48 hours. Some of these kids have been separated for a year. The United States is responsible for their lifelong trauma.”
Ocasio-Cortez doubled-down on her criticism of Customs and Border Protection officers at the Clint, Texas detention facility, where children were found to be without toothpaste, blankets or beds.
“It was that these officers felt so confident to break rules in front of their bosses … if this is how they’re acting when people are watching, then how will they behave when no-one is watching?” she said.
She blamed the Obama administration, however, for setting up the system, and for having “left all the trappings there, thinking that someone responsible would be in charge.”
“This isn’t about building a better cage,” she raged. “It’s about not caging people at all.”