Following President Donald Trump’s televised address stoking fears over immigration to promote his border wall, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) trashed the commander in chief and his xenophobic rhetoric.
During an appearance on MSNBC Tuesday evening, the freshman lawmaker praised immigrants, dismissing Trump’s fear-mongering.
“No one should feel unsafe in the United States of America, and that includes our amazing and beautiful and productive immigrant community,” she told host Rachel Maddow.
The congresswoman then called upon the president to recognize “that he has systematically engaged in the violation of ... human rights on our border,” including the separation of migrant families.
She also recalled the death of an immigrant child in Border Patrol custody minutes before Christmas Day and questioned how Trump could continue asking for support for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
“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 said. “Right now, what we are seeing is the violation of human rights.”
During his Oval Office speech earlier that day, Trump pleaded with Democrats to give in to his demands of more than $5 billion in border wall funding to reopen the partially shuttered federal government.
The president contended that his request was a matter of homeland security as he painted immigrants as criminals and killers.
“How much more American blood must we shed before Congress does its job?” he asked.
Summing up the president’s remarks, Ocasio-Cortez argued that his positions were simply unpatriotic, stating that immigrants seeking refuge in the U.S. “are acting more in an American tradition than this president is right now.”