Ocasio-Cortez Slammed for Calling Border Facilities ‘Concentration Camps’

June 18, 2019 Updated: June 18, 2019

Radical lawmaker Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) drew harsh condemnation for comparing U.S. border facilities with “concentration camps,” a term most linked to the Nazi camps holding Jews and other enemies of the state during World War II.

Speaking during an Instagram live video on the night of June 17, the far-left politician also made a direct comparison to the Holocaust, which saw six million Jews killed by the Nazis.

“The United States is running concentration camps on our southern border and that is exactly what they are,” Ocasio-Cortez said, reported Ryan Saavedra of the conservative Daily Wire website. “They are concentration camps. And, um, if that doesn’t bother you, I don’t, I don’t know, I like, we can have, okay whatever.”

She then made the invocation of the Holocaust by using the “Never Again” phrase.

“I want to talk to the people that are concerned enough with humanity to say that we should not that ‘Never Again’ means something and that the fact that concentration camps are now an institutionalized practice in the home of the free is extraordinarily disturbing and we need to do something about it,” the freshman congresswoman said.

“This week, children, immigrant children were moved to the same internment camps where the Japanese were held in, in the early, in the earlier 20th century and this is, um, this is not even about a crisis for, this is not just about the immigrant communities being held in concentration camps being a crisis.”

Ocasio-Cortez was referring to how the Trump administration recently opened up the Fort Sill Army Base to hold children who have entered the country illegally. Former President Barack Obama, a Democrat, used the same base for the same purpose during his administration.

Ocasio-Cortez seemed cognizant of the history of concentration camps, adding: “I don’t use those words lightly. I don’t use those words to just throw bombs. I used that word because that is what an administration that creates concentration camps is.”

The comments drew widespread condemnation, with many noting that border facilities don’t constitute concentration camps for a number of reasons, the least of which is that anyone in them is free to leave if they depart the country.

“It’s disgusting to compare concentration camps to what the men and women are doing here protecting our country,” National Border Patrol Council Art Del Cueto told the right-leaning Fox News.

“It is definitely a slap in the face to a lot of those people who had family members who actually went through concentration camps,” he added.

U.S. Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wy) was also among the critics, writing on Twitter: “Please @AOC do us all a favor and spend just a few minutes learning some actual history. 6 million Jews were exterminated in the Holocaust. You demean their memory and disgrace yourself with comments like this.”

Ocasio-Cortez later took to Twitter herself, hitting back at the critics and doubling down on her use of the concentration camp term.

“For the shrieking Republicans who don’t know the difference: concentration camps are not the same as death camps. Concentration camps are considered by experts as ‘the mass detention of civilians without trial.’ And that’s exactly what this administration is doing,” she wrote.

Follow Zachary on Twitter: @zackstieber
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