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Immigration

AOC floats ‘reparations’ for some migrant families, rips Biden admin’s handling of migrants

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Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) on Wednesday called for “reparations” for some migrant families and called the conditions at the border “barbaric” and “horrifying”.

During a virtual town hall Wednesday night, the self-described democratic socialist claimed that families who were separated under former President Donald Trump are “owed reparations. Period.” Although, she didn’t specify how much money the reparations should amount to.

Moreover, Ocasio-Cortez condemned the Biden administration’s handling of the border crisis.

“As we’ve seen there are arrivals and undocumented children–rather unaccompanied children that have come at the border and this had lead to completely inhumane and unacceptable, horrifying conditions of children in CBP [Customs and Border Protection] custody. And it’s unacceptable and it’s horrifying,” the congresswoman said.

MORE ON THE BORDER: Border Patrol video shows smugglers drop two toddlers over 14-foot wall

When the administration opened the first facility for migrant children back in February, she criticized the move, saying at the time: “This is not okay, never has been okay, never will be okay – no matter the administration or party.”

Wednesday night, Ocasio-Cortez also said what’s going on at overcrowded migrant detention facilities is “a result of the fact that we have built our immigration system on the same principles and scaffolding as our carceral system.”

MORE ON THE BORDER: U.S. border authorities save infant, mother migrants

“The fact that this keeps happening over and over and over again is a political failure by both parties,” she said.

However, the congresswoman added that she didn’t want to draw “false equivalents” between the actions of the Biden and Trump administrations

MORE ON THE BORDER: Putting Harris in charge of immigration is like ‘making El Chapo the drug czar’: Sen. Kennedy

“What is happening here is not the same as what happened during the Trump administration where they took babies out of the arms of mothers and deported their families and permanently traumatized these children,” Ocasio-Cortez said, going on to say that President Joe Biden’s policies toward families are “simply not the same” as Trump’s.

“Both are these things are barbaric and wrong, but when you rip a baby out of hands of a mother, you cannot draw the same comparison and anyone who is trying to do that is doing a profound disservice to the cause of justice,” she added.

MORE ON THE BORDER: Sara Carter: Biden border crisis — young migrant’s dangerous journey is a reminder of failed US policies

Ocasio-Cortez mostly blamed the crisis on U.S. foreign policy for worsening the situations in Central American nations from where migrants are fleeing instead of outright blaming Biden, arguing he’s trying to fix the situation.

“I’ve been in contact with the Biden Administration personally. What is different is they’re trying to figure out,” she said. “How to find the resources to end his problem.”

“I don’t want to excuse any of this,” the congresswoman said of Biden’s policies. “We should be doing better by now.”

Ocasio-Cortez’s remarks came one day after she was widely ridiculed for telling her supporters to refrain from describing the record number of migrants arriving at the border a “surge,” claiming such use of the word pushes a “white supremacist idea-philosophy.”

RELATED: AOC: Calling the border crisis a ‘surge’ pushes ‘white supremacist philosophy’

You can follow Douglas Braff on Twitter @DouglasPBraff.

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Healthcare

CA to provide all low-income illegal immigrants health care at a cost of ‘$2.7 billion a year’

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On Thursday, California Governor Gavin Newsom signed a $307.9 billion operating budget “that pledges to make all low-income adults eligible for the state’s Medicaid program by 2024 regardless of their immigration status” reports the Associated Press.

The guarantee of free health care for low-income immigrants here illegally, is a “move that will provide coverage for an additional 764,000 people at an eventual cost of about $2.7 billion a year” adds the AP.

According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, a health care nonprofit, people living in the country illegally in 2020 accounted for roughly 7% of the population nationwide, or about 22.1 million people. The border crisis and number of migrants entering the United States illegally has skyrocketed to historic levels since 2020 when President Joe Biden took office.

Medicaid nationwide is the current combination of federal and state governments assisting Americans and low-income adults and children to receive free health care, but the federal government does not cover those living here illegally.

“Some states, including California, have used their own tax dollars to cover a portion of health care expenses for some low-income immigrants” reports the AP. “Now, California wants to be the first to do that for everyone.”

“This will represent the biggest expansion of coverage in the nation since the start of the Affordable Care Act in 2014,” said Anthony Wright, executive director of Health Access California, a statewide consumer health care advocacy group. “In California we recognize (that) everybody benefits when everyone is covered.”

While 92% of Californians currently have some form of health insurance, “that will change once this budget is fully implemented, as adults living in the country illegally make up one of the largest groups of people without insurance in the state” the AP concludes.

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