I swear, this girl just can’t catch a break.
Sure, all the bad press Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez rakes in is due to her own questionable words and deeds, but after such an unending string of gaffes (which I, as a writer, have the joy of covering fairly often), I can’t help but feel pity.
Well, that is, until this latest incident came to light.
Maybe you’ve seen some photos floating around the internet—especially on Twitter—of AOC standing at the chainlink gate around a tent city at a point of entry in Tornillo, Texas. If you haven’t, take a peek:
Before @AOC hit the national stage & was just a fairly unknown House candidate frm NYC,she took time awy frm her campaign & came dwn to #Tornillo to protest the #tentcity housing migrant children.I made these previously unpublished fotos a yr ago today. #elpaso #aoc #onassignment pic.twitter.com/SWyyI1XVt9
— Ivan Pierre Aguirre (@i_p_a_1) June 25, 2019
These photos, taken just days before she won the Democratic primary, show our bold, fearless AOC crumbling in shock and sobbing at the sight of hundreds of migrant children being held captive at the border in atrocious conditions.
Well, not exactly. They do show AOC looking like she’s trying to remember the Pythagorean theorem and crying at a fence.
Interesting… but that’s not all.
AOC retweeted Photographer Ivan Pierre Aguirre’s post, reminding us all of her street cred and the fact that she totally gets her hands dirty and isn’t just a keyboard warrior in an ivory tower somewhere: “I’ll never forget this, because it was the moment I saw with my own eyes that the America I love was becoming a nation that steals refugee children from their parents,& caged them.”
I’ll never forget this, because it was the moment I saw with my own eyes that the America I love was becoming a nation that steals refugee children from their parents,& caged them.
More kids died after this. To date, no one has been held accountable.
We need to save these kids. https://t.co/HhdMqc5zML
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) June 25, 2019
Feeling a little underwhelmed by AOC’s little photo op? Well, you may have good reason.
If this report from Grabien News is to be believed, the whole thing was most likely staged for a publicity stunt.
Grabien News searched Getty Images’ archive and located alternate-angle photos from this same event. The images, seen below, indicate AOC was crying at the sight of … a mostly empty lot.
Getty photographer Joe Raedle also did not mention migrant children being visible. Here’s his description of the photos: “Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez stands at the Tornillo-Guadalupe port of entry gate on June 24, 2018 in Tornillo, Texas. She is part of a group protesting the separation of children from their parents after they were caught entering the U.S. under the administration’s zero tolerance policy.”
While detention facilities exist on the property, they don’t appear to be within eyeshot of AOC’s vantage point, at least not close enough to see children “caged” as she describes. In both directions the nearest building is barely visible.
So, it may very well have been that AOC was wailing and gnashing teeth because she traveled all the way to Tornillo on a tight budget for a nearly-wasted photo op.
If you’re wondering what the tent city actually looked like, enjoy this video, taken by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and shared by the El Paso Times the exact same day AOC was there.
Horrifying, right? How dare they feed, care for, and house hundreds of children while they wait for the gears of the asylum process to turn?
Well, at least this will yield some incredible memes.
— CW (@ctwong1) June 26, 2019