A Wall of Discontent: AOC’s Plea to Biden Echoes the Demands of a Humane Generation

A roaring voice in the sea of political discourse, Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (AOC) is taking a stand against a familiar issue wrapped in new political paper: the continuation of constructing Trump’s notorious southern border wall under the Biden administration. An action, for many young progressives and advocates, that feels like a bitter echo from the past policies that we fought vehemently against.

AOC’s condemnation of the administration’s decision to bypass numerous laws, all to expedite the construction of a wall that symbolizes exclusion and disregard for humanitarian needs, puts into stark relief the chasm between progressive promises and the actions being undertaken. The very wall that was to be halted is now being resurrected, much to the dismay of local communities, activists, and certainly, the millennial and Gen Z voters who rallied for a change in direction from the Trump administration’s policies.

The stark images of asylum seekers at the border, their futures hanging in a perilous balance, have haunted our collective conscience. The continuation of the wall not only denies them refuge but pushes migrants into even more hazardous territories, increasing their vulnerabilities and jeopardizing their lives—a cruelty that AOC has rightly highlighted.

This week’s notice from the Biden administration, stating its intent to circumvent 26 laws encompassing environmental, public health, and cultural preservation concerns, signals a troubling alignment with the previous administration’s often decried approach towards asylum seekers and immigration policy. A policy that we, as a generation advocating for empathy, inclusivity, and global solidarity, have consistently opposed.

The outcry is not simply about a physical barrier but what it represents in the larger narrative of U.S. policies and practices towards Latin American nations and refugees. The poignant statement from immigration advocacy group Voces Unidas RGV underscores the tangible repercussions of such policies on local communities and humanitarian efforts.

AOC, channeling the frustrations and demands of progressive factions and human rights advocates, calls for an introspection into U.S. policies that have destabilized regions and catalyzed the very migration crisis we witness today. From the stringent sanctions on Venezuela that have exacerbated an already grievous humanitarian crisis, to policies that have systematically undermined economies and propagated political unrest, the U.S. stands at a juncture that necessitates acknowledgment and rectification of its role in the roots of the migration phenomenon.

The continued plight of Venezuelan migrants, who flee untenable conditions in their homeland, only to encounter walls and exclusion, embodies a tragic paradox of U.S. foreign and immigration policies. Advocates and activists have consistently highlighted how U.S. actions, through sanctions and interventions, have shaped the adverse conditions prompting families to seek asylum in the first place.

Now, at a juncture where new leadership bears the mantle of past decisions, it is imperative to align actions with the promises that beckoned a wave of young, progressive voters. The critique from AOC not only signals a disconnect within policy implementation but also serves as a reminder of the urgency with which these matters need to be addressed.

Conversely, the willingness of conservative and far-right lawmakers to fund policies, that underscore surveillance, sanctions, and wall-building, neglects a fundamental understanding of the deeper, rooted issues of immigration and asylum-seeking. As AOC responded to Chris Hayes, the repetitive cycle of weaponizing policies and throwing money at walls and sanctions, only to have them re-emerge in political discourse, neglects a sincere engagement with the root causes and sustainable solutions to migration issues.

This is a call to not only listen to the potent, critical voices within our political spectrum but also to embody the values and actions we advocated for in a post-Trump era. For the young, progressive, and empathetic collective, it is our role to ensure that the pleas for humane treatment, equitable policies, and genuine engagement with the root issues of migration are not only heard but acted upon.

In these complex narratives of policies, walls, and humanitarian crises, let’s not lose sight of the fundamental tenets of compassion, justice, and shared humanity that bind us all.