As Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) is sharing her experience visiting the southern border, Latino Rev. Samuel Rodriguez is offering a stark contrasting remark on the conditions.
Ocasio-Cortez toured a migrant detention facility on Monday and later claimed on Twitter that the U.S. Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) are making migrants drink out of toilets for water. Following her visit, sources from the facility said that the Congresswoman was yelling at CBP agents “in a threatening manner.”
However, Pastor Rodriguez — who’s advised several presidents, including President Donald Trump, on immigration reform and serves as president of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference — has a different story to tell after visiting the same facility as Ocasio-Cortez.
Rodriguez said during a press conference on Monday that after hearing reports about conditions at the detention facilities he “wanted to see what was actually happening in order to better enable our efforts to find a fair and a just solution to our broken immigration system.”
“To my surprise, I saw something drastically different from the stories I’ve been hearing in our national discourse,” he said. “Even as a veteran of immigration advocacy in the U.S., I was shocked at the misinformation of the crisis at the border.”
Apart from Ocasio-Cortez’s claims, Rodriguez explained that he found “no soiled diapers, no deplorable conditions and no lack of basic necessities,” adding that border agents have “unequivocally denied it” when asked if the facility was staged.
Rodriguez urged Congress to “address the [immigration] system they created.”
“What’s heart-wrenching is that we have both Republicans and Democrats alike in Congress, who can’t come together for the purpose of doing the right thing and finding a solution to our immigration crisis,” he said.
Rodriguez was joined by other Hispanic pastors when he toured the facility, which Pastor Carlos Moran also noted, “… we do call on our political leaders to set aside their personal agendas and begin focusing on resolving this immigration crisis.”
Their call comes as the Senate-approved a border bill to provide $4.6 billion for humanitarian aid was passed last week in the House, with the president then signing it on Monday.