Freshman firebrand Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) allegedly screamed “in a threatening manner” at U.S. Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) agents during a visit to a migrant holding facility, the Washington Examiner reported.
In a report published Monday, two witnesses of the event alleged that Ocasio-Cortez yelled at CBP agents while visiting the migrant holding facility in El Paso, Texas, with 13 other House Democrat lawmakers and aides.
While the other lawmakers were being briefed on facility operations at the start of the tour, Ocasio-Cortez broke away to sit with a migrant family in a nearby holding cell. She allegedly returned “screaming” at the CBP agents in front of approximately 40 people, according to one witness.
“She comes out screaming at our agents, right at the beginning [of the tour] […]. Crying and screaming and yelling,” said the witness. “The agents, they wanted to respond, but they held back because she’s a congressional delegate.”
The agents added, “But when you have someone yelling at you in a threatening manner […], they were like, ‘Hey, you need to kinda step back.’”
A second official told the Examiner that Ocasio-Cortez would enter and exit the holding areas and relay things she learned from the migrants back to the others on the tour, such as how one drank water from a toilet
A second official also said that the New York congresswoman made comments about the recently-brought-to-light unofficial Border Patrol Facebook page made known on Monday.
“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 told the Examiner. “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?’”
The freshman Democrat recounted the story differently in a tweet posted after the tour.
Now I’m on my way to Clint, where the Trump admin was denying children toothpaste and soap.
This has been horrifying so far. It is hard to understate the enormity of the problem. We’re talking systemic cruelty w/ a dehumanizing culture that treats them like animals.
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) July 1, 2019
Ocasio-Cortez said that she would stay with the family in the holding area and not continue on the tour of the facility.
The congresswoman also appeared to respond to the report on Twitter, posting a tweet claiming that her phone was “confiscated” by CBP agents that she had “exposed their inhumane behavior.”
And to these CBP officers saying they felt “threatened” by me –
They were literally discussing making a GoFundMe for an officer who attacked my on my tour.
They confiscated my phone, and they were all armed. I’m 5’4”.
They’re just upset I exposed their inhumane behavior.
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) July 2, 2019
One agent on the scene said that the congresswoman’s claim that a migrant drank from a toilet was misrepresented, explaining that the migrant who did “didn’t know how to use the faucet in the cell” and “never told AOC” that the agents made her drink from the toilet.