A Border Patrol official has defended Customs and Border Protection agents in Texas from accusations that they are telling migrants to drink water from toilets at border detention facilities.
Vice President of the National Border Patrol Council and Border Patrol Agent in Texas Hector Garza told Fox News, “First of all, this is grandstanding. Our border patrol agents don’t do that type of activity. Those detention cells are under constant surveillance. So we’ve called for CBP to release that video footage to the public, to make sure that we can disprove what AOC is saying.”
Garza added that they “are going to try very hard to make sure that CBP does release that footage.”
Garza was responding to the brazen allegations by Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a Democratic congressional representative for the Bronx borough in New York City, who is also a member of the Democratic Socialists of America.
“This is them on their best behavior? And they put them in a room with no running water, and these women were being told by CBP officers to drink out of the toilet. They were drinking water out of the toilet. And that was them knowing a congressional visit was coming. This is CBP on their best behavior. Telling people to drink out of the toilet,” Cortez yelled to reporters from the passenger side window of an SUV, as she left the Border Patrol facilities.
She repeated the accusations on Twitter when she tweeted, “Just left the 1st CBP facility. I see why CBP officers were being so physically &sexually threatening towards me. Officers were keeping women in cells w/ no water & had told them to drink out of the toilets. This was them on their GOOD behavior in front of members of Congress.”
Only two weeks ago she had compared border patrol facilities to concentration camps, to the horror of one Holocaust survivor who called for Ocasio-Cortez to be removed from Congress for spreading “anti-Semitism, hatred, and stupidity.”
Ocasio-Cortez was also reported to have voted against funding border aid for migrants, which would help care for the huge influx of migrants crossing the U.S. southern border.
Daily Mail editor David Martosko tweeted a photo of a toilet from a CBP detention center in Tucson, Arizona, with an attached sink marked as “potable water,” meaning the water line to the sink is separate from the toilet and is safe to drink. He wondered if the toilet pictured was the kind of toilet Ocasio-Cortez referred to when she said women were “drinking from the toilet.”
Differing Witness Accounts
Several U.S. lawmakers visited two Texas Border Patrol processing centers on July 1. One center is located in the town of Clint, and the other in El Paso.
Two people who witnessed Ocasio-Cortez’s visit to the Border Patrol facility in El Paso, Texas, said she screamed at federal law enforcement agents “in a threatening manner,” even refusing to tour the facility, according to the Washington Examiner.
One witness said, “She came out screaming at our agents, right at the beginning … crying and screaming and yelling.”
“The agents—they wanted to respond but they held back because she’s a congressional delegate,” the same witness said. “But when you have someone yelling at you in a threatening manner … They were like, ‘Hey you need to kinda step back,’” the witness added.
A second official said Ocasio-Cortez went in and out of the cell during the group’s briefing nearby and returned to the group several times to share the information she had learned from detainees, including that one person had drunk from a toilet, it stated in the report.
An agent on scene told the Washington Examiner that Ocasio-Cortez misrepresented why a person in custody had drunk from a toilet.
Various sources say the toilets in the cells at the centers are combination toilets with faucet sinks at the tops of their tanks.