“That is exactly what they are. They are concentration camps. 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,” the New York Democrat said.
“The fact that concentrations camps are now an institutionalized practice in the home of the free is extraordinarily disturbing and we need to do something about it,” she said.
Ms. Ocasio-Cortez’s statement came shortly after President Trump said Immigration and Customs Enforcement would begin deporting “millions” of illegal immigrants next week.
With reports of overcrowding and infectious disease outbreaks, Ms. Ocasio-Cortez said putting illegal immigrants in these facilities is the result of a “fascist presidency.”
“This isn’t just about immigrant communities being held in concentration camps being a crisis, this is a crisis for ourselves. This is a crisis on if America will remain America in its actual principles and values or if we are losing to an authoritarian and fascist presidency,” she said.
“I don’t use those words lightly. I don’t use those words to just throw bombs. I use that word because that is what an administration that creates concentration camps is. A presidency that creates concentration camps is fascist and it’s very difficult to say that,” she said.
Ms. Ocasio-Cortez responded to pushback from Republican lawmakers Tuesday, who said her comments were anti-Semitic and minimized the Holocaust.
“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 tweeted.
One of the lawmakers, GOP Caucus Chair Rep. Liz Cheney blasted Ms. Ocasio-Cortez as being ignorant of “actual history.”
“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,” she tweeted.
Ms. Ocasio-Cortez fired back, saying: “Hey Rep. Cheney, since you’re so eager to ‘educate me,’ I’m curious: What do YOU call building mass camps of people being detained without a trial? How would you dress up DHS’s mass separation of thousands children at the border from their parents?”
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