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Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez says acknowledging ‘surge’ of migrants on border pushes white supremacy

‘These are children and they are not insurgents and we are not being invaded’

Justin Vallejo
New York
Wednesday 31 March 2021 19:51 BST
2 AOC says referring to ‘surge’ of illegal immigration pushes white supremacy-_1.mp4
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Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez addressed child migrant detention centres re-opened under the Biden administration to say there’s no border crisis and that referring to a "surge" of illegal immigration is invoking white supremacist philosophy.

Ms Ocasio-Cortez, who referred to child migrant facilities as ‘concentration camps’ under the Trump administration, was asked in an Instagram Live Q&A why she was "not addressing the border crisis and kids in cages like you used to".

Ms Ocasio-Cortez previously addressed the issue on 23 February after the first migrant facilities for children re-opened under Joe Biden, saying it was "not okay, never has been okay, never will be okay – no matter the administration or party".

In response to the Instagram Live question on Tuesday, the New York Congresswoman said there was no border crisis and that the real crisis was imperialism, as well as a climate crisis, trade crisis and a carceral crisis.

“But people don’t want to have that conversation. They want to say, ‘But what about the surge?'” Ms Ocasio-Cortez said.

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“Well, first of all, just – gut check. Stop. Anyone who’s using the term ‘surge’ around you, consciously, is trying to invoke a militaristic frame,” she added. "And that’s a problem, because this is not a surge. These are children and they are not insurgents and we are not being invaded."

“Which, by the way, is a white supremacist philosophy. The idea that if another is coming in the population that this is an invasion of who we are,” she said.

Ms Ocasio-Cortez maintained that she has been talking about the situation on the border but that people didn't like the way she was talking about it.

Republican Senator Lindsey Graham has lead calls for Ms Ocasio-Cortez to travel to the border to look at the scenes being reported of children being held in over-crowded facilities.

"If you were worried about children under Trump being in bad conditions, this is worse. If you’re worried about people having Covid outbreaks, this is the biggest Covid spreader in the entire country. So where are you?” Mr Graham asked.

Ms Ocasio-Cortez recently referred to the re-opening of the child detention centres in February as part of an immigration system as being built on a carceral framework, which either had to be reimagined or abolished.

In June 2019, she called the child migrant facilities on the border concentration camps, in reference to the World War II incarceration sites for forced labour, detention and mass murder established in Nazi Germany under Adolf Hitler as part of the Holocaust.

"I don't use those words lightly. I don't use those words to just throw bombs. I use that word because that is what an administration that creates concentration camps is," she continued.

"A presidency that creates concentration camps is fascist, and it's very difficult to say that.”

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