Ocasio-Cortez: Immigrants coming to US ‘acting more in American tradition’ than Trump

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-CortezAlexandria Ocasio-CortezPolice say man trespassed into Ocasio-Cortez's office Police say man trespassed into Ocasio-Cortez's office Ocasio-Cortez starts petition to repeal Hyde Amendment MORE (D-N.Y.) on Tuesday said immigrants seeking to enter the U.S. "are acting more in an American tradition" than President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump defends Stephanopolous interview Trump defends Stephanopolous interview Buttigieg on offers of foreign intel: 'Just call the FBI' MORE, shortly after the president delivered a stark address to the nation calling for more border security.

Ocasio-Cortez also slammed the president's immigration policies. The freshman lawmaker argued that Trump is systematically curbing even legal immigration and called his policies "anti-American."

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"He’s fighting against almost every way that people can actually legally enter this country, forcing them to become undocumented and then he's trying to attack their undocumented status," she said during an appearance on MSNBC's "Maddow."

"This is systematic. It is wrong and it is anti-American. And again, those women and children trying to come here with nothing but the shirts on their back to create an opportunity and provide for this nation are acting more in an American tradition than this president is right now," Ocasio-Cortez added.

Earlier Tuesday night, Trump claimed in his prime-time address that the U.S. is facing a “growing humanitarian and security crisis” at the southern border, where he is demanding that a wall be built to prevent crime. 

“This barrier is absolutely critical to border security,” Trump said during the address.

Trump's demand for the wall prompted the ongoing partial shutdown, which on Wednesday will enter its 19th day.

Ocasio-Cortez called Trump's vow to build the wall a "campaign fantasy" and said he told "falsehood after falsehood" in his address.

“The president has decided to hold the paychecks of everyday Americans hostage so that he can fulfill a campaign — I don’t even want to call it a promise. A campaign fantasy that a vast majority of Americans disapprove of," she said. 

“Not only that, but in the actual address there was falsehood after falsehood and we have to make sure we get the facts straight," she continued. "Every day immigrants commit crimes at a far lower rate than native-born Americans.”