Democratic New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez demanded Wednesday that migrant families separated at the border under former President Donald Trump’s administration be paid “reparations.”
Ocasio-Cortez was holding a virtual town hall meeting with constituents when she went after the “barbaric” conditions migrants are being held in under President Joe Biden’s administration, however, before making the demand for reparations, she stated she didn’t want to “draw false equivalence” between the treatment of migrants under Trump and Biden. (RELATED: Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Says There Are ‘Legitimate White Supremacist Sympathizers That Sit At The Heart’ Of The Republican Caucus)
IMMIGRATION: Rep. @AOC says Trump Admin. policies were “human rights violations” and victims deserve reparations, but conditions under the Biden Admin. are still “barbaric.” pic.twitter.com/utw5GZbLNd
— Forbes (@Forbes) April 1, 2021
“Now the first thing I want to say is that the fact that this keeps happening over and over and over again is a political failure by both parties. And I want to be very clear about that because I don’t want to draw false equivalence,” Ocasio-Cortez said.
“What is happening here is not the same as what happened during the Trump administration, where they took babies out of the arms of their mothers and deported their families and permanently traumatized these children, some of whom we don’t know will ever be reunified with their family again, which is a level of human rights violation that is just simply not the same,” she continued.
Ocasio-Cortez went on to say that the treatment of migrants under both Biden and Trump was “wrong” and “barbaric,” but the same comparison can’t be drawn with ripping a baby out of the hands of a mother. She added that anyone trying to make the comparison “is doing a profound disservice to the cause of justice.”
“So I don’t want to excuse any of this but I’m also — I don’t think we should also get them twisted together because one is not the same. And we cannot dust that under the rug, and by the way, those families are owed reparations,” she claimed.
The Biden administration has been heavily criticized for its handling of the crisis at the border. Apprehensions of unaccompanied migrant children skyrocketed in February, with over 9,000 encountered. The administration announced early in March that it would not expel unaccompanied minors from the U.S. The number of unaccompanied migrant children in U.S. custody has risen sharply since Biden took office. The administration has opened multiple new facilities in an attempt to handle the overflow at the facilities already in operation.
The Trump administration also faced scrutiny over its handling of migrants at the border, specifically it’s decision to separate families with children. In February it was reported by NBC News that the parents of more than 500 children still had not located.