Rep. Norma Torres, D-Calif, joined her Democratic colleague Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez D-N.Y., in criticizing border patrol agents on CNN Tuesday, and said she felt unsafe during her visit to a southern border detention facility.
Torres claimed she and her staff were disrespected by the agents on duty during an appearance on “New Day” and said they feared for their safety.
“I was definitely concerned. We were disrespected when we were there,” she told CNN. “We were told that our staff had to stay outside and that we had to keep either our phones there at the entryway or we had to leave them in the car. Now, I don’t trust to leave my cellphone with these individuals that would threaten members of Congress while we are in the process of doing our job.”
Torres said she feared for her safety and that of her staff, before being reassured that no one would be physically attacked while they toured the facility.
OCASIO-CORTEZ ALLEGEDLY SCREAMED AT BORDER AGENTS DURING RECENT TRIP TO SOUTHERN BORDER
“Let me remind these people that this is our job. Oversight is our job, and that’s what we were doing,” Torres continued. “And to threaten members of Congress, I certainly did not feel safe to be inside this location. I voiced those concerns, and I also voiced my concern for the safety of my staff that was left outside and who was going to be taking care and ensuring that no attacks were going to be against our staff. And they reassured us of that.”
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Torres teared up describing her alleged mistreatment at the hands of the agents and claimed their actions toward illegal immigrant detainees must be far worse.
“But imagine — this is what they are doing to members of Congress in front of their leadership. So you can imagine what happens behind closed doors within these ICE cells to children as young as two-years-old,” she said.
“If you’re a parent or grandparent out there I would say look at your child and hug your child because you would not want a law enforcement agent to treat your child the way we see those kids being treated.”
Ocasio-Cortez also spoke negatively about her border visit and highlighted a private Facebook group, consisting of border agents who allegedly spoke poorly of illegal immigrants and certain federal lawmakers.
Former acting head of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Tom Homan said the posts from the Facebook group were inexcusable and will be swiftly dealt with.
“Any Border Patrol agents that have participated in something unbecoming of their position will be dealt with,” he told Bill Hemmer on “America’s Newsroom” Tuesday.
“It’s gonna be fully investigated. … It’s a sad situation. It’s a distraction from all the good work the men and women of the Border Patrol are doing every day trying to take care of these migrants.”
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Border Patrol Chief Carla Provost also commented on the issue and said if anyone was discovered to have violated agency standards, they would be “held accountable.”