Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., claimed climate change is a “major factor” of the global migrant crisis after earlier suggesting that the United States would have “blood on our hands” if legislation is not passed to tackle climate change.
“The far-right loves to drum up fear & resistance to immigrants,” the freshman congresswoman tweeted on Tuesday. “But have you ever noticed they never talk about what‘s causing people to flee their homes in the first place?
“Perhaps that’s bc they’d be forced to confront 1 major factor fueling global migration: Climate change.”
But for many migrants traveling from Central America, violent crime and extreme poverty are the driving forces of migration.
El Salvador has one of the highest murder rates in the world, due in part, to gangs like MS-13, which was started by Salvadoran immigrants in the U.S. and spread to El Salvador and other countries.
In Honduras, nearly two-thirds of the population, or almost 5.5 million people, live in poverty, according to the World Bank. Per capita income averages just $120 per month.
Earlier Tuesday, Ocasio-Cortez discussed the role of global warming and national security at a House Oversight Committee hearing with John Kerry, the former Secretary of State, and Chuck Hagel, the former Secretary of Defense.
“So I think what we have laid out here is a very clear moral problem and in terms of leadership, if we fail to act or even if we delay in acting, we will have blood on our hands?” asked Ocasio-Cortez. “I don’t know if you’re allowed to agree with that Secretary Kerry or Secretary Hagel, but would you agree with that assessment?”
Kerry responded that “we are complicit” as long as nothing is done to stem climate change.
“And we’re going to contribute to people dying, we’re going to contribute to trillions of dollars of damage to property and we will change the face of life on this planet,” he said.
Ocasio-Cortez has championed the Green New Deal, a radical measure that calls for a massive overhaul of the nation’s economy and energy use to cut emissions. It is estimated to cost up to $93 trillion or $600,000 per household, according to studies.
A test vote on the proposal recently failed in the Senate with no senator voting to begin debate on the legislation.
Fox News' Chris Irvine and Frank Miles contributed to this report.