Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez claimed that migrant women held in a CBP facility were told to drink water out of a toilet, but an agent has directly refuted the allegation and she has yet to clarify if she actually saw such an action occur.
“Officers were keeping women in cells w/ no water & had told them to drink out of the toilets. This was them on their GOOD behavior in front of members of Congress,” Ocasio-Cortez tweeted on Monday after visiting her first Customs and Border Protection (CBP) detention center that day. It was her first accusation that women in the facility were being explicitly told by agents to drink water from the toilet.
Ocasio-Cortez later spoke to reporters outside the facility, and her comments suggested that she personally saw women drinking out of toilet.
“These women were being told by CBP officers to drink out of the toilet. They were drinking water out of the toilet, and that was them knowing a congressional visit was coming. This is CBP on their best behavior,” the New York Democrat stated on Monday. However, she did not provide an answer when a reporter asked if she personally witnessed this.
A CBP agent who was reportedly close by as Ocasio-Cortez toured the facility is claiming that she is purposely misconstruing a story she heard.
“So this is what happened with the migrant and drinking water from toilet: she wanted water, didn’t know how to use the faucet in the cell, and drank from the toilet. She never told AOC that we made her drink from the toilet. AOC, of course, changed it … This was when she [the migrant] was apprehended and brought into the facility,” according to an agent who spoke off the record with the Washington Examiner.
It was later clarified that the toilet in question was connected to a faucet and sink marked “potable water.” Ocasio-Cortez claimed that women were told to drink water from the bowl because the faucet wasn’t working.
It is not clear if Ocasio-Cortez personally witnessed individuals drinking from water, or if one or multiple women told her that they were directed to drink water from a toilet. Her office has not responded to a request for comment from the Daily Caller News Foundation.
The first-term lawmaker also claimed that she felt threatened, and was disrespected by CBP officers, when she visited the migrant detention center. However, agents have claimed that she was the one behaving in a threatening manner, screaming at officers who were nearby.
“I can tell you with the utmost confidence that the migrants — anyone and everyone in our custody at all of our facilities — have ready access to fresh water,” CBP Deputy Commissioner Robert Perez said to Fox News on Tuesday. “I’ve never heard, in 26 years of being in this business, ever heard of that type of allegation being made.”
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