The indefatigable Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (AOC) – a New York Democrat and a proud member of the ultra-left “Squad” – is at it again, denying that the border crisis is a serious problem while simultaneously blaming America for it. While not that long ago, her comments might have been dismissed as the crackpot theorizing of someone on the far-left fringes of society, the reality is that AOC sadly represents an anti-immigration-enforcement radicalism increasingly becoming mainstream in the current Democratic Party.
In a March 30 Instagram Live session, Ms. Ocasio-Cortez asserted that the disaster at the southwestern border is “not a border crisis.” Rather, “it’s an Imperialism crisis, it’s a climate crisis, it’s a trade crisis. And also it’s a carceral [imprisonment]crisis.”
AOC then took issue with the term “surge,” claiming that “anyone who’s using the term ‘surge’ around you, consciously, is trying to invoke a militaristic frame. And that’s a problem, because this is not a surge. These are children and they are not insurgents and we are not being invaded. Which, by the way, is a white supremacist philosophy. The idea that if an ‘other’ is coming in the population that this is an invasion of who we are.”
In a NY-14 Virtual Town Hall the following day, the left-wing politician repeated many of these claims, including blaming decades of U.S. foreign policy vis-à-vis Central America. While criticizing the overcrowded conditions under which migrants are being held under Biden, AOC attacked the Trump administration’s attempts to stem mass illegal migration as much worse (back in 2019, she even referred to immigration detention facilities as “concentration camps”). In fact, she declared that families “separated” at the border under Trump are “owed reparations.” In other words, she wants hard-working American taxpayers to compensate foreign nationals for breaking our laws.
One of the most striking things about AOC’s recent comments is her obsession with the word “surge,” and her attempts to tie it to militarism and white supremacism. According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, the word “surge” can mean “to rise and move in waves or billows,” or “to rise suddenly to an excessive or abnormal value.” That most certainly describes the sharp increase in illegal migration at the southwestern border. The word “insurgent” is defined as “a person who revolts against civil authority or an established government.” While “insurgent” is certainly derived from the word “surge,” no one has actually referred to the growing influx of illegal migrants – especially unaccompanied minors – as insurgents.
Perhaps AOC’s quarrel with the word “surge” is a (rather inept) way to distract attention from a real-world problem by engaging in politically correct semantic games.
What is even worse, is that for Ms. Ocasio-Cortez what is happening on our southwestern border is basically a crisis of everything (“imperialism,” climate, trade, or prisons) other than what it actually is: the inevitable outcome of the Biden-Harris administration’s anti-immigration-enforcement, anti-border-security policies (which AOC, of course, supports), which are benefiting smugglers and cartels, encouraging migrants to undertake dangerous journeys, and creating potential openings for criminals and terrorists to enter the country.
Rather than offering serious solutions, she seizes an opportunity to take a swipe at her own country and society, accusing it of “imperialism” and other horrible sins. The congresswoman uses the “imperialism” label – which Soviet propagandists hurled at the U.S. for decades – to describe American foreign policy in Latin America, and in particular Washington’s attempts to keep radical, revolutionary Marxist forces in the region from taking their countries down the abyss of communism (a system that killed 100 million people worldwide) in the tense, adversarial context of the Cold War.
Accusations of xenophobia
And, finally, there is AOC’s suggestion that concerns over the border “surge” are somehow driven by xenophobia and racism, rather than any legitimate concerns, such as preserving the rule of law, protecting our sovereign national borders and jobs, keeping out drugs, criminals, and terrorists, etc. This is frequently the open-borders left’s go-to argument, mainly because it allows the apologists for illegal migration to avoid having to defend the indefensible – while forcing the other side onto the defensive. Debunking the baseless charge of border-security-is-xenophobia is fairly easy: a little over half of Border Patrol agents are Hispanic (as of the end of Fiscal Year 2016), and light-skinned illegal border crossers are not given preferential treatment or simply waved through.
But the problem is that radical leftists like AOC continue to repeat their anti-American canards – seemingly unphased by any evidence to the contrary – and that this blame-America-first mentality appears to be driving the current administration’s policies.