Ocasio-Cortez said that Central Americans were willing to make the long journey to America because "they believe they have a greater chance of being targeted, killed, and murdered if they stay, than the odds of them being killed if they go on that journey."
"What the United States has not done is actually own up to the fact that we have contributed to regime change, destabilization and interventionist foreign policy that has contributed to these awful conditions throughout Latin America," said Ocasio-Cortez.
"And the reason this is a problem, and this is not just US supporting regime change, this is also climate policy that is impacting the global south disproportionately," she said, noting that farmers in South America have not contributed to climate change.
"Even though these farmers and these folks in Central and South America contributed to climate change the least in terms of their carbon emissions, they are experiencing the ravages the most right now." "US climate policy has contributed to this."
Ocasio-Cortez goes on to say that the nation cannot "continue to show up in Latin America and say that this is their fault, or that they are to blame."
"Because this seems like almost a precursor to say, in saying that we are going to allege that you are coming to this country illegally when seeking asylum on our border is in fact legal, and use that to predate any violence that we are willing to inflict on immigrants as a deterrent," she continues.
Ocasio-Cortez explains that while these methods, caging of immigrants, and other "inhuman policies," happened during the Trump administration, they happened during the Obama administration as well.
"And the caging of immigrants was very much documented and it was asserted in many ways along with many of the other inhumane policies as a deterrent to say, you know, if we are cruel enough, maybe people will think twice before coming. And this at its core is completely inhumane," said Ocasio-Cortez.
She criticized the "carceral immigration policy" that she believes has started the amassing at the southern border facilities holding immigrants, saying that the policies are a "shameful" thing to adopt.
Ocasio-Cortez said that the nation "chooses to gratuitously cage people seeking a better life… Imagine if right here in New York City, in Ellis Island, if people’s grandparents and great grandparents were met with cages, how different would the DNA and our family histories and our trauma be? This is not who we should be as a country."