Ocasio-Cortez: Trump Equates ‘Lack of Torture’ with ‘Open Border’

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., a target of racist rhetoric from President Donald Trump, responds to reporters as she arrives for votes in the House, at the Capitol in Washington, Thursday, July 18, 2019. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite

Freshman Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) claimed Friday President Donald Trump views a “lack of torture” at immigrant detention facilities as synonymous with an open U.S.-Mexico border in a Capitol Hill hallway exchange with reporter Nicholas Ballasy.

A partial transcript is as follows: 

NICHOLAS BALLASY: Do you think the situation with Trump’s tweets has actually brought Democrats closer and more unified?

REP. ALEXANDRIA OCASIO-CORTEZ: I think there’s a lot of unity in the caucus, to a certain extent. It’s pretty easy to come together for everyday Americans.

BALLASY: You probably heard President Trump that he’s putting on Twitter that you and the other freshman Democrats want open borders. What’s your response to that? Is that’s what you’re advocating for? Open the borders so anyone can come?

OCASIO-CORTEZ: No, I think we’re advocating for a humane border, and he can’t conceive of a border where we don’t cage children, rip them from their parents. And to him, a lack of torture equals an open border. He literally cannot think of an immigration system where we don’t hurt innocent people, so I think that’s where he’s coming from there.

BALLASY: When you talk about abolish ICE, is there something that you want to see in place of ICE if it’s abolished as an agency?

OCASIO-CORTEZ: Yeah, I think that we need an accountable system, one that is accountable to our constitutional protections of due process, which ICE doesn’t necessarily provide.

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