Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez slammed President Donald Trump’s immigration policies and suggested his rhetoric adversely affects local economies.
The new Congresswoman from New York ripped into the president’s address to the nation Tuesday in an interview with MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow, blasting his immigration policies as “anti-American” and at one point, seeming to suggest people would not get meals because immigrants would not be available to cook for them.
Maddow questioned the self-described Democratic socialist about the effect of Trump “demonizing immigrants,” falsely stating that the president has made anti-immigration rhetoric the “core” of his presidency and “what he wants his presidency to mean.”
“I can tell you a very personal story and as many people know, I was working in restaurants just a year ago,” Ocasio-Cortez replied.
“And when the president first assumed office with his racist and violent rhetoric, people started to send themselves home. And as we know, in restaurants, hospitality, every American eats if you can, if you’re lucky enough, we’re able to eat three times a day,” she continued, strangely noting that Americans eat food prepared for them “three times a day.”
“That means we interact with the people that prepare our food three times a day. When those people start to go home, local or rather go back to the countries which they originated from because many of them consider the United States their home, those places they go into dysfunction,” she said.
“I remember one of our lead cooks brought himself back to Mexico because he was so scared of the president’s rhetoric,” she recounted. “We had an insane amount of dysfunction. We’re talking about local restaurants. We’re talking about local businesses. We’re talking about shuttering neighborhoods. We’re talking about people feeling unsafe. And no one should feel unsafe in the United States of America.”
Trump again called for a wall at the U.S.-Mexico border during his address Tuesday, noting the “humanitarian and security crisis at our southern border.”
Ocasio-Cortez blasted the president’s message and accused him of violations of human rights with the family separation policy and following the deaths of migrants while in the custody of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, an agency she has wanted abolished.
“The president should not be asking for more money to an agency that has systematically violated human rights. The president should be really defending why we are funding such an agency at all because right now what we are seeing is death,” she told Maddow.
“Right now what we are seeing is the violation of human rights. These children and families are being held in… basically freezing boxes that no person should be maintained in,” she exclaimed.
Ocasio-Cortez, the youngest woman ever elected to Congress, then claimed that “the majority of the reason that people are undocumented” is overstaying the limits on their visas.
“It’s not because people are crossing a border illegally. It is because of visa over-stay,” she said.
She continued to spout off her own rhetoric, accusing Trump of “fighting against family reunification” and “every way that people can actually legally enter this country.”
And, continuing her pattern of making claims without evidence, Ocasio Cortez alleged the president is “forcing” migrants “to become undocumented and then he’s trying to attack their undocumented status.”
She concluded by claiming that some immigrant women and children – who are coming here “to provide for this nation” – are “acting more in an American tradition than this president is right now.”
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