After Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York tried to link President Donald Trump’s border barrier proposal to the Ku Klux Klan, conservative commentator Dana Loesch reminded the freshman congresswoman that much of the barriers currently in place were built while former President Barack Obama was in office.
Following Trump’s Oval Office primetime address Tuesday night, Ocasio-Cortez tweeted, “Build a wall of steel, a wall as high as Heaven” against immigrants. – 1924 Ku Klux Klan convention.”
The Democrat continued, “We know our history, and we are determined not to repeat its darkest hour. America is a nation of immigrants. Without immigrants, we are not America.”
“Build a wall of steel, a wall as high as Heaven” against immigrants.
– 1924 Ku Klux Klan convention
We know our history, and we are determined not to repeat its darkest hour.
America is a nation of immigrants. Without immigrants, we are not America. https://t.co/3dePiGFQAL
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) January 9, 2019
Loesch responded by tweeting a quote from an ABC News story published shortly after Trump took office in January 2017.
“But some 700 miles of border fencing had already been completed along the country’s nearly 2,000-mile border with Mexico, much of it during Barack Obama’s presidency, as part of the Secure Fence Act of 2006, which was signed by George W. Bush.”
“But some 700 miles of border fencing had already been completed along the country's nearly 2,000-mile border with Mexico, much of it during Barack Obama's presidency, as part of the Secure Fence Act of 2006, which was signed by George W. Bush.”https://t.co/Jd1rpfX32s https://t.co/jguMRN2UCE
— Dana Loesch (@DLoesch) January 9, 2019
The “Secure Fence Act of 2006,” enjoyed strong bi-partisan support, passing the House of Representatives by a 238-138 vote, and the Senate, 80-19.
Sixty-four House and 25 Senate Democrats voted for the measure, including Sens. Chuck Schumer of New York, Barack Obama of Illinois, Joe Biden of Delaware, and Dianne Feinstein of California.
It seems doubtful Ocasio-Cortez would accuse these Democratic lawmakers of being Ku Klux Klan sympathizers.
During a CBS News “60 Minutes” interview on Sunday, Ocasio-Cortez charged that Trump “certainly didn’t invent racism. But he’s certainly given a voice to it and expanded it and created a platform for those things.”
Asked by host Anderson Cooper if she believes Trump is a racist, the congresswoman answered, “Yeah. No question.”
“When you look at the words that he uses, which are historic dog whistles of white supremacy,” she argued. “When you look at how he reacted to the Charlottesville incident, where neo-Nazis murdered a woman, versus how he manufactures crises like immigrants seeking legal refuge on our borders, it’s— it’s night and day.”
The White House deputy press secretary responded to the allegation, saying in a statement, “Congresswoman Ocasio-Cortez’s sheer ignorance on the matter can’t cover the fact that President Trump supported and passed historic criminal justice reform … and … has repeatedly condemned racism and bigotry in all forms.”
During his Oval Office address, Trump affirmed his support for legal immigration, as he has numerous times in the past.
“America proudly welcomes millions of lawful immigrants who enrich our society and contribute to our nation,” he said. “But all Americans are hurt by uncontrolled, illegal migration. It strains public resources and drives down jobs and wages. Among those hardest hit are African Americans and Hispanic Americans.”
According to the Department of Homeland Security, over 1.1 million immigrants were granted permanent legal status during the first year of Trump’s presidency, which is nearly identical to the last year of Obama’s time in office.
Trump also addressed House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s allegation that creating a border barrier between nations is an “immorality.”
“Some have suggested a barrier is immoral,” he recounted. “Then why do wealthy politicians build walls, fences, and gates around their homes? They don’t build walls because they hate the people on the outside, but because they love the people on the inside.”
— Secure America Now 🇺🇸 (@SecureAmerica) January 9, 2019
The president added: “The only thing that is immoral is the politicians to do nothing and continue to allow more innocent people to be so horribly victimized.”