Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) went on MSNBC on Thursday night to blame former President Donald Trump for the chaos in Afghanistan, saying that his “extremely xenophobic and racist immigration policies” are to blame for the crisis there.
“We used to have an annual ceiling of 231,000 people under Ronald Reagan. No moderate figure there,” said host Joy Reid. “George W. Bush 70,000. Under President Obama, it was 85,000. Under Trump 15,000. We have had former members of the administration come forward and talk about Stephen Miller, eventual essentially waging rhetorical war against the idea of Afghans coming here.”
“We have seen people on another network call them invaders,” she added. “So there is another side of this. There is another side that doesn’t want any of them here. So do you think that the politics around bringing more people in are going to be challenged by that xenophobic attitude we are seeing play out?”
“It is no secret that the Trump administration carried out extremely xenophobic and racist immigration policies,” Ocasio-Cortez said in response. “When we look at the turmoil of what is happening now, one of the questions we have to ask as well — Afghanistan is a responsibility and that falls upon the shoulders of virtually every president since George W. Bush.”
“One of the things we see, what was the Trump administration doing when they were not pre-evacuating out under the SIV program, these Afghan interpreters and nationals and allies?” she continued. “It is because of Stephen Miller and his rhetoric and the xenophobia of the Trump administration that there were many thousands of Afghans we could have worked on evacuating much earlier than even this year.”
This came after Ocasio-Cortez called for a minimum of 200,000 visas to be issued for Afghan refugees. She quickly added that “whatever amount is necessary” should be accommodated, according to Yahoo News.
“I believe we need to move, and the administration needs to move as quickly as possible and as expansively as possible, ensuring that we are raising the amount of refugee visas to whatever amount is necessary,” she said. “I would say the rock bottom is 200,000, but I think it should be whatever is necessary … And that needs to be expedited as soon as possible.”