Rep. Ocasio-Cortez, other lawmakers: Migrants were told to drink from toilets
NEW YORK (FOX 5 NY) - Some members of a congressional delegation that visited border detention facilities in Texas on Monday reported troubling conditions and claimed that federal officers told detainees to drink from toilets.
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-New York, called what is happening at the facilities "abuse" and that she spoke to women in a room with no running water.
"And these women were being told by CBP officers to drink out of the toilet. They were drinking water out of the toilet," she told reporters in Clint, Texas. " And that was them knowing that a congressional visit was coming. This is CBP on their best behavior, telling people to drink out of the toilet."
An investigative report by ProPublica shined a light on a private Facebook group where current and former Border Patrol agents joked about the deaths of migrants and posted sexually explicit memes, including about Ocasio-Cortez.
"These officers felt brazen in there. While mgmt was telling us it was a 'secure facility' where *members of Congress* had to check their phones, we caught officers trying to sneak photos, laughing," Ocasio-Cortez tweeted. "CBP's 'good' behavior was toxic. Imagine how they treat the women trapped inside."
Rep. Judy Chu, D-California, also visited the facilities and reported about the conditions and the detainees.
"'If you want water, just drink from a toilet.' That's what border patrol told one thirsty woman we met on today's #DemsAtTheBorder trip," Chu tweeted. "These are the same CBP personnel who threatened to throw burritos at members of Congress. Changes must be made."
Rep. Joaquin Castro, a Democrat from Texas, echoed many of the same observations.
"When we went into the cell, it was clear that the water was not running," Castro said. "In fact, one of the women said that she was told by an agent to drink from the toilet."
Several other members of Congress said that U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials made them check their phones during their visit.
"@CBP was very resistant to Congressional oversight. They tried to restrict what we saw, take our phones, block photos and video," Rep Joe Kennedy, D-Massachusetts, tweeted. "Atmosphere was contentious and uncooperative."
With The Associated Press