Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez on Wednesday released a plan to address the increasing numbers of migrants crossing the southern border, calling among other things for decriminalizing illegal border crossings.
In her four-point plan, the New York Democrat calls on the Trump administration to “reinstate US humanitarian aid in the Northern Triangle, where people are fleeing” as well as “start acting like a real partner in Latin America, & increase visas where we intervene.”
Secondly, the progressive congresswoman tied in her signature issue, climate change, saying that the refugee crisis is partly due to natural disasters.
“There is broad consensus from military to activists that resource strains (droughts, famine, etc) & nat disasters are drivers of refugees,” she wrote on Twitter. “People are fleeing places that were once livable & are no longer. It will get worse the longer we do nothing.”
Third, Ocasio-Cortez called for repealing the laws criminalizing crossing into the U.S. without proper documentation, saying the Trump administration is using the statutes to “mindlessly throw people in cages.”
“We have to take these proceedings out of criminal code & into civil code,” she said. “Torture accomplishes nothing.”
Finally, the congresswoman proposed “large-scale public investment to spur job creation for citizens & immigrants alike.” She mentioned climate change again, expressing her hope that the “investment transitions us to a sustainable economy (climate & income-wise).”
Ocasio-Cortez’s plan rollout comes days after she visited Customs and Border Protection detention facilities, where she said she witnessed migrants being held in disturbing and unsanitary conditions and experienced CBP agents behaving in a “physically & sexually threatening” manner towards her.
CBP has also faced outrage and is under scrutiny this week after the discovery of a secret border patrol workers’ Facebook group containing offensive content about migrants.