AOC and a group of New York Democrats gave a press conference today outside of a hotel being used to house migrants. The press conference attracted a small but lively group of protesters who began shouting “Close the border!” while AOC and others were trying to speak.
“What we seek to do is to make sure that all the resources are necessary and that we are joining with the city and state,” Ocasio-Cortez said before the man wielding the megaphone shouted over her, saying, “Illegal immigration is not right! Respect the constitution, close the border!” …
“I think that there are three points of consensus here that are very important in getting a solution to that issue,” Ocasio-Cortez then said, despite the heckling. “The first is that there is consensus here across geographies and state on increased federal resources to cities and municipalities dealing with this issue.”
“The second is to allow for work authorizations so that folks in here can get to work and start supporting themselves as soon as possible. They are prevented from getting jobs. They are prevented from employment and that is part of the strain on our public systems,” she added. “The faster that folks can access the work that they’re asking for, legally, the better we can solve this problem.”
Ocasio-Cortez said the third point of consensus is extending Temporary Protected Status for Venezuelans, who she noted are the largest population who are arriving here.
She’s right that a lot of the migrants showing up right now are from Venezuela. I wrote about the effort to funnel them through Colombia into Central America yesterday.
Seeing AOC go to bat for Venezuelans fleeing their home country really makes me wonder if she appreciates the irony. An estimated 7 million people have fled Venezuela in the past 8 years or so because of what is sometimes called political and economic turmoil. That’s a very bland way of saying that the communist stooges in charge have run the economy into the ground and have then refused to relinquish power, even rewriting the constitution to prevent being ousted. You really can’t tell the story of millions of Venezuelans fleeing their home without mentioning the socialism that drove them away. So it’s sort of darkly amusing to see Democratic Socialist AOC, one of the most far left members of Congress, welcoming the migrants to America.
AOC was just a kid when Chavez came into power in 1999 and hadn’t been elected to Congress yet when his hand-picked successor Nicolas Maduro took over in 2013. I have little doubt AOC would have been a fan of Chavez, as many American leftists were, if she’d been a public figure back in, say, 2010. As it is, she came on the scene only after it was clear that the Bolivarian revolution was just another leftist autocratic nightmare.
Still, I have to wonder if she’s not going to regret welcoming all of these Venezuelans at some point. Presumably most of her left wing voters in New York have no actual experience with communism outside of a faculty lounge.
Of course it’s possible that these migrants could be more like the Californians who move to Texas complaining about high taxes and tight regulations and then immediately start voting for progressive candidates who want to bring those same things to the Lone Star State.
But I don’t think so. It wouldn’t surprise me if many of these migrants settle down in places like AOC’s district and become the kind of hard-core anti-communists that Cubans immigrants are in Florida. Simply put, people who’ve lived under communism probably won’t be voting for AOC or any Democratic Socialists anytime soon.
The protesters are just angry but they should consider this too. I’d be interested to hear from some of the Venezuelan migrants what they think about socialism and whether they want to see more of it here in the US.
AOC gets shouted down by protestors at NYC event on illegal migrant crisis.
“Close the border” pic.twitter.com/xDBdzr6k9I
— The Post Millennial (@TPostMillennial) September 15, 2023
Here’s another angle.
— Marla Diamond (@MDiamond8) September 15, 2023