Ocasio-Cortez's Attack on ICE in Question After Journalist Starts Digging
A reporter did some digging after freshman Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez repeated her call for Immigration and Customs Enforcement to be abolished, this time based on a comedian’s claim he was wrongfully detained by the agency.
Comedian Mohanad Elshieky tweeted on Sunday, “This morning, ICE agents got on my Greyhound bus that was headed from Spokane to Portland. They walked around before they asked me and few others to step outside and took my documents and interrogated me for around 20 mins then claimed my papers were fake and that I’m ‘illegal.'”
This morning, ICE agents got on my Greyhound bus that was headed from Spokane to Portland. They walked around before they asked me and few others to step outside and took my documents and interrogated me for around 20 mins then claimed my papers were fake and that I’m “illegal”.
— Mohanad Elshieky (@MohanadElshieky) January 27, 2019
In the thread, Elshieky related that he explained to agents that he was legally in the United States on asylum status, but they did not believe him and told him his documents were falsified.
Nonetheless, according to the comedian, they handed his documents back to him and told him to have the right ones next time.
Elshieky, who came to the U.S. from Libya, later tweeted that he misidentified ICE as the agents who questioned him, writing they were actually Customs and Border Patrol, who he described as “racist trash Fox News calls heroes.”
CBS News identified the agents as Border Patrol, as well.
Ocasio-Cortez responded to Elshieky’s story, tweeting, “One of these days, I hope people realize that the idea that ICE should be scrapped isn’t so crazy after all.”
One of these days, I hope people realize that the idea that ICE should be scrapped isn’t so crazy after all.
ICE jails children in for-profit detention centers funded by private equity grps. Kids are dying w/ 0 accountability. If that’s not totally broken, I don’t know what is. https://t.co/AlMgLiHVnu
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) January 28, 2019
“ICE jails children in for-profit detention centers funded by private equity grps. Kids are dying w/0 accountability. If that’s not totally broken, I don’t know what is,” she added.
Quillette journalist Andy Ngo replied to Ocasio-Cortez’s tweet, writing, “But this wasn’t ICE.”
But this wasn’t ICE. https://t.co/wtGtS3riPh
— Andy Ngo (@MrAndyNgo) January 28, 2019
He also replied directly to Elshieky, “I have reached out to ICE for comment. Given what I’ve personally witnessed of you in real life, I think it is fair to question your interpretation of events. I have seen you use public events to bring attention to yourself in a similar manner for non-events.”
“An ICE representative got back to me to confirm that those federal agents in the photo are not ICE, contrary to what Mr. Elshieky claimed.” Ngo added. “His inaccurate tweets are still up. He did issue an update hours later, but of course people are disseminating the inaccurate posts en mass.”
The reporter tore into Elshieky’s account given to the Williamette Week finding many contradictory facts.
The comedian told the news outlet it was snowing and the agents were wearing gloves, but would not allow him to keep his hands in his pockets.
But Ngo posted the weather report in Spokane on Sunday showing it was not snowing and shared a picture in which agents were not wearing gloves.
“…it was snowing…they were wearing gloves…” pic.twitter.com/KKPfSof9zj
— Andy Ngo (@MrAndyNgo) January 28, 2019
The Williamette Week piece ended with a quote from Elshieky saying, “The whole argument of politicians or people on the news—’Just do it the legal way. Come here legally, that’s all you need to do’—this kind of proves that doesn’t matter at all.”
Ngo disagreed tweeting, “How does he come to this conclusion? He was questioned by federal authorities for 20 minutes (he alleges) and then was permitted to leave without issue.”
The Hill reported that Ocasio-Cortez was the lone Democrat to vote against a short-term bill to reopen the government on Friday, citing the legislation’s funding for ICE.
The New York Democrat explained on an Instagram Live video that the bill’s funding for ICE prevented her from supporting the measure.
“Most of our votes are pretty straightforward, but today was a tough/nuanced call,” Ocasio-Cortez wrote in an Instagram story. “We didn’t vote with the party because one of the spending bills included ICE funding and our community felt strongly about not funding that.”
Following President Donald Trump’s Oval Office address to the nation earlier this month, the lawmaker argued that the administration should not receive additional border security funding, alleging it is guilty of human rights violations.
“The president should not be asking for more money to an agency that has systematically violated human rights,” Ocasio-Cortez said.
She continued: “The president should be really defending why we are funding such an agency at all because right now, what we are seeing is death.”
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