In a response to President Donald Trump's Oval Office address on border security, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-NY, said that some immigrant women and children "are acting more in an American tradition than this president is right now."
Ocasio-Cortez ripped the president and his immigration policies as "anti-American" as she appeared on Rachel Maddow's show on MSNBC Tuesday night.
"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," the new Congresswoman said.
During his address, Trump again called for a wall at the U.S.-Mexico border and spoke about what he says is a "humanitarian and security crisis at our southern border."
In her remarks to Maddow, Ocasio-Cortez also decried some of Trump's actions as violations of human rights, citing the so-called "zero tolerance" family separation policy and deaths of migrants in the custody of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
"He talked about what happened the day after Christmas? The day of Christmas, a child died in ICE custody," Ocasio-Cortez said.
In his speech, Trump also referenced a police officer in California who was killed on Dec. 26 by a man who was living in the country illegally. Paulo Virgen Mendoza was arrested and accused of killing Ronil Singh of Newman Police Department.
However, the day before, an 8-year-old boy from Guatemala died in government custody – the second immigrant child to die in detention in December.
Trump emphasized humanitarian issues in an apparent appeal to Democrats during the speech, but he also spent several minutes discussing what he said was a crime problem stemming from migrants entering the country illegally
In a televised response, Democratic leaders Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer said Trump is using fear to try and achieve his wall at the expense of people who rely on government services.
Ocasio-Cortez, the youngest woman ever elected to Congress, has pushed for progressive policies since her campaign and called for the abolition of ICE.
Earlier this week, she said there was "no question" that Trump is racist, a point she doubled down on Twitter Tuesday before her Maddow appearance.