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Holiday Greeting From Newly Elected Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Sparks Controversy

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Photo Credit: @Ocasio2018 on Instagram

Newly elected Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez drew ire from some on social media on Christmas when she compared refugees to baby Jesus.

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“Joy to the World! Merry Christmas everyone – here’s to a holiday filled with happiness, family, and love for all people. (Including refugee babies in mangers + their parents.),” the Yorktown High School graduate posted in a tweet on Tuesday, referencing the story of Jesus’ birth.

Critics were quick to harangue Ocasio-Cortez on social media and in the press.

Sen. Lindsey Graham suggested Ocasio-Cortez visit the Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, which he said, "Might help her better understand the differences between the Holocaust and the caravan in Tijuana.”

“Once again your knowledge of history is lacking. They traveled to Bethlehem to comply with the laws of the time. They were legal, not illegal,” one Twitter user posted.

“For someone in public office you really are not that smart they were not refugees they were following the law having to go because of the census so twist and turn all you want your wrong and it makes you look absolutely ridiculous,” another added.

Another user tweeted, “I still cannot comprehend the depth to which your lies could go and your blatant misrepresentation of facts. Joseph and Mary were not refugees; they returned to Bethlehem for a census as required by their law.”

In response to the fallout from her initial tweet, Ocasio-Cortez posted a link to the America Jesuit Review, which stated that Jesus, Mary and Joseph were considered refugees.

“The Holy Family, as Matthew recounts the story, was fleeing because of a “well-founded fear of persecution” because of their ‘membership in a particular social group,’ in this case people with young children living in Bethlehem. I am not sure how you could get any clearer than that,” author James Martin posted on Dec. 27 last year.

“But even if the Holy Family does not fit the contemporary definition of refugees (and they do) and even if the Gospel of Matthew did not use the Greek word pheuge (and it does), we should still have compassion and be ready to care for modern-day refugees and migrants.”

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