While Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., said she's working with New York City Mayor Eric Adams to address the city's migrant crisis, she also welcomed the flood of illegal immigrants streaming over the southern border.
The democratic socialist said at a town hall meeting in The Bronx on Wednesday that she's working with City Hall to apply for federal housing grants through the Office of Housing and Urban Development, according to the New York Post.
"So they are working with that application on emergency housing services," Ocasio-Cortez said. "We have a housing crisis in this city. There are many ways we need to respond to it.
"We are in close communication with the mayor's office and getting the resources necessary. If some states don't want to do their job on that, that's fine. But then those federal resources should come to New York City, and those federal dollars should come to places that want to take care of people, and we need that financial support. We are closely monitoring the situation."
Last week Adams declared a state of emergency as New York struggles to accommodate 19,000 migrants, including 5,500 primarily Spanish-speaking children who are attending public schools without bilingual teachers.
During a question-and-answer session, Ocasio-Cortez was asked what she was doing to help secure the southern border.
"We have foreign nationals by the millions pouring in illegally, flooding our country," a retired firefighter asked her, according to the Post. "You are a member of Congress. Writing our immigration laws … What will you do with the immigration law to secure the southern border?"
He continued by saying that 95% of the people coming across the border are "economic migrants," not politically persecuted foreigners, which disqualifies them from political asylum.
"It's legal to seek asylum at the United States border," Ocasio-Cortez said. "...When we talk about undocumented people, my priority is about opening legal pathways to citizenship and making sure they are open."
Claiming the U.S. immigration system is broken, Ocasio-Cortez said it isn't practical to think that those seeking asylum can wait in line.
"If we don't want people here illegally then we should document them," she said, according to the Post.
Pointing to the population decline in countries such as Japan because of a lack of immigration, Ocasio-Cortez said immigration is beneficial in the United States.
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