Rachel Maddow's first politician to respond to the Trump speech on her MSNBC show last night was freshman (and self-described socialist) Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. Maddow asked about the "harm" the president causes to immigrants and the economy with his immigrant-demonizing message. Ocasio-Cortez accused President Trump of "racist and violent rhetoric" regarding illegal immigration. As a result, said the far-left Democrat said "we're talking about people feeling unsafe. And no one should feel unsafe in the United States of America, and that includes our amazing, and beautiful, and productive, immigrant community."
RACHEL MADDOW: In your district that is not just diverse but 50 percent immigrant and that you're talking about the economic relationship that you can see between immigrant economic activity and the overall performance of your district. What's the consequence of having somebody as president who has made this core to his message and to what he wants his presidency to mean? What is the harm that's caused by him talking this way and using this sort of platform the way he has, even when he can't get policies passed?
ALEXANDRIA OCASIO-CORTEZ: I can tell you a very personal story. As many people know, I was working in restaurants just a year ago. And when the President first assumed office with his racist and violent rhetoric, people started to send themselves home. And as we know, in restaurants, hospitality, every American eats if you can, if you’re lucky enough, we’re able to eat three times a day. That means we interact with the people who prepare our food three times a day. When those people start to go home, local—or rather go back to the countries which they originated from because many of them consider the United States their home— those places, they go into dysfunction.
I remember one of our lead cooks brought himself back to Mexico because he was so scared of the President’s rhetoric. We had an insane amount of dysfunction. We’re talking about local restaurants. We’re talking about local businesses. We’re talking about shuttering neighborhoods.
And we’re talking about people feeling unsafe. And no one should feel unsafe in the United States of America. And that includes our amazing, and beautiful, and productive immigrant community.
Of course, we don't want anyone within our borders to feel threatened by crime. But should illegal immigrants feel "unsafe" in the sense that they feel subject to detainment and deportation? You bet!
And it was clearly illegal immigrants that Ocasio-Cortez: had in mind. She said that in reaction to the president's rhetoric, "people started to send themselves home," mentioning in particular "one of the lead cooks [who] brought himself back to Mexico." If the people she described were here legally, including the cook who returned to Mexico, there'd be no reason for them to feel unsafe or "send themselves home." So by definition, Ocasio-Cortez: was talking about illegal immigrants.
Ocasio-Cortez effectively admits that she opposes immigration enforcement. Not surprising, coming from someone who advocates the abolition of ICE. Something to keep in mind the next time some Democrat or member of the liberal media claims "everybody is in favor of border security."
Within a few sentences, Ocasio-Cortez returned to form on MSNBC, trashing ICE: "The president should not be asking for more money to an agency that has systematically violated human rights. The president should be really defending why we are funding such an agency at all because right now what we are seeing is death. Right now what we are seeing is the violation of human rights."
Then Maddow thanked her effusively for coming on her show for the first time. "I know you have a lot of pressures on your time. Thanks for making time to be here, and I hope you come back."