A year ago, a group of protesters made headlines as they gathered outside a “tent city” in Tornillo, Texas, temporarily housing migrant children to rally against the Trump administration’s “zero tolerance” crackdown on immigration.
Among the group, was a little-known first-time candidate for Congress who would, just two days later, go on to make headlines of her own after delivering one of the biggest upsets in the lead-up to the 2018 midterm elections: Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.
Few were aware that just two days before defeating 10-term incumbent Representative Joe Crowley on June 26, 2018, Ocasio-Cortez had taken time out of her campaign to visit the Tornillo tent city where more than 6,000 children would go on to be held in the wake of the Trump administration’s widely-condemned family separation policy.
Before @AOC hit the national stage & was just a fairly unknown House candidate frm NYC,she took time awy frm her campaign & came dwn to #Tornillo to protest the #tentcity housing migrant children.I made these previously unpublished fotos a yr ago today. #elpaso #aoc #onassignment pic.twitter.com/SWyyI1XVt9
— Ivan Pierre Aguirre (@i_p_a_1) June 25, 2019
On Monday, photos of an emotional Ocasio-Cortez standing outside the facility made their way onto Twitter after writer and photographer Ivan Pierre Aguirre decided to share the “previously unpublished” photos a year after they were taken.
“Before [Ocasio-Cortez] hit the national stage and was just a fairly unknown House candidate from NYC, she took time [away from ] her campaign and came down to #Tornillo to protest the #tentcity housing migrant children,” Aguirre wrote a tweet, sharing photos of Ocasio-Cortez’s visit.
In one photo, the now-New York representative looks sadly into the camera’s lens, while in another, she appears visibly distressed, crying into her hands.
Sharing the photos on her own Twitter page, Ocasio-Cortez said she will “never forget” that day “because it was the moment I saw with my own eyes that the America I love was becoming a nation that steals refugee children from their parents [and] caged them.”
“More kids died after this. To date, no one has been held accountable,” she said. “We need to save these kids.”
I’ll never forget this, because it was the moment I saw with my own eyes that the America I love was becoming a nation that steals refugee children from their parents,& caged them.
More kids died after this. To date, no one has been held accountable.
We need to save these kids. https://t.co/HhdMqc5zML
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) June 25, 2019
While both Aguirre and Ocasio-Cortez shared the photos to mark a powerful moment, many on Twitter were critical of the images, accusing Ocasio-Cortez of holding a “photo op” outside the Tornillo tent city, with critics scrutinizing the politician’s decision to wear red lipstick and an all-white outfit during her visit.
SOURCE: CHANTAL DA SILVA