U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials aren’t the only ones disputing freshman Congressman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s dubious allegations of migrant mistreatment at various CBP detention facilities in Texas.
According to a group of pastors who toured the same facilities last Friday, what they saw looked nothing like the macabre picture painted by AOC.
AOC’s wild accusations spin out of control; claims CBP officers ‘sexually threatening’ toward her, migrants forced to drink from toilets https://t.co/ez3bZLozNM
— Conservative News (@BIZPACReview) July 2, 2019
“We found no soiled diapers, no deplorable conditions and no lack of basic necessities,” pastor Rev. Samuel Rodriguez revealed during a press conference Monday, adding that when he asked officials whether they’d staged the facilities to look nice, they said no.
“I asked whether or not this was all being staged — did they just pivot based upon the reporting, did they shift things, did they make modifications in order to accommodate or to respond to the reporting?” he said. “They unequivocally denied it. What they stated was that every condition we were witnessing was the identical condition in the center when the attorneys arrived.”
Rodriguez is president of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference, the world’s largest Hispanic Christian organization, and the senior pastor at New Seasons Christian Worship Center in Sacramento, California.
He’s also a political veteran who’s reportedly advised current President Donald Trump and former Presidents Barack Obama and George W. Bush.
Last week he announced on Twitter that he plans to visit “the southern border and corresponding immigration detention facilities” and urged other interested pastors to contact him:
In the next 72 hours, we will visit the southern border and corresponding immigration detention facilities. If you are a pastor and have interest in joining us, please send us a message. This is not a political trip. This is a Christ centered, gospel driven visit.
— Samuel Rodriguez (@nhclc) June 26, 2019
In his statement Monday, Rodriguez reportedly added that, according to the CBP officials with whom he’s spoke, the congressional Democrats who’d reportedly toured CBP’s facilities after them had refused to tour certain ones, possibly for political reasons.
This appears to be true. Journalist Anna Giaritelli of the Washington Examiner confirmed Monday that AOC had screamed at federal agents “in a threatening manner” during a visit to one facility and subsequently refused to tour it.
SCOOP: Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., screamed at federal law enforcement agents “in a threatening manner” during a visit to a U.S. Border Patrol facility in El Paso, Texas, Monday afternoon and refused to tour the facility, according to two people who witnessed it.
— Anna Giaritelli (@Anna_Giaritelli) July 1, 2019
Rodriguez added that the agents and officials he encountered were nothing like the “sexually threatening” monsters that AOC had described.
“The pastors left encouraged by the commitment and dedication of America’s Border Patrol and immigration officers, ‘many of which are Latinos, by the way,'” Fox News reported.
“[Rodriguez said one emotional Border Patrol agent turned to him and said, referring to the vilification: ‘Pastor Sam, what they’re saying about us is completely false. We care about these kids and have a passion for our calling.'”
The pastor went on to explain why he chose to hold a press conference: To expose the misinformation being peddled by AOC and her fellow congressional Democrats.
“I read the reports, saw the news clips. I just wanted to see what was actually happening in order to better enable our efforts to find a fair and a just solution to our broken immigration system,” he said.
“To my surprise, I saw something drastically different from the stories I’ve been hearing in our national discourse. Even as a veteran of immigration advocacy in the U.S., I was shocked at the misinformation of the crisis at the border.”
While Ocasio-Cortez had yet to respond to the pastors’ remarks Tuesday morning, one thing to keep in mind is that, unlike her, they don’t just talk the talk — they walk the walk.
The Religion News Service confirmed Monday that Rodriguez plans to “launch a campaign to offer aid to immigrant children held in detention centers at the border.”
— Jack Jenkins (@jackmjenkins) July 1, 2019
“The effort, which organizers are calling the ‘For His Children’ campaign, will involve sending ‘shipments and cargo and truckloads of resources to the border,’ including shoes, clothing and hygiene products,” RNS reported.
It’ll also reportedly involve housing “migrants” in churches and/or homes.
“Our preferable choice is for people to come here legally, not illegally. We want to stop all illegal immigration for a number of reasons, including the humanitarian reason. My heart broke when I saw these kids. I don’t want these kids to be in danger or to suffer at all,” Rodriguez reportedly said.
“If they do come here, we want to be a blessing to them. We really want to help them.”
To be clear, not once has Ocasio-Cortez or any other congressional Democrat offered to send their own money to detained migrants, let alone house any of them in their own lavish homes.