As the president of the National Border Patrol Council, the union representing 16,000 Border Patrol agents, I am personally and professionally offended by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s outrageous, inflammatory and false claims about the dedicated law enforcement officers I represent.
Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., once again tweeted Tuesday to describe our detention facilities for illegal immigrants as “concentration camps” – absurdly comparing these facilities to the death camps run by the Nazis who murdered 6 million Jews and millions of others during World War II.
This is a horrible insult to the memories of the innocent men, women and children slaughtered by the Nazis, and to our Border Patrol agents – implying that our agents are no different from the Nazi butchers. The outrageousness of this vicious slander is breathtaking – especially coming from a member of Congress.
I am disgusted by Ocasio-Cortez’s lies and her determination to needlessly and dangerously inflame public sentiment regarding the crisis on our southern border by abandoning facts and making wild and unsupported accusations.
The congresswoman is clearly using phrases designed to enrage the uninformed and to pander to a base that wants open borders and unlimited illegal immigration.
Ocasio-Cortez made an outrageous claim this week about a woman being told to drink toilet water in a detention facility. This false claim is easily disproven with actual video.
Ocasio-Cortez is basing her claim on a single female detainee who reportedly told the congresswoman that an agent told her to “drink toilet water.” That’s it.
The congresswoman is clearly not on a “fact-finding” mission – she is on a propaganda mission. She made up her mind long before visiting a detention facility in Texas that Border Patrol agents are bad people. And she obviously believes that all illegal immigrants are innocent victims, and that photo ops and lies can help her spread her propaganda to an uninformed public.
Ocasio-Cortez plays off people’s emotions. She is on record as saying facts don’t matter as long as she is “morally right.” Enough said.
I don’t use the word “propaganda” lightly. But it is widely understood to mean spreading information that is not true, but rather used to influence people and further an agenda while appealing to emotions. That is exactly what Ocasio-Cortez does.
I prefer using facts. The facts do not support Ocasio-Cortez. Detainees have never been told to drink toilet water. And Border Patrol agents are doing everything in their power to treat the illegal immigrants as humanely as possible under overcrowded conditions.
I find it interesting that every time Ocasio-Cortez is found to be wrong about something – and that’s quite often – she simply doubles down and redirects with new “information.”
In this case, when presented with facts about drinking fountains in jails being connected to toilets – with separate water lines – she says “yes, the drinking fountains are attached to the toilets, but the drinking fountains weren’t working.” This is not true and easily debunked with facts. Almost every facility we have is blanketed with video cameras.
Border Patrol agents have been vilified by some politicians and many in the mainstream media for decades, and 99 percent of the time this criticism is unfair and completely inaccurate.
By comparing Border Patrol agents to Nazis, Ocasio-Cortez is trying to dehumanize us. Interestingly, this is the same thing she accuses us of doing with the thousands upon thousands of illegal immigrants we are charged with arresting, detaining and caring for
Border Patrol agents do not drag thousands of innocent children across the border. We don’t risk their lives by exposing them to harsh weather and circumstances no child should be exposed to. Those deeds are carried out by their parents, relatives and the ruthless coyotes who profit from human misery.
We don’t write the immigration laws – Congress does. We don’t determine how much money and manpower we get to enforce those laws – Congress does.
Ocasio-Cortez can seek approval for any changes in the law and in funding that she wishes. But she should stop blaming us for enforcing the law and carrying out our assigned duties. We’re doing the best we can with what we have to work with.
Ocasio-Cortez voted not to fund better facilities and conditions for the illegal immigrants we detain. So if she wants to know who is responsible for wanting to continue the current conditions in these facilities all she has to do is look in the mirror, and look at other lawmakers who support her position. She can make excuses, but one has to legitimately question whose best interests she is looking out for.
The congresswoman is not a fiscal conservative, so her opposition to providing increased funding to help us better care for detainees is not caused by her desire to cut government spending.
Instead, Ocasio-Cortez is playing politics with illegal immigrants. She seeks to raise her profile higher in the media and portray herself as the champion of the detainees – when she is in fact working against their best interests.
I am proud of the Border Patrol agents who work tirelessly for the American public to uphold the rule of law and defend the sanctity of life.
I’m not blind to the fact that we will always have a few people in such a large organization who say and do unprofessional things. You can find a small percentage of people who act improperly among elected officials, members of the media, the medical profession, the clergy and in every other profession.
But I know for a fact that the vast majority of people I’ve worked with over the years in the Border Patrol are honorable, decent and hardworking public servants. Ocasio-Cortez should be ashamed of herself for trying to demonize us and turn public sentiment against us.