AOC’s on-the-ground resistance to ‘violent culture’ of US border agents goes viral

A photo of Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez
Ed Sykes

US member of congress Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has been consistently calling out the horrific conditions in concentration camps on the US-Mexico border. Now, despite what she calls a “violent culture” among border officers, she and a number of colleagues have visited one of these camps. And the stories they’ve shared are shocking.

‘Officers told women to drink out of toilets’

Speaking after the visit on 1 July, Ocasio-Cortez called what she’d witnessed “unconscionable”.

She explained that there was just one toilet in a cell, “and the sink portion was not functioning… so the women were told they could drink out of the bowl”. She also noted that “this is CBP [Customs and Border Protection] on their best behaviour”:

Her colleague Ayanna Pressley soon backed this up:

As did congress member Madeleine Dean:


The women these politicians met on the visit, meanwhile, feared “retribution” for speaking out about these conditions:

Congress member Joaquin Castro backed this up. And he also shared his experience of the visit, saying:

He said “all Americans must help to change this system”.

A “violent culture”

The congressional visit happened just as news broke that thousands of current and former border agents had been joking about people dying and targeting Ocasio-Cortez for abuse:

Ocasio-Cortez responded by saying:

There are 20,000 TOTAL Customs & Border Patrol agents in the US.

9,500 – almost HALF that number – are in a racist & sexually violent secret CBP Facebook group.

They’re threatening violence on members of Congress. How do you think they’re treating caged children+families?

She also insisted:

This isn’t about “a few bad eggs.” This is a violent culture.

And congress members noted that they experienced similar bad behaviour on the ground:

The unwavering resistance continues

Since taking office, Ocasio-Cortez has become a prime target for the US right – in both political and media circles. But she always seems to have the perfect response. After the visit on 1 July, for example, she slammed a Fox News commentator for suggesting the concentration camps were like a ‘house party’:

She also denounced Trump ally Kellyanne Conway for calling her a liar:


And she called the CBP out for lying about her:

In short, border authorities and right-wing elites are clearly annoyed that they have such a powerful opponent in Ocasio-Cortez. And so they should be. Because tens of thousands of people are reading and sharing her revelations – and she is clearly a person who will not stop until the inhumane treatment of refugees ends.

Featured image via nrkbeta/Flickr

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