Concern continues to grow about the Trump administration’s treatment of detained immigrants seeking asylum in the United States. This week, a large group of Democratic members of Congress including Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) visited facilities where these asylum seekers are being held. Afterwards, she bluntly spoke out about border patrol’s behavior, slamming officers for being “physically & sexually threatening towards” her and for their inhuman treatment of the detainees.
The reference to threats centers on the recent revelation of a secret Facebook group for current and former border patrol agents that contained edited imagery placing Ocasio-Cortez in sexually demeaning situations and other violent rhetoric, like a call for someone to physically confront the group of Democrats who visited the border this Monday. The prominent progressive Congresswoman shared after leaving a detention facility in the El Paso area:
‘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. This was them on their GOOD behavior in front of members of Congress… This has been horrifying so far. It is hard to understate the enormity of the problem. We’re talking systemic cruelty w/ a dehumanizing culture that treats them like animals.’
Ocasio-Cortez also added that women told her stories describing “their treatment at the hands of officers as “psychological warfare” – waking them at odd hours for no reason, calling them wh*res, etc.” Other details that have emerged in recent days include the story that at the El Paso facility, a cell “meant for a maximum of 35 held 155 adult males with only one toilet and sink” and that cell “was so crowded the men could not lie down to sleep.” According to Ocasio-Cortez and at least one other member of the visiting delegation, border patrol were confrontational during their visit to the facilities, forcing them to hand over their phones while in the facility and more.
The Trump team has responded to the problems and the rising tides of concern by claiming it’s Democrats’ fault because they hesitated to simply pour more money into this mess. Money is not needed to keep agents from dehumanizing detainees, however.
Check out Twitter’s response…
Featured Image via screenshot