WATCH: AOC Doesn’t Like The Word ‘Surge’ Being Used To Describe The Dramatic Increase In Illegal Border Crossing

Written by K. Walker on March 31, 2021

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Rep. Ocasio-Cortez been (relatively) quiet about the situation at the southern border and the “kids in cages!” that she was bleating about for years under the previous administration.

In an Instagram Live video on Tuesday, Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) made a pretty ridiculous argument nitpicking the language used to describe the sudden, dramatic increase in the number of asylum-seekers crossing the southern border illegally. She’s apparently not keen on the use of the word “surge” to describe the increase in the number of caravans heading to the border.

AOC: They wanna say, “What about the surge?” Well, first of all, gut-check — Stop. Anyone who’s using the term “surge” around you consciously is trying to invoke a militaristic frame and that’s a problem. Because these — this is not a surge, these are children, and they are not insurgents, and we are not being invaded, which by the way, is a white supremacist idea…philosophy. The idea that if an “other” is coming in the population that this is like an invasion of who we are.

Where to begin with this one?

Let’s start with the low-hanging fruit… ok, that’s not helping.

Let’s start with her suggestion that objecting to human traffickers getting rich on helping economic migrants flout our immigration law is “white supremacy” — that’s simply stupid. She’s an open-borders activist who doesn’t think that the United States should enforce immigration law, but should instead roll out the welcome mat for anyone who wants to come.

In another part of her discussion not included in the above clip, she says that a lot of the national conversation about immigration — she means illegal border crossing, not the legal process, that doesn’t seem to exist to her — is by people who “don’t care” about immigrants.

Uh, no. Some people who oppose open borders consider it inhumane to allow people to be trafficked by cartels across the border and be subjected to rape, abandonment, and God knows what other forms of abuse by these coyotes. These animals toss babies into the Rio Grande and attack women.

Maybe We SHOULDN’T Reunite Children With Parents Who Send Them Across The Border Alone

There are also many people who think that we should take care of the children that are in need here before importing more people that need assistance.

And some people think that it’s completely unfair to legal immigrants — some of whom are making legitimate asylum claims — to be shoved to the back of the line because people making bogus asylum claims can’t be bothered to go through the legal route.

AOC says that the border crisis isn’t a border crisis — it’s “an imperialism crisis, it’s a climate crisis, it’s a trade crisis, and also, it’s a carceral crisis.”

No, it’s a border crisis that is driven by the Biden-Harris administration rolling back some of the Trump-era policies that stopped incentivizing sending children across the border.

Finally, about her objection to the use of the word “surge.”

She says that just saying the word “surge” is a “militaristic frame” that invokes the idea of an insurgency.

The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines “surge” in two ways — as a verb and as a noun.

surge verb
Definition of surge (Entry 1 of 2)
intransitive verb
1: to rise and fall actively : TOSS
a ship surging in heavy seas
2: to rise and move in waves or billows : SWELL
the sea was surging
3: to slip around a windlass, capstan, or bitts —used especially of a rope
4: to rise suddenly to an excessive or abnormal value
the stock market surged to a record high
5: to move with a surge or in surges
felt the blood surging into his face
— Harry Hervey
she surged past the other runners
transitive verb

: to let go or slacken gradually
surge a rope

surge noun
Definition of surge (Entry 2 of 2)
1: a swelling, rolling, or sweeping forward like that of a wave or series of waves
a surge of interest
2a: a large wave or billow : SWELL
b(1): a series of such swells or billows
(2): the resulting elevation of water level
3a: a movement (such as a slipping or slackening) of a rope or cable
b: a sudden jerk or strain caused by such a movement
4: a transient sudden rise of current or voltage in an electrical circuit

Both of those are applicable in this case.

Verb usage: Asylum seekers — many of them families and unaccompanied minors are surging the border in record numbers.

Noun usage: There has been a surge of Central American migrants since the election of co-Presidents Jamala Biden-Harris in 2020.

Perhaps that’s too complex for Rep. Occasional-Cortex.

Let’s try the definition from the English Language Learners Dictionary:

: a sudden, large increase
: a sudden movement of many people
: a large wave of water

Oh, what’s that second one, there… “a sudden movement of many people”?

Well, then. I think that’s pretty clear, no?

Interestingly, the history and etymology of the word “surge” is rather interesting…

History and Etymology for surge (verb) — earlier, to ride (at anchor) probably in part from Middle French sourgir to cast anchor, land, from Catalan surgir to heave, cast anchor, from Latin surgere to rise, spring up; from sub- up + regere to lead straight; in part from Latin surgere — more at SUB-, RIGHT

It likely comes from the Middle French word “sourgig” that means “to cast anchor.”

That’s kind of funny since here at ClashDaily we’ve been occasionally referring to the Biden Border Babies surge as Anchor Babies 2.0. Fitting.

Her assertion that the word “surge” is supposed to bring to mind “insurgent” is absolutely ridiculous.

Does the same follow for the following words and phrases:

surge protector
power surge

How about these ones that are also similar to the word “surge”:


Clearly, she’s spent a wee bit too much time in college and has little to show for it except her ability to use every single thing to push her agenda.

She was (rightly) mocked for this on social media.

This was the best one:


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ClashDaily's Associate Editor since August 2016. Self-described political junkie, anti-Third Wave Feminist, and a nightmare to the 'intersectional' crowd. Mrs. Walker has taken a stand against 'white privilege' education in public schools. She's also an amateur Playwright, former Drama teacher, and staunch defender of the Oxford comma. Follow her humble musings on Twitter: @TheMrsKnowItAll