Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has expressed fury over the humanitarian crisis on the southern border after visiting two Texas detention centres, and one tweet she wrote about it is gaining a lot of traction.
The New York congresswoman joined a chorus of cries over the deteriorating conditions in such places and uploaded a photograph holding a shampoo packet one woman “slipped” her.
“CBP made us check our phones,” she began in the tweet.
But one woman slipped me this packet to take with me. It says “shampoo,” but she told me that this is all they give women to wash their entire body. Nothing else.
Some women’s hair was falling out. Others had gone 15 days without taking a shower.
The 29-year-old congresswoman’s shocking words struck a chord with people online, who expressed anger that people are being kept in such degrading conditions.
AOC also said migrants at the detention centres were told to drink water from the toilets, and California congresswoman Judy Chu and other Democrats backed up her claim.
AOC also observed children in cages.
“When we tried the sink there was no running water. The women said, ‘Oh we were told it’s OK to drink out of the toilet – that’s potable water,’” Pennsylvania congresswoman Madeleine Dean told ABC News.
“One of the women said that she was told by an agent to drink water out of the toilet,” said Texas congressman Joaquin Castro. “These are the conditions that have been created by the Trump administration.”
The tour, which also included a visit to a Clint, Texas, facility, followed reports from a government watchdog that immigrants were being housed in overcrowded and unsanitary conditions.
Chu said: “I will never forget the image of being in a cell and seeing 15 women, tears coming down their faces as they talked about being separated from their children, about having no running water and about not being able to know when they were going to get out since they had already been there 50 days."
A woman talked about being an epileptic and not having access to any medicine.
"After I forced myself into a cell with women and began speaking to them, one of them described their treatment at the hands of officers as “psychological warfare”, added Ocasio-Cortez.
This has been horrifying so far.
AOC’s observation of the facility follows reports that US Border Patrol agents were part of a secret Facebook group allegedly posting sexuality explicit memes and comments about the Democrat ahead of her visit.
The group reportedly had around 9,500 members and also contained posts mocking migrant deaths.
Posts in the group included one that encouraged officers to throw a “burrito at these b*****s”, while others said “f***k the hoes” and “there should be no photo ops for these scum buckets”, ProPublica reported.
Another included a doctored image that showed Ms Ocasio-Cortez performing a sex act on Donald Trump. A caption accompanying the image read: “That’s right b*****s. The masses have spoken and today democracy won."
There was also a post suggesting an image of a migrant father and his toddler drowned on the banks of the Rio Grande was fake and referred to them as “floaters”.