Democratic congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez was literally left speechless when her attempt to shame a former Immigration and Customs Enforcement director backfired, but that didn’t stop her supporters from claiming victory.
Ocasio-Cortez confronted former ICE director Thomas Homan during a House Oversight Committee hearing on Friday, apparently trying to goad him into admitting the inhumanity of splitting up families under the Trump administration’s zero tolerance illegal immigration policy.
“So you are the author of the family separation policy,” Ocasio-Cortez declares, almost triumphantly, after Homan acknowledges signing a memo recommending the policy to Department of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen.
Unwilling to accept AOC’s insistence on the injustice of “family separation,” Homan points out that the policy is “the same as it is with every US citizen parent that gets arrested with a child.” Momentarily at a loss for words, AOC tries to equate crossing the border illegally with seeking asylum, but gets shot down again.
Suitably chastened, the congresswoman took to Twitter afterwards to continue the discussion in a safer space.
She blamed the administration’s policy of requiring asylum-seekers to wait on the Mexican side of the border for up to two months for the deaths of migrants who have tried to cross illegally – specifically, Oscar and Valeria Ramirez, the Salvadoran father and daughter who drowned last month trying to cross the Rio Grande.