Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) asserted that referring to the immigration crisis as a “surge” is rooted in white supremacist philosophy.
Ocasio-Cortez commented on the ongoing crisis at the border Tuesday on Instagram. Ocasio-Cortez came under public pressure in recent days to sound off on the issue under the Biden administration after being an outspoken critic of former President Donald Trump’s immigration policies.
The New York Democrat avoided explicitly blaming the Biden administration for the crisis, instead asserting that climate change, imperialism, and trade created it.
“People don’t want to have that conversation,” she said, referring to the issues she raised. She went on to claim anyone who refers to a “surge” of illegal migrants is trying to distract from other issues and is using white supremacist talking points.
“They want to say, ‘What about the surge?’ Well, first of all, gut check. Stop. Anyone who’s using the term ‘surge’ around you consciously is trying to invoke a militaristic frame and that’s a problem because this is not a surge,” Ocasio-Cortez said. “These are children and they are not insurgents, and we are not being invaded, which, by the way, is a white supremacist idea, philosophy; the idea that if an other is coming in the population, that this is like an invasion of who we are.”
Ocasio-Cortez passed over blaming President Joe Biden for the surge in illegal immigration since he won the election in November. Instead, she pointed to issues such as climate change, in contrast to the illegal migrants themselves who have cited Biden as a primary reason for their attempt at entering the United States.
“So let’s talk about this because so much of our national conversation, which is not a conversation, about immigration is driven by people who could not care less about immigrants. So often people want to say, ‘Why aren’t you talking about the border crisis?’ or ‘Why are you talking about it in this way?’” Ocasio-Cortez said.
“Well, we’re talking about it. They just don’t like how we’re talking about it because it’s not a border crisis, it’s an imperialism crisis. It’s a climate crisis. It’s a trade crisis. And also, it’s a carceral crisis because as I have already said even during this term and this president, our immigration system is based and designed on our carceral system,” she continued.
Last week, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) slammed Ocasio-Cortez for her muted response to Biden’s border crisis after being an outspoken critic of Trump’s immigration policies and referring to migrant detainment facilities as “concentration camps.”
“Where is AOC?” Graham asked. “Why aren’t you at the border looking at the things being reported. If you were worried about children under Trump being in bad conditions, this is worse. If you’re worried about people having COVID outbreaks, this is the biggest COVID spreader in the entire country. So where are you?”
In June 2019, Ocasio-Cortez accused the Trump administration of running “concentration camps” on the U.S. southern border.
“The United States is running concentration camps on our southern border and that is exactly what they are,” Ocasio-Cortez said on Instagram.