The debate over whether or not the Trump administration’s overcrowded and abuse-rampant detention centers qualify as “concentration camps” raged into Friday as Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) traded barbs with House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) over the proper nomenclature for the president’s appalling immigration policies.
Simpering Trump lackey McCarthy joined the rest of the conservative establishment in clutching his pearls and spilling crocodile tears over Ocasio-Cortez’s defiant insistence on referring to the detention centers as concentration camps due to the inhumane conditions inflicted on innocent immigrants. McCarthy demanded that she apologize to the President for her remarks and invoked the horrors of the Holocaust to excuse the Trump administration’s horrifying treatment of migrants:
“I think Congresswoman AOC needs to apologize. Not only to the nation but to the world. She does not understand history. She does not understand what is going on at the border at the same time. But there is no comparison … and to actually say that is really embarrassing.”
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Undaunted, Ocasio-Cortez took to Twitter and fired back at McCarthy, demanding that he apologize to the thousands of children who have been permanently traumatized by the enormously cruel family separation policy the Trump and his Republican cronies inflicted on thousands of innocent undocumented immigrant families.
As long as the @GOPLeader supports jailing children and families on the border, I will continue to hold him to account for it.
That’s why I’m calling on Rep. McCarthy to apologize for aiding and supporting the separation of children from their parents.pic.twitter.com/ogHXY7pD3p
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) June 21, 2019
It has been absolutely infuriating to watch the right-wing try to use the horrors of the Holocaust as a shield to downplay and excuse the horrors currently playing out in the Trump administration’s border concentration camps, where immigrants are subjected to abuse, exploitation, and dehumanizing conditions by private prison contractors and the jack-booted thugs of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency. Thousands of children and adults alike have been sexually abused in these camps.
Ocasio-Cortez is absolutely right to compare the persecution of undocumented immigrants to the early stages of the religious persecution of Jews in Nazi Germany. When the first concentration camps were constructed in 1933 and filled with the homeless, with Communists and political enemies, nobody knew or could have predicted the unimaginable atrocities that would be committed in the coming years.
While we don’t know how bad things could possibly get, it is our sacred duty to ensure that we put a stop to this before things get out of hand.
McCarthy’s political forefathers cried “America First!” and shut our gates to Jewish refugees, damning them to a hellish death in Hitler’s death camps; now that same xenophobia is being used to justify the appalling abuse and mistreatment of vulnerable people fleeing violence and chaos in their home countries.
Trump, McCarthy, and the entire American immigration enforcement regime has much to answer for. An apology won’t nearly suffice for the suffering they’ve caused.