Socialist Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) spoke of the horrors she witnessed when visiting migrant holding facilities in El Paso and Clint, Texas. Now a renowned Hispanic pastor who also toured the El Paso center says she is spreading misinformation.
On Monday, AOC claimed Customs and Border Patrol officers at the El Paso facility were telling women to drink out of the toilets, engaging in “psychological warfare” with the asylum seekers and illegal immigrants, and treating people “like animals.”
But witnesses told Washington Examiner reporter Anna Giaritelli that the congresswoman “refused to tour the facility” and “screamed at federal law enforcement agents ‘in a threatening manner.’”
That report made people question just how much Ocasio-Cortez actually saw for herself versus second- or third-hand accounts she was just repeating — and possibly exaggerating in order to paint Border Patrol agents as cruel, hateful people.
And now Rev. Samuel Rodriguez, senior pastor of New Seasons Christian Worship Center in Sacramento, is contradicting her account, according to Fox News.
Rodriguez, who is also the and president of the world’s largest Hispanic Christian organization, the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference, says he recently toured the El Paso center with the expectation that what he’d see would be inhumane. But he saw something different instead.
“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," Rodriguez said.
“To my surprise, I saw something drastically different from the stories I’ve been hearing in our national discourse,” the man who has advised three presidents on immigration reform continued. “Even as a veteran of immigration advocacy in the U.S., I was shocked at the misinformation of the crisis at the border."
Speaking about this tour with a group of other pastor, Rodriguez said, “We found no soiled diapers, no deplorable conditions and no lack of basic necessities” and added that sources informed him that some of the people who first told horror stories about the detention center “never toured the areas of the facility that we toured.”
He noted many of the CBP officers are Latino themselves but that they’re dealing with overcrowded facilities, insufficient funding, and a lenient immigration system that is forcing them to house far too many people at once. Rodriguez called on Congress to make reforms.
“What's heart-wrenching is that we have both Republicans and Democrats alike in Congress, who can't come together for the purpose of doing the right thing and finding a solution to our immigration crisis,” he concluded. “Please, President Trump, please White House, work with the Republicans and the Democrats [and] please, please, please, please, Nancy Pelosi, Kevin McCarthy, Mitch McConnell, Chuck Schumer, please come together to solve this crisis, immediately.”
Dr. James Dobson, founder and former president of Focus on the Family, toured a McAllen, Texas facility not long ago and described what he saw as heartbreaking. His perspective was a lot different from AOC’s, though.
He described overcrowded facilities and overworked staff members, but did not relate any of the horrors that Ocasio-Cortez claims to have seen. He praised Border Patrol agents and blamed the asylum loophole that forces the U.S. to bring every asylum-seeking family into the U.S. — whether a real family or not — for processing and release. He also blamed Democrats for not approving the funding needed to handle the massive number of people trying to get into the country.