AOC silent as Biden prepares bipartisan deal with Republicans to eviscerate right to asylum

As President Joe Biden and the Democratic Party work to strike a deal with the Republicans that will effectively abolish the right to asylum and virtually close the US-Mexico border to desperate migrants in exchange for $61.4 billion in additional military aid to Ukraine, Democratic Socialists of America Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-New York) has maintained a complicit silence.

This is all the more damning given Biden’s pledge to hire more Border Patrol agents after his border police doubled deportations last year, and the fascistic immigrant baiting of the White House’s Republican “colleagues.”

On Wednesday, Republican House Speaker Mike Johnson and over 60 Republican House members descended on Eagle Pass, Texas, where they held a press conference demanding sweeping changes to immigration laws and polices in exchange for their votes for the $110 billion supplemental funding package proposed by Biden. The package includes, beyond the tens of billions for the war against Russia, an additional $14.3 billion to fund Israel’s genocide in Gaza and $13.6 billion for “border protection,” i.e., more border gestapo and jails for migrant men, women and children.

US House Speaker Mike Johnson speaks while standing with Republican members of Congress, Wednesday, Jan. 3, 2024, in Eagle Pass, Texas. [AP Photo/Eric Gay]

In his speech, Johnson made clear that House Republicans would not support Biden’s supplemental war package unless the White House agreed to adopt all of ex-President Donald Trump’s anti-immigrant policies, including “Remain in Mexico” and completion of Trump’s border wall.

Johnson praised Governor Greg Abbott for signing Texas Senate Bill 4, which illegally empowers state police to deport suspected “illegal aliens,” superseding federal immigration law and congressional authority. He also praised the governor for deploying buoys in the Rio Grande River and razor wire along the border.

The Department of Justice on Wednesday sued Texas over SB 4 after Abbott refused to give assurances that the state of Texas would not enforce the law. Only 21 Democrats asked the Justice Department to intervene on SB 4, with only one DSA Democrat, Rep. Greg Casar, signing the letter.

Ocasio-Cortez has maintained some support among workers and left-leaning youth by falsely presenting herself as a “socialist” willing to fight the Democratic Party establishment. Leveraging her Puerto Rican ancestry, Ocasio-Cortez previously pledged to defend the democratic rights of “black and brown” people while being photographed weeping outside a migrant children’s facility.

One of the reasons Ocasio-Cortez amassed 14 million followers spread across her two X/Twitter accounts and another 8.4 million on Instagram was her stated opposition to Trump’s fascistic immigration policies. Ocasio-Cortez frequently trended on social media by declaring her intention to abolish ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement).

However, after stumping for “Genocide Joe” Biden in 2020, Ocasio-Cortez denounced socialist opponents of Biden’s anti-immigrant policies as “privileged” while keeping quiet about his attacks on immigrants. Her congressional office has not issued a press release on the border situation since October. In that statement, Ocasio-Cortez implored the Biden administration to not waive environmental laws in order to “fast track” construction of Trump’s border wall through the Rio Grande Valley. Her letter was ignored.

Throughout the entire month of December, neither of AOC’s X/Twitter accounts mentioned the words “immigrant” or “asylum,” even after Texas Governor Abbott signed his trio of anti-immigrant bills in the middle of the month.

Instead, she has continued to sow illusions in the Biden administration and the Democratic Party. In one of the few social media posts she has made in the past two weeks, on her Instagram account just before the New Year, Ocasio-Cortez listed “our 23 wins from 2023.”

The video is a summary of what AOC presents as “wins” or “accomplishments.” Speaking of her ninth “win” of the year, Ocasio-Cortez boasts, “We hosted a dozen members of Congress to tour the migrant response in New York City and successfully secured additional resources and Temporary Protected Status for half a million Venezuelans.”

Rep. Ocasio-Cortez boasting about politicians touring migrant shelters in an Instagram video. [Photo: aoc]

She makes no mention of the fact that New York Mayor Eric Adams, a Democrat, is in the process of evicting thousands of immigrants from these shelters, many of which are overrun and in poor condition.

Ocasio-Cortez’s silence is matched by that of her organization, the Democratic Socialists of America. The last article published by the DSA in Democratic Left criticizing Adams and the Democratic Party’s attacks on immigrants was on October 3, 2023, three months ago.

Since that article was published, the Republican presidential front-runner Trump has used Hitlerian language to attack immigrants, accusing them of “poisoning the blood of country,” while promising to carry out the biggest deportation operation in US history.

This has not prevented Biden and Democratic lawmakers from conducting secret talks with Trump’s allies in the House and Senate over trading incalculable suffering for hundreds of thousands of migrants for more missiles, bombs, drones, tanks and warplanes to increase the carnage in Eastern Europe and the Middle East.

On Wednesday, White House spokesperson Andrew Bates released a statement that sought to outflank the Republicans from the right by linking the so-called “border crisis” to their failure to back Biden’s supplemental spending bill and the billions more for border “security” it provides.

“Action speaks louder than words,” read Bates’ statement. “House Republicans’ anti-border security record is defined by their attempt to cut Customs and Border Protection personnel, opposing President Biden’s record-breaking border security funding and refusing to take up the President’s supplemental funding request.”