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Fox News
Fox News
23 Feb 2024

A town hall hosted by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y. touting the apparent benefits of the Green New Deal ended up turning some attendees red with anger on Thursday.

The socialist lawmaker was speaking at an event in Queens in New York City where she was heckled by two attendees who accused her of caring more about illegal immigrants than those whom she was elected to represent. One of the hecklers, Jonathan David Rinaldi, said he is challenging Ocasio-Cortez for her congressional seat.

"My name is Jonathan David Rinaldi and I'm running for Congress against AOC, the Green New Deal is a scam," Rinaldi shouted as Ocasio-Cortez was championing environmental justice provisions and climate change policies under the deal.

A man shouts at socialist lawmaker Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez during a town hall

Socialist lawmaker Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez was heckled at a town hall Thursday and accused of caring more about illegal immigrants than those whom she was elected to represent. (Fox News)


"They’re giving the NYCHA apartments away, they’re giving illegal aliens $10,000 a day… I want you to debate me AOC, debate me." 

NYCHA, the New York City Housing Authority, is an agency that oversees the city’s public housing projects and Rinaldi told Fox News Digital he believes lawmakers are trying to move illegal immigrants into those developments at the expense of citizens.  

Ocasio-Cortez could be seen smiling on the stage as security tried to eject Rinaldi.

Another man then rose from his seat and joined in with the shouting.

"Secure the border now," the man barked at Ocasio-Cortez while waving his finger at her. 

"You haven’t said one word about violent Venezuelan migrants, illegals."

"You don’t care, all you care about is illegal aliens and their votes. You don’t care about your constituents."

"That’s all you care about, you’re a disgrace."

Climate activists near Capitol Hill

Climate activists speaks during the Green New Deal press conference this week. (Celal Gunes/Anadolu via Getty Images)


The man was soon drowned out by Ocasio-Cortez’s supporters shouting "AOC, AOC," and clapping their hands. 

The man was also making references to the vicious attack by migrants on the NYPD last month.

As Rinaldi was being led out of the venue, he shouted: "Every single one of us is being sold out by people that have brought illegals here to vote."

He then clashed with an Ocasio-Cortez supporter before he turned and heckled at the congresswoman again. 

"You only represent the illegal aliens."

Well clearly I don't, because I'm an elected member of Congress, so keep it pushing bro," Ocasio-Cortez snapped back.

After the men were removed from the venue, Ocasio-Cortez then commented on her stance on immigration.

"Clearly, this community -- Astoria, Jackson Heights, also across the Bronx – clearly supports progressive immigration policies that welcomes all of our neighbors."

"We clearly support a path to citizenship, we clearly support ending draconian immigration policies and that is why you all… support my representation of our community in Congress because we have had enough."

Her comments were met with applause and a woman shouted "thank you."

Migrants in NYC

Dozens of migrants gather outside the Roosevelt Hotel in August.

"We have seen the voices that are anti-immigrant in this country are very very loud but they are very very few and we have to look around and realize how many of us are here in support of our neighbors and an acknowledgment of the fact that virtually all of us are descendants of immigrants, or indigenous people, or enslaved people," Ocasio-Cortez said. 

The hecklers were demonstrating illegal immigration and not all immigration. 

While illegal and legal migrants are prohibited from voting, the New York City Council passed legislation in 2021 that would have given non-citizens residing in the country for at least 30 days the right to vote. New York Mayor Eric Adams enacted the law upon taking office in January 2022 but it was ruled illegal several months later and an appeal to the ruling was denied by a New York state appeals court.

Nearly 7.3 million migrants have illegally crossed the southwest border under President Biden's watch, a number greater than the population of 36 individual states, a Fox News analysis has found.

New York City has provided for more than 178,600 migrants since the spring of 2022 with approximately 65,000 still in the city’s care, according to the mayor’s office. 

Fox News' Louis Casiano contributed to this report.

Michael Dorgan is a writer for Fox News Digital and Fox Business.

You can send tips to and follow him on Twitter @M_Dorgan.