Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez was called out on social media over photographs near a migrant detention center that critics said appeared to be staged during her 2018 campaign, a charge that her office denied.
The "previously unpublished" pictures came to light when a photographer, Ivan Pierre Aguirre, posted them on his Twitter account. He said that they were taken last year in Tornillo, Texas.
The New York Democrat tweeted out the post, writing that she'll "never forget this, because it was the moment I saw with my own eyes that the America I love was becoming a nation that steals refugee children from their parents,& caged them. More kids died after this. To date, no one has been held accountable. We need to save these kids.”
The tweet was, however, called out by some on social media who claimed that the pictures near a chain-linked fence appeared to be "staged." There's one image of Ocasio-Cortez apparently bent over in anguish and there's another with her hands covering her face.
The pictures were ridiculed particularly as there was no sight of actual migrant children during the protest.
Her office did not immediately respond to an email from Fox News, but a spokesman told The Hill, “I cannot control what kind of right-wing garbage shows up on the bottom of the posts.” He told the outlet that allegations that the photos were staged are "in no way related to reality or truth."
The story was picked up by various news sites, including Newsweek.
“Excuse me while I take the time to put on bright red lipstick, a pristine white outfit and a Movado watch before I go see little kids locked up in the desert,” one social media user tweeted.
"Did the cars cause all that pain and anguish?” a social media user wrote in a tweet, sharing pictures from the protest showing that the Democrat, on the far left, looking at an empty road with a few cars.
Ocasio-Cortez on Tuesday defied the party and voted against a bill to provide $4.5 billion in emergency border funding that would have improved the conditions of the migrant children.
“Throwing more money at the very organizations committing human rights abuses—and the very Administration directing these human rights abuses—is not a solution,” she said in a statement.
“This is a humanitarian crisis—a humanitarian crisis inflicted by our own leadership. It's also a refugee crisis fueled by state violence, corruption, and impunity in the Northern Triangle–one that this Administration has only fueled through mass deportation and slashing aid.”