After claims by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., and others that migrant detainees in El Paso, Texas were forced to drink from toilets and endure inhumane conditions, a Hispanic pastor wanted to see the facility himself.
Rev. Samuel Rodriguez said he was “full of indignation” when he heard the reports, according to FoxNews.com. But after touring the facility, he “saw something drastically different from the stories I’ve been hearing in our national discourse.”
“Even as a veteran of immigration advocacy in the U.S., I was shocked at the misinformation of the crisis at the border,” he said.
The Washington Examiner reported that during Ocasio-Cortez’s visit to the Border Patrol facility Monday in El Paso, she screamed at federal law enforcement agents “in a threatening manner” and refused to tour the facility, according to two witnesses.
Rodriguez is president of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference, the world’s largest Hispanic Christian organization. He has advised President Trump, and Presidents Barack Obama and George W. Bush on immigration reform.
The Sacramento pastor said he and the other pastors “found no soiled diapers, no deplorable conditions and no lack of basic necessities.”
He told FoxNews.com he asked border agents if they staged the facility in response to the negative press.
“They unequivocally denied it — we were witnessing the identical conditions the attorneys saw when they toured the facility days earlier,” he said.
Rodriguez said some told him the sources of the negative coverage “never toured the areas of the facility that we toured” and speculated they might have had political motivations.
The pastors said they were encouraged by the commitment of the Border Patrol and immigration officers, many of whom are Latinos.
Rodriguez said one emotional Border Patrol agent said: “Pastor Sam, what they’re saying about us is completely false. We care about these kids and have a passion for our calling.”
Ocasio-Cortez was among a group of 14 House Democrats and their aides kicking off a tour of the region. The group was standing inside the station near an area where migrants are held when Ocasio-Cortez left them to sit inside a nearby holding area with a family, the Examiner said.
“She comes out screaming at our agents, right at the beginning [of the tour]. … Crying and screaming and yelling,” said one witness.’
“The agents, they wanted to respond, but they held back because she’s a congressional delegate. But when you have someone yelling at you in a threatening manner,” the witness said. “They were like, ‘Hey, you need to kinda step back.’”
A second official, according to the Examiner, said Ocasio-Cortez shared information with her group that she had learned from detainees, including the claim that one person had drunk from a toilet.
The congresswoman then told the group she would not join them on the tour of the facility and stayed with the family.
Read more at HISPANIC PASTORS SLAM BACK AT AOC’S ‘TOILET’ RANT