Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez Says Calling Border Situation a 'Surge' is a Militaristic, White Supremacist Idea

Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) denounced the use of the word "surge" to describe what's happening at the U.S.-Mexico border, saying that it invokes a "militaristic frame" rooted in white supremacy.

Speaking to her followers on Instagram on Tuesday, Ocasio-Cortez discussed immigration and decried the notion that the southern border is being invaded by migrants.

"Anyone who's using the term 'surge' around you consciously, is trying to invoke a militaristic frame. And that's a problem," Ocasio-Cortez said.

"This is not a 'surge,' these are children, they are not insurgents. And we are not being invaded. Which, by the way, is a white supremacist idea—the idea that if 'an other' is coming in the population, that this is like an invasion of who we are."

.@AOC on border crisis: "This is not a 'surge,' these are children, and they are not insurgents." pic.twitter.com/2V9GO5p8xe

— Eddie Zipperer (@EddieZipperer) March 31, 2021

Ocasio-Cortez also addressed the border, saying that immigration is being driven as a result of imperialism, climate change and global trade.

"So much of our national conversation about immigration is driven by people who could not care less about immigrants," she said. "It's not a border crisis. It's an imperialism crisis, it's a climate crisis, it's a trade crisis. And also, it's a carceral crisis."

.@AOC summing up the systemic problems in our immigration system in a minute and a half. pic.twitter.com/bFY20ne6Gb

— Sawyer Hackett (@SawyerHackett) March 31, 2021

"Those are some of the problems, but what about the solutions? Our solutions need to be rooted in foreign policy because our interventionist history in foreign policy, in history, over decades of destabilizing regions drives immigration. But people don't want to have that conversation," she added.

Her comments came amid growing political rhetoric that the southern border is facing an immigration "crisis" under the Biden administration.

The U.S. is on track to see the highest number of migrants arriving at the southern border in the past 20 years, with an increasing number of unaccompanied children crossing over.

According to figures from U.S. Customs and Border Protection, the number of unaccompanied children crossing the border increased by 63 percent in February over the previous month. The agency reported 9,297 arrivals of unaccompanied minors last month.

AOC
Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) denounced the use of the word "surge" to describe immigration. In the photo, Ocasio-Cortez listens during a press conference for the announcement of the bicameral introduction of the Puerto Rico Self-Determination Act of 2021 on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., on March 18, 2021. ANNA MONEYMAKER/POOL/AFP/Getty Images

Photos and videos have also shown that facilities along the border are overcrowded and, in some cases, underprepared to handle the influx of migrants. President Joe Biden has also come under fire for failing to allow members of the press to go inside the facilities.

Republicans have accused Biden of contributing to the rise in immigration after he moved to reverse the hardline border policies of former President Donald Trump.

Biden, however, has refused to call the situation a crisis and has said that the current number of border arrivals is not unprecedented. During a press briefing on March 25, Biden said that there has been a 28 percent increase in the amount of children arriving at the border under his administration, compared with 31 percent in 2019 under Trump.

"I'd like to think it's because I'm a nice guy, but it's not. It's because of what's happened every year," Biden said, adding that "nothing has changed."

Newsweek contacted Ocasio-Cortez for additional comment but did not hear back in time for publication.