Ocasio-Cortez repeats 'concentration camp' comparison, despite criticism over the remark
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez once again compared border detention facilities to concentration camps on Tuesday, despite facing criticism for invoking the Holocaust by doing so.
Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., came under fire last month for saying the U.S. government is "running concentration camps on our southern border” during an Instagram broadcast.
The comment was widely condemned, including by two Holocaust survivors, Sami Steigmann and David Tuck, who told Turning Point USA that AOC's comments were ignorant and full of hubris.
However, on Tuesday the New York congresswoman again made the shocking comparison.
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Responding to the release of photographs taken inside facilities in Texas, she tweeted: “These are concentration camps.
“According to concentration camp experts, people begin to die due to overcrowding, neglect, and shortage of resources.
“We saw all three of those signs on our trip yesterday. Another person died yesterday. And those are the deaths we know about.”
Earlier on Tuesday, current and former immigration officials pushed back on Ocasio-Cortez’s recent high-profile accusations of cruel treatment at an El Paso border station, rejecting her claim that agents forced detainees to “drink out of the toilets” and insisting that their personnel “don’t treat people that way.”
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AOC traveled to the border on Monday with almost a dozen members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, as she blasted border officials as “violent” and “inhumane” -- while claiming agents forced migrant women and children being detained in cells to drink toilet water.
“They are not drinking out of the toilet—no Border Patrol agent is going to make anyone drink out of the toilet,” former U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) director Tom Homan said on Fox News' “America’s Newsroom” Tuesday. “It’s just ridiculous on its face.”
Homan alleged that Ocasio-Cortez was “clearly, intentionally misinforming the American public.”
He added, “She’s lost all credibility.”
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Homan suggested she was referring to the “apparatus” in holding cells that has an attached sink and toilet, but two separate water lines.
Ocasio-Cortez, though, maintained that while she did see the combination toilet-sink facilities, the station had only one of them, and the sink portion wasn't working.
“So the women were told they could drink out of the bowl,” she tweeted.
Homan acknowledged that the facilities “are jails” and “were not built for women and children,” saying that was why agents have been “begging” Congress for more funding for beds “so these families can be moved into a proper facility with proper care.”
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But, a Department of Homeland Security official told Fox News on Tuesday that CBP agents “are not equipped for the sheer volume of people” in facilities.
“HHS is backed up with children, so there is a real backlog at the CBP facilities there,” the official explained. “It’s a real problem. The supplemental funding will help, but it’s a band-aid on a much bigger problem.”
The official was referring to a recently passed funding bill for the crisis at the border.
Ocasio-Cortez’s visit and allegations came after the discovery of a secret Facebook group in which Border Patrol agents allegedly posted vulgar jokes and images about her, as well as illegal immigrants.
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The website ProPublica posted the story Monday headlined: “Inside the Secret Border Patrol Facebook Group Where Agents Joke About Migrant Deaths and Post Sexist Memes.”
In one post reported by ProPublica, a group member referenced the visits by Democrats and encouraged an officer to throw a “burrito at these b-----s.” Other posts included a vile, fake photo illustration of Ocasio-Cortez engaged in oral sex with President Trump.
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U.S. Customs and Border Protection condemned the posts.
“These posts are completely inappropriate and contrary to the honor and integrity I see—and expect—from our agents day in and day out," U.S. Border Patrol Chief Carla Provost said in a statement to Fox News. "Any employees found to have violated our standards of conduct will be held accountable.”
Fox News' Brooke Singman and Alex Pappas contributed to this report.