Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Reminds Followers that Jesus Was Also a Refugee in Christmas Message

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez posted a Christmas message to her Twitter followers on Tuesday, reminding them that Jesus himself was a refugee as a baby.

"Joy to the World!" the Democratic congresswoman-elect from New York wrote. "Merry Christmas everyone - here's to a holiday filled with happiness, family, and love for all people. (Including refugee babies in mangers + their parents.)" she added.

Using the word "mangers" was a direct reference to the biblical story of the birth of Jesus, which western Christians commemorate on December 25. As the story is told in the New Testament book of Luke, Jesus's parents Mary and Joseph were unable to find a place to stay in Bethlehem and were forced to spend the night in a stable. Mary then gave birth to Jesus and laid him in a "manger" – a feeding trough for the animals.

Shortly following Jesus's birth, according to the Gospel of Matthew, the family was forced to flee Judea to Egypt. King Herod, who governed the region, heard reports that "the Messiah" or a "king" had been born in Bethlehem and ordered his soldiers to kill all of the town's children under the age of two. Warned by an angel, the family fled and remained in exile for several years.

As Mary Anne Marsh, a Democratic political analyst, wrote for Fox News on Tuesday, "That journey, in an effort to save the life of Jesus, makes clear they were refugees."

Drawing comparisons to the situation that has been unfolding on the southern border of the United States with Mexico, Marsh pointed out that "many" refugee children "have been neglected at the hands of the Trump administration and those entrusted to care for them."

"We have witnessed refugees dodge tear gas while running with children holding their hands. We have seen them detained, we have seen children separated from their parents, then placed in facilities that are more like prison camps and that are unsuitable for children," she wrote.

CNN host Joe Scarborough made a similar point in a Christmas Twitter post as well.

"Merry Christmas and prayers also for those beautiful and beloved children still incarcerated along America's border," Scarborough wrote. "May Congress and the American people demand their return to broken-hearted hearted parents," he added. "What would Jesus do? Just that. We must do better in 2019."

President Donald Trump's family separation policy and hardline immigration policies have drawn national and international outcry throughout 2018. During the summer, photos of migrant children separated from their parents and held in detention facilities went viral, leading to protests and condemnations. Thousands of children were taken from their parents under the controversial policy and, at the beginning of December, at least 81 were still held in detention apart from their families, according to CNN.

On Tuesday, Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) announced that an 8-year-old Guatemalan child had died on Christmas morning while in custody with his father. Earlier this month, a 7-year-old Guatemalan migrant girl died of exhaustion and dehydration.

Last week, Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen told the House Judiciary Committee that she didn't know how many people had died under her leadership. Representative Luis Gutiérrez, a Democrat from Illinois, also attacked Nielsen during the hearing, pointing out that the administration's policies would have likely killed baby Jesus.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Reminds Followers that Jesus Was Also a Refugee in Christmas Message | U.S.