A border patrol agent in Arizona released a video in which he drank water from a toilet sink tap to “dispel misinformation” about their detention facilities.
The video was in response to Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's claims that women she spoke to told her they were forced to drink out of the toilet bowl.
A chief patrol agent officer called Roy Villareal took a video crew through the Tucson facility. Speaking in the video, he said: “My goal today is to dispel some of the misinformation that’s out there in regards to our detention facilitates.”
After showing people the supply room, which contained clothing for children and adults, and then a supply cart filled with snacks, diapers and disposable tooth brushes with toothpaste built in, he concludes by going to the toilet.
“Now let’s look at the biggest misinformation.”
Aliens are not forced to drink out of a toilet. Aliens have options. Fresh water provided on a regular basis in a water cooler.
There is also water provided in… this is a combination of a toilet sink, and a sink provides fresh water.
He goes on to pour water from the toilet sink into a cup and taking a drink before declaring: “There is nothing wrong with this water. We’re not forcing aliens to drink out of the toilet."
The video was uploaded on social media, including Twitter by CBP Arizona, and Trump supporters in particular are praising it for “debunking” AOC.
However, it’s not doing that. In a tweet about a detention facility centre, AOC tweeted an image of a toilet. She said the sink – which is what Villareal drank out of – “was not functioning," adding:
Ayanna Pressley smartly tried to open the faucet, and nothing came out. So the women were told they could drink out of the bowl.
There are reports from a variety of different sources, including NGO Human Rights Watch, a lawyer and other politicians who have visited some of the facilities, and photos from detention centres exposing squalid, "horrifying" conditions.
Congresswoman Madeleine Dean told ABC News: “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.”
Texas congresswoman Joaquin Catro corroborated that: "One of the women said that she was told by an agent to drink water out of the toilet.
These are the conditions that have been created by the Trump administration.
Lawyer and child’s advocate Warren Binford told the New Yorker that she had interviewed dozens of children detained at Clint, and said:
They are not safe, because they are getting sick.
Villareal showed a commissary cart filled with food and toiletries, but earlier this year Reuters reported that asylum seekers detained in private detention centres overseen by ICE can buy toothpaste, for example $11.02 per 4 oz tube of Sensodyne.
Physician Dolly Lucio Sevier reviewed a detention facility in McAllen, Texas and concluded conditions were "tantamount to intentionally causing the spread of disease".
A 16-year-old girl from Guatemala died in this facility after being diagnosed with the flu.
Border Patrol agents were found to mock migrants with racist messages in secret Facebook groups.
Two secret Customs and Border Protection Facebook groups have been exposed for derogatory descriptions of migrants in a series of vulgar and inappropriate posts.
In one, called Real CBP Nation, there are posts mocking the separation of migrant families, racist and racially divisive comments about Asian and African American people, and memes mocking congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.
The group had around 1,000 members.
In one post, a meme posted of a border patrol agent apprehending someone was captioned: “Felt kinda cute, might separate some families today idk.”