Arizona border patrol is refuting Rep. Alexandria Cortez’s claims that detention centers along the southern border are inhumane and unsanitary with footage from inside the facility.
“Here’s a look at the inside of a #BorderPatrol processing center with Chief Patrol Agent of #TucsonSector Roy Villareal,” caption read on the video posted Wednesday by the Arizona Border Patrol.
Villareal showcases fully-stocked supply closets that contain clothing, medical supplies and personal hygiene supplies. A shopping cart full of food, blankets and baby formula is also seen in the video.
Cortez alleges young children did not have access to clean diapers and insists detainees also reportedly went without ample access to clean water or food and have to resort to drinking from the toilets.
Villareal demonstrated in the video water is adequate to drink from a sink in a holding cell.
“We’re not forcing aliens to drink out of the toilet,” Villareal exclaimed.
According to the Washington Examiner, the freshman congresswoman never even toured the detention center with the 13 other House Democrats who visited visit in El Paso, Texas facility Monday.
Instead, she left the group and started screaming at US Custom and Border Protection agents in a “threatening manner.”
The group of lawmakers began a briefing on station operations near an area where migrants were held when Cortez left the group to sit inside a holding area with a family.
Cortez then made a spectacle, lashing out on law enforcement agents. Her outburst was reportedly witnessed by at least 40 other people.
“She comes out screaming at our agents, right at the beginning [of the tour] … Crying and screaming and yelling,” one witness told the publication. “The agents, they wanted to respond, but they held back because she’s a congressional delegate. But when you have someone yelling at you in a threatening manner … “
“They were like, ‘Hey, you need to kinda step back,’” the witness added.
Cortez then the 13 other House Democrats she refused go with on the tour of the facility and stayed with the family.
Another official said Cortez lashed out at agents over posts made on unofficial Border Patrol Facebook group that was exposed Monday which contained offensive content about those in custody and lawmakers, including the congresswoman.
“Something under her breath, ‘Oh, all these guys in here are gonna f–k me.’ The agents are standing there behind the computers. One of the agents laughed at something he was saying to another agent, and she got irate and flipped out,” the second Border Patrol official said. “Now they’re under investigation for it. She took it as they were laughing at her and screams at them and says, ‘What’s so funny?'”
Cortez, who in 2018 demanded Immigrations and Customs Enforcement be abolished, gave a completely different account of the scene on Twitter afterward omitted that she yelled at agents.
“After I forced myself into a cell w/ women&began speaking to them, one of them described their treatment at the hands of officers as “psychological warfare” – waking them at odd hours for no reason, calling them wh*res, etc. Tell me what about that is due to a ‘lack of funding?'” she wrote on Twitter.
“Now I’ve seen the inside of these facilities. It’s not just the kids. It’s everyone. People drinking out of toilets, officers laughing in front of members Congress. I brought it up to their superiors. They said ‘officers are under stress & act out sometimes.’ No accountability,” she tweeted. “Just left the 1st CBP facility. I see why CBP officers were being so physically &sexually threatening towards me. Officers were keeping women in cells w/ no water & had told them to drink out of the toilets. This was them on their GOOD behavior in front of members of Congress.”
The congresswoman intentionally misrepresented why the individual in custody had drinken from a toilet, an agent on scene told the Washington Examiner.
“This is what happened with the migrant and drinking water from toilet: she wanted water, didn’t know how to use the faucet in the cell, and drank from the toilet. She never told AOC that we made her drink from the toilet. AOC, of course, changed it … This was when she [the migrant] was apprehended and brought into the facility,” according to the agent.
The Washington Examiner submitted a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request to CBP for video of the events.
The president of the National Border Patrol Council, Brandon Judd, slammed the New York Democrat in a scathing op-ed Tuesday.
“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,” Judd wrote in an op-ed for Fox News.
Cortez’s comparison of migrant detention centers to concentration camps is an attempt to “dehumanize” Border Patrol agents, Judd warned.
“By comparing Border Patrol agents to Nazis, Ocasio-Cortez is trying to dehumanize us,” he wrote. “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.”
“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,” he continued. “The outrageousness of this vicious slander is breathtaking – especially coming from a member of Congress.
“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.”
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