Ocasio-Cortez calls for '9/11-style commission' to investigate Trump family separation policy

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-CortezAlexandria Ocasio-CortezLouisiana governor wins re-election White House backs Stephen Miller amid white nationalist allegations Ocasio-Cortez voices support for Taylor Swift in artist's battle to perform her songs MORE (D-N.Y.) on Saturday called for a "9/11-style commission" to investigate the effects of the Trump administration policy that led to family separations at the southern border. 

The freshman lawmaker made the demand while speaking at an immigration town hall in her home district, according The Guardian. Ocasio-Cortez, who has become one of President TrumpDonald John TrumpGOP divided over impeachment trial strategy Official testifies that Bolton had 'one-on-one meeting' with Trump over Ukraine aid Louisiana governor wins re-election MORE's favorite targets, said if the Democrats win back the Senate and White House, the government should convene a special commission to investigate family separations.

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"The 9/11 commission, they were charged with the investigating and making sure they dug out every nook and cranny of what happened and how it happened in our system," she said. "And I think that that kind of study is what’s going to be required in order to reunite as many children with their parents as possible. That’s the work that we have to do."

 

Rep. Veronica EscobarVeronica EscobarRep. Veronica Escobar elected to represent freshman class in House leadership Brindisi, Lamb recommended for Armed Services, Transportation Committees House Democrats target Latino vote in Texas MORE (D-Texas) earlier this year introduced a measure that would require an “investigative commission” to probe the handling of migrant families. Escobar has said that the independent commission would be modeled off the 9/11 commission. 

The bill, The Homeland Security Improvement Act, is expected to receive a vote in the House this week. 

The 9/11 commission, also known as the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States, was launched in November 2002 to probe the "circumstances surrounding" the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. 

Ocasio-Cortez added that the U.S. now has a "lifelong" commitment to the children it separated from their parents, adding she believes "we have responsibility to provide mental health care services to those children for the rest of their lives."

"Even if you separate a kid from their parents for two days you have already created lifelong lasting trauma," she said. 

"It chills me to my core to think about 20 years from now, when these kids grow up, the story that they will have about America. That is exactly why we cannot allow this administration to define immigration policy within the United States. This is something that I think is going to have to take a 9/11-style commission," she added.

The Trump administration faced widespread scrutiny last year for a policy that led to the separations of thousands of families at the U.S.-Mexico border. Trump later signed an executive order to end the policy. 

The comments from Ocasio-Cortez came at the end of a week in which Trump repeatedly targeted her and a group of minority congresswomen. Trump said the women — Ocasio-Cortez, Ilhan OmarIlhan OmarOcasio-Cortez jabs 'plutocratic' late entrants to 2020 field Krystal Ball: Billionaires panicking over Sanders candidacy Omar renews claim Stephen Miller is a 'white nationalist' amid calls for him to step down MORE (D-Minn.), Rashida TlaibRashida Harbi TlaibAyanna Pressley introduces extensive criminal justice reform resolution Ethics panel extends probe into Tlaib, says she likely misused campaign funds Ocasio-Cortez jabs 'plutocratic' late entrants to 2020 field MORE (D-Mich.) and Ayanna PressleyAyanna PressleyAyanna Pressley introduces extensive criminal justice reform resolution Ocasio-Cortez jabs 'plutocratic' late entrants to 2020 field Justice Democrats official denies that progressives struggle with electability MORE (D-Mass.) — should "go back" to the "crime infested places" they came from before speaking out about the U.S. government. 

Ocasio-Cortez argued during the town hall that Trump's rhetoric showed his policies had nothing to do with his views on immigration. 

"Once you start telling American citizens to quote 'go back to your own countries,' this tells you that this president's policies are not about immigration. It's about ethnicity and racism,” she said.