Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Rips Trump For Systematic Attack On Immigrants | Rachel Maddow | MSNBC

  • Published on: 2019-01-09
  • this will become the longest government shutdown ever this is a painful thing for the US economy and for a lot of people in this country but it's also got to be just a spectacularly weird environment to start your new job in if your new job is that you've just been elected a brand new member of Congress joining us now is congresswoman Alexandria of Castile Cortes of New York congresswoman thank you so much for being with us tonight I'm really happy to have you here with us on the show of course thank you for having me Rachel so let me just start by getting your your top-line reaction to the President's speech tonight you have never been a member of Congress while the government wasn't shut down so obviously this is a strange circumstance for you and your colleagues in the freshman class to be taking your first steps yeah absolutely I cannot tell you the amount of dysfunction that this president is advancing we now have over a hundred new members of this freshman class I cannot even get laptops to my caseworkers on the ground in the Bronx and queens so they can process the needs of our of our constituents we can't get mortgage applicants were started because we can't even get laptops in the hands of our district offices because the president has decided to hold the the paychecks of everyday Americans hostage so that he can fulfill a campaign I don't even I already want to call it a promise a campaign fantasy but the vast majority of Americans disapprove of and not only that but in in the actual address there was falsehood after falsehood and we have to make sure that we get our facts straight every day immigrants commit crimes at a far lower rate than native-born Americans and not only that but the women and children on that border that are trying to seek refuge and seek opportunity in the United States of America with nothing but the shirt on their backs are acting more American than any person who seeks to keep them out ever will be are you at all dissuaded not dissuaded I guess is the wrong word dismayed or discouraged by the fact that the president has been saying the same untrue things about immigrant crime about the terrible character of it's coming into this country about a false relationship that he has invented between violent crime and immigration we heard him tell blatant falsehoods tonight contradictory even by his own administration about this this flood as he described it a pipeline of drugs coming across the southern border his own drug Drug Enforcement Administration has said that the vast majority of drugs even those coming from the south of from South from this country are coming through ports of entry and not over anything that would be stopped by a wall are you discouraged or what's your sort of strategic take on the fact that the president's been telling these same lies for years now and not shying away from them at all well I I think it's unsurprising because even before he was elected president United States he has a proven track record of discrimination against anybody who's really non-white in the United States he had been sued by the Nixon administration back in the day for not renting to black Americans he has had controversy after controversy so this is very consistent it's not just the continued lives throughout his administration but frankly it's part of a very consistent pattern of his entire life but I think it's extremely important you know I represent New York's 14th congressional district we are 50% immigrant I represent the Bronx and queens Jackson Heights over 200 languages are spoken in my district alone we enjoy some of the highest rates of economic activity and the Bronx itself has had some of the highest rates of economic growth in all of New York City and that has been directly directly correlated with our embrace of immigrants New York City overall is an immigrant city and we enjoy in a very large amount of economic and cultural prosperity as a result the president has been singing the same song that he did a different version of tonight in the Oval Office since the very very start of his campaign he has made anti-immigrant rhetoric and often factually incorrect screeds demonizing the immigrants a more core to his presidency than any other form of his rhetoric and so in your district in a district as you say that is not just diverse but it's 50% immigrant and that you could and you're talking about that sort of economic relationship that you can between immigrant economic activity and the overall performance to your district what's the consequence of having somebody as president who's made this court - his message into what he wants his presidency to mean what is the harm that's caused by him talking this way and using the sort of pot inform the way he has even when he can't get his policies passed I can I can tell you a very personal story and as many people know I was working in restaurants just a year ago and when the president first assumed office with his with his racist and violent rhetoric people started to send themselves home and as we know in restaurants hospitality every American eats if you can if you're if you're if you're lucky enough we're able to eat three times a day and that means that we interact with the people who prepare our food three times a day when those people start to go home local or rather go back to the countries which they originated from because many of them consider the United States their home those places they go into dysfunction I remember one of our our lead cooks brought himself back to Mexico because he was so scared of the president's rhetoric we had an insane amount of dysfunction we're talking about local restaurants we're talking about local businesses we're talking about shuttering neighborhoods and we're talking about people feeling unsafe and no one should feel unsafe in the United States of America and that includes our amazing and beautiful and productive immigrant community and moreover the one thing that the president has not talked about is the fact that he has systematically engaged in the violation of international human rights borders on human rights on our border he has separated children from their families he talked about what happened the day after Christmas on the day of Christmas a child died in ice custody the president should not be asking for more money to an agency that has systematically violated human rights the president should be really defending why we are funding such an agency at all because right now we are seeing is death right now what we are seeing is the violation of Human Rights these children and these families are being held in what are called yel eras which are basically freezing boxes that no person should be maintained in for any amount of time let alone the amount of time that they are being kept on and moreover even if you are anti immigrants in this country the majority of immigrant overstays the majority of the reason that people are undocumented is visa overstay it's not because people are crossing a border illegally it is it is because of visa overstay which mind you he's talking about legal immigration he's trying to restrict every form of legal immigration there is in the United States he's fighting against family reunification he's fighting against the diversity visa lottery he's fighting against almost every way that people can actually legally enter this country forcing them to become undocumented and then he's trying to attack their undocumented status this is systemic it is wrong and it is anti-american and again those women and children trying to come here with nothing but the shirts on their back to create an opportunity and to provide for this nation are acting more in an American tradition than this president is right now congresswoman Alexandra Ocasio Cortes of New York thank you so much for being with us tonight I know this is your first time being here on this show and I know that you have been one of the highest profile members of this new this new Congress and you've got a lot of pressures on your time thanks for making time to be here and I hope you'll come to course thank you so much all right hey there I'm Chris Hayes from MSNBC thanks for watching MSNBC on YouTube if you want to keep up to date with the videos we're putting out you can click subscribe just below me or click over on this list to see lots of other great videos
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