AOC joins backlash over Biden child migrant camp: ‘This is not okay’

Joe Biden had promised to take steps to end child migrant detention facilities

Mayank Aggarwal
Wednesday 24 February 2021 05:53 GMT
<p>File image: AOC has openly been critical of policies pursued by her own party  </p>

File image: AOC has openly been critical of policies pursued by her own party

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Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has come down heavily on the Biden administration after recent reports revealed that it is reopening a child migration detention facility in Texas.

Without mincing words in her criticism, Ms Ocasio-Cortez, who is popularly referred as AOC, said: “This is not okay, never has been okay, never will be okay - no matter the administration or party."

“Our immigration system is built on a carceral framework. It’s no accident that challenging how we approach both these issues are considered “controversial” stances. They require reimagining our relationship to each other and challenging common assumptions we take for granted,” tweeted AOC, who is considered among the top progressive leaders in the US.

The Democrat leader, however, noted that it has only been two months into the Biden administration. “Our fraught, unjust immigration system will not transform in that time. That’s why bold re-imagination is so impt (important). DHS shouldn’t exist, agencies should be reorganised, ICE gotta go, ban for-profit detention, create climate refugee status and more,” she tweeted.

The issue of migrant detention camps in the US has been controversial for years and remained so during the Trump administration as well.

During the 2020 elections campaign, Joe Biden had promised measures to end child migrant detention facilities. AOC’s criticism came after The Washington Post reported that the child detention facility in Texas is being reopened to accommodate 700 minor teenagers capacity of other facilities was limited due to Covid-19.

Ms Ocasio-Cortez, who was elected to the US House of Representative in the November 2020 elections for a second term, said “there’s a lot we can do” while talking about people raising questions about what can be done for the present immigration policy.

“To start with, [Pramila Jayapal] has led on the roadmap to freedom, a framework for urgently needed changes to US immigration policy,” she said, referring to the representative for Washington’s 7th congressional district.

Responding to the series of tweets by AOC, author Andrew Winston raised several questions on the right path for unaccompanied migrant children, including whether government housing will be required till a permanent solution is found.

AOC responded that one “short term shift is requiring influx facilities w/(with) children to be licensed. Another issue is whether these services should be contracted out the way they are … and whether facilities w/(with) controversial records (ex. Homestead) should even be reopened.”

She was joined by Democrat representative Ilhan Omar, who, along with AOC and other progressive democrats Rashida Tlaib and Ayanna Pressley, are known as The Squad.

"Multiple administrations have made the callous choice to lock up thousands of children seeking refuge in the United States of America. As long as we see people seeking a better life as ‘aliens’ instead of fellow human beings, our immigration system will continue to fail us," congresswoman Omar tweeted.

On Monday, a White House spokesperson had told Fox News that President Biden’s approach is to deal with immigration comprehensively, fairly and humanely and their policy is not to expel unaccompanied children who arrive at our borders. 

The spokesperson had said that unaccompanied children will continue to be transferred to the office of refugee resettlement so that proper care can be taken of them.

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