New York Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is facing intense backlash after saying that the United States is running “concentration camps” at the southern border.
According to The Hill, AOC appeared on an Instagram Live stream, where she doubled down on her criticism of the current U.S. immigration system.
“The U.S. is running concentration camps on our southern border, and that is exactly what they are,” she said. “If that doesn’t bother you… I want to talk to the people that are concerned enough with humanity to say that ‘never again’ means something.”
Since making the comments on Tuesday, she has faced backlash from people across the political spectrum, but Republicans, in particular, took issue with her statement.
“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,” tweeted Wyoming Representative Liz Cheney.
Ocasio-Cortez responded to Cheney, saying that she wouldn’t stop fighting against the migrant detention centers and told the Wyoming politician that she hoped “you enjoy defending concentration camps.”
“This is wrong @AOC. These are incredibly dangerous and disgusting words that demean the millions murdered during the Holocaust,” tweeted Florida Senator Rick Scott.
Texas Representative Dan Crenshaw told the junior representative that she didn’t understand the difference between concentration camps and what is happening at that border now. He said that in concentration camps, people were kept “unjustly.”
But the criticism didn’t make Ocasio-Cortez back down. Instead, she took to Twitter to explain that what is happening at the border was every bit as bad as a concentration camp.
The US ran concentration camps before, when we rounded up Japanese people during WWII.— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) June 19, 2019
It is such a shameful history that we largely ignore it.
These camps occur throughout history. Many refuse to learn from that shame, but here we are today.
We have an obligation to end them. https://t.co/sYicLdcaA9
Actor George Takei, who was forced to live inside two Japanese concentration camps, confirmed that he believed Ocasio-Cortez was right.
I know what concentration camps are. I was inside two of them, in America. And yes, we are operating such camps again.— George Takei (@GeorgeTakei) June 19, 2019
Historian David M. Perry weighed in on the conversation to explain that a concentration camp isn’t the same as a “Nazi death camp,” which is what many people assume the politician was speaking about when she made her comments. Perry tweeted that concentration camps have often been used to control native populations, including a camp used for that purpose against people in Minnesota.
Ocasio-Cortez also posted a video from a visit that she made to the camps at the border.
This video was from 1 year ago this week - before my primary & the Fox News cycle.— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) June 18, 2019
I flew to the concentration camp where the Trump admin was keeping children they stole from their parents.
Back then, I was voicing my conscience. I still am. #AbolishICEpic.twitter.com/QLyc9MiMsV
Ocasio-Cortez has long fought against the migrant detention policy at the U.S.-Mexico border, and her comments come as lawmakers are weighing the president’s request for $4.5 billion in emergency funding to address immigration.
This administration has established concentration camps on the southern border of the United States for immigrants, where they are being brutalized with dehumanizing conditions and dying.— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) June 18, 2019
This is not hyperbole. It is the conclusion of expert analysis ⬇️https://t.co/2dWHxb7UuL