Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) did not have a clear answer about why she had not visited the U.S.-Mexico border during the Biden administration during a recent interview. The New York Democrat received national headlines for her criticism of former President Donald Trump but has spoken comparatively little as illegal migration has increased sharply under President Joe Biden.
During an interview with the New York Times, Ocasio-Cortez, also known by her initials AOC, said that a border visit was “something that we’re actively planning on. What I have done is tours of our New York-area facilities.”
She said that the current crisis is “right here in our own backyard” and that she “absolutely prioritized having that visitation presence.”
“If we only think of the immigration crisis as a border issue and only understand our border as a southern border and not John F. Kennedy Airport, that constitutes a lack of imagination,” Ocasio-Cortez said.
The representative received considerable attention for her trip to the border during the Trump administration. She was photographed near a fence at the border using evocative body language and seemingly weeping. The staged photos received significant attention, especially among left-wing critics of Trump’s border and immigration policies.
During the Trump administration, Ocasio-Cortez said that the White House had “established concentration camps on the southern border of the United States for immigrants, where they are being brutalized with dehumanizing conditions and dying.”
In addition, Ocasio-Cortez’s recent comments also come as her home city struggles with a significant influx of migrants. New York City has received approximately 100,000 migrants since last year.
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez: "[Undocumented workers] pay more taxes — more billions of dollars in taxes — than many corporations do." pic.twitter.com/u9muA2TJeK
— The Hill (@thehill) May 14, 2020
New York, and the country, have seen a significant increase in the number of illegal immigrants who entered the country since Biden announced that he would end Trump’s Title 42 asylum policy.
City leaders have placed migrants in a number of former public facilities and hotels. However, high-profile photographs also show hundreds of migrants sleeping on the sidewalk in Manhattan.