Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a freshman congresswoman witnessed the critical condition in which the women and children are kept at detention facilities in Texas.
Three members of Congress paid a visit to the detention facilities for migrant women based in Texas on Monday. The trio included New York Representative, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who noticed a pattern of "systemic cruelty" being committed by Border Patrol officers against the resident women at the centers who were reportedly retained without the provision of basic facilities like running water and were further directed to drink out of toilet according to CBS News.
After I forced myself into a cell w/ women&began speaking to them, one of them described their treatment at the hands of officers as “psychological warfare” - waking them at odd hours for no reason, calling them wh*res, etc.— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) July 1, 2019
Tell me what about that is due to a “lack of funding?”
Making the rounds of a Customs and Border Protection (CBP) station in El Paso and Clint, Texas, the Democrat openly criticized the inadequate state of Trump administrative programs for migrant people. Accompanied by two other Democrats, Ocasio-Cortez went over to investigate the matter after reports of children and adults being kept in inhuman conditions made headlines. Lawyers who visited these detention centers brought to light how children had been caring for toddlers and infants and no one was around.
Now I’m on my way to Clint, where the Trump admin was denying children toothpaste and soap.— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) July 1, 2019
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.
They also discovered the lack of basic provisions like water, food, and sanitation. Describing the horrors she had witnessed, the freshman Democrat posted a tweet writing: This has been horrifying so far. It is hard to understate the enormity of the problem. We're talking systemic cruelty (with) a dehumanizing culture that treats them like animals. During her visit, she stumbled across one migrant woman who "described their treatment at the hands of officers as 'psychological warfare'" and explained how they were woken up "at odd hours for no reason, calling them wh*res, etc."
Just left the 1st CBP facility.— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) July 1, 2019
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.
The Congresswoman further mentioned how the brazen CBP officers simply laughed at the team during their visit to the El Paso Facility. While leaving the building, the trio was met with a bunch of reporters who were seeking a statement. "There's abuse in these facilities," said Ocasio-Cortez. "This was them knowing a congressional visit was coming. This was CBP on their best behavior. Telling people to drink out of the toilet." When CBP was asked for a comment on the lawmaker's grave allegations, the department overseeing Border Patrol officers failed to respond immediately.
"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
ProPublica, an "independent, nonprofit newsroom" which is set to "expose abuses of power and betrayals of the public trust by government, business, and other institutions" revealed how a private Facebook group created for the members of current and former Border Patrol officers passed lewd comments relating to the deaths of immigrants on the page. In addition, they posted sexists jokes about the Latina congresswoman. According to ProPublica's investigation, they found several obscene illustrations of the lawmaker engaging in unspeakable sexual acts with the current President of the United States and a detained migrant.
We can say she didn’t mention the sink wasn’t working, but it doesn’t change the fact that the women told her they were asked to drink water out of a toilet.— foreverfaithful (@foreverfaithf20) July 2, 2019
According to a report by CBS News, the United States Customs and Border Protection has now launched an investigation within its system. They also informed the inspector general of the Department of Homeland Security of the same. Referring to the obscene social media posts as "inappropriate", The Chief of Border Patrol, Carla Provost reportedly said that it went against the values of her agency. "Any employees found to have violated our standards of conduct will be held accountable," she said.
Minority women are separated from their young children at the border, asked to drink out of the toilet and not given necessary hygienic items to stay clean.— Island Girl 🏝🌺🌼🌻 (@DearGoodPeople) July 2, 2019
This is a humanitarian crisis and what sort of advice are you giving to your father @IvankaTrump ?
Ocasio-Cortez and her team made their way towards the Border Patrol facility at Clint after visiting the El Paso Center. The officials there were heavily criticized for their prevalent unsanitary and crowded facility. One of the lawyers went as far as to describe the condition of the residing migrant children as "inhumane." Pointing at the gross negligence, the lawmakers reflected how older children were seen taking care of infants. Let alone the availability of soaps and toothbrushes, many kids there did not even have a shower ever since they had crossed the border. They also reported about young mothers who had breast milk-stained clothes on.
As @AOC noted, people held in CBP custody are often asked to drink out of toilets, which is disgusting for those held in those facilities. Here's an example of one cell where a toilet/fountain in a cell has "Agua Potable" written above it. pic.twitter.com/dUJKzWaOHH— Aaron Reichlin-Melnick (@ReichlinMelnick) July 1, 2019
After Ocasio-Cortez's controversial claim of migrant women being forced to drink from toilets went viral, critics presented pictures of similar installations and pointed at the sink attachment on top of the commode. The label read "potable water" as per reports. When asked about the same, the lawmaker replied that the one she had seen at the facility was "not functioning" at the time. An unnamed Trump official said, "The sink on top of the toilets broke. But as soon as the sinks broke, border patrol put out jugs of water for migrants to drink right when that happened. The jugs were right there for everyone to drink."
This was in fact the type of toilet we saw in the cell.— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) July 1, 2019
Except there was just one, and the sink portion was not functioning - @AyannaPressley smartly tried to open the faucet, and nothing came out.
So the women were told they could drink out of the bowl. https://t.co/rcu9Rt6B2x
Netizens were quick to respond to her posts. Some did not believe even a word she said.
The illegals are not being held ahainst their will! They can leave and go home. So stop it !! You are a drama queen.— Diane🌸 (@DianeNoMoreLies) July 1, 2019
Um! It has a built in sink over the actual toilet. These are commonly used in detention centers and where it says “potable water” it’s from a separate water line. They don’t actually drink from the toilets as is being made out. Yes, some of your pics look unsanitary.— Michele (@micheleros) July 2, 2019
How did you force yourself into a cell? It’s a cell. Did you ask the officers why they were waking people at odd hours? What did they say?— Yakov Bronsteyn (@Bronsteyn) July 1, 2019
If they are being treated this bad, perhaps they should go home.— janedoe500 (@janedoe5001) July 1, 2019
Don’t believe you A— Pamela Bogie (@bogie_pamela) July 1, 2019
not even for one minute.
On the other hand, there were people who voiced their opinion in support of the Congresswoman.
I hope that @SpeakerPelosi has a real plan to check on this after passing a bill with no safeguards for the what is really happening in the border.— SG Andrea (@sg_andrea) July 1, 2019
This is #taxpayers money use to torture people.#TrumpCamps
Sadly, because you've become the spokesperson for very liberal democrats, your comments are suspect to many. We seriously need nonpartisan oversight of these facilities. Can a special counsel be appointed?— (((Elis Madison))) (@ElisMadison) July 3, 2019
So disgusted by what she is seeing.— Debra (@blowfish8888) July 1, 2019
Dear Ms Ocasio-Cortez I applaud your bravery and determination to seek the truth, in spite of the horrendous display of meanness in this thread. I am appalled by both the camps and the comments here. Thank you.— Jeanie K Smith (@dramagal614) July 3, 2019