WASHINGTON – Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) responded to President Donald Trump arguing that freshman Democratic lawmakers want to open the U.S. borders.
“Is that what you are advocating for – open the borders to anyone who wants to come?” Ocasio-Cortez was asked.
“No, I think we’re advocating for a humane border and he can’t conceive of a border where we don’t cage children, rip them from their parents. And to him, a lack of torture equals an open border. He literally cannot think of an immigration system where we don’t hurt innocent people, so I think that’s where he’s coming from there,” she replied.
Trump repeated his open borders criticism of Democrats at his rally in Greenville, N.C., this week.
“You can’t say you love our country if you want to destroy it through open borders. Open borders are a disaster,” he said. “Nowhere in this world is there anything like what’s happening with immigration, how bad it is. The Democrats’ open-border policies deplete our public services, overcrowd our schools and hospitals, and bring crime, drugs and deadly gangs into our community.”
Ocasio-Cortez, who has advocated for abolishing Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), was asked if she would want to see a replacement for the agency.
“Yeah I think we need an accountable system, one that is accountable to our constitutional protections of due process, which ICE doesn’t necessarily provide,” she said on Wednesday.
Ocasio-Cortez added that the Department of Justice could handle human trafficking and drug trafficking initiatives in the absence of ICE.
The first-term congresswoman is expected to meet with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi after the speaker criticized the four freshman lawmakers who voted against the humanitarian package Congress passed to address the border crisis.
Pelosi told the New York Times that “all of these people have their public whatever and their Twitter world but they didn’t have any following. They’re four people and that’s how many votes they got.”
Ocasio-Cortez was asked what she hopes is the outcome of the meeting.
“I think it’s just about reconnecting and I think the point is communication, right? So it’s not about any kind of pre-set agenda but making sure that we’re keeping lines of communication open,” she said.