Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is in a war of words with Republicans after she accused President Donald Trump of building ‘concentration camps’ at the border – resulting in her political rivals accusing her of demeaning victims of the Holocaust.
‘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. This is not hyperbole. It is the conclusion of expert analysis,’ the freshman congresswoman from New York wrote on Twitter Tuesday, linking to an article from Esquire on the subject.
Republican pounced on the social media star in the latest spat between the two parties.
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is in a war of words with Republicans after she accused President Trump of building ‘concentration camps’ at the border
Republican Rep. Lynn Cheney accused Ocasio-Cortez of ‘demeaning’ Holocaust victims
Children and workers are seen at a tent encampment recently built near the Tornillo Port of Entry on June 19, 2018 in Tornillo, Texas
Ocasio-Cortez originally discussed the matter in an instagram live, where she claimed the administration is building ‘concentration camps’ on the souther border to detain illegal immigrants.
‘The United States is running concentration camps on our southern border, and that is exactly what they are. They are concentration camps,’ she said.
‘This is a crisis on if American will remain America … Or if we are losing to an authoritarian and fascist presidency,’ Ocasio-Cortez said in reference to President Trump. ‘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.’
Prominent Republicans took to their own social media accounts to attack the Ocasio-Cortez, who is a favorite among progressives.
‘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 GOP Rep. Lynn Cheney, a member of the House leadership.
‘People like @AOC — who are not lifting a finger to solve the problem — comparing the men and women serving our country to concentration camp guards do the Congress and country a great disservice,’ charged Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham.
But Ocasio-Cortez defended herself, arguing concentration camps were different from Nazi death camps or extermination camps, where more than 3 million were estimated to have been killed during World War II.
‘And for the shrieking Republicans who don’t know the difference: And that’s exactly what this administration is doing,’ she wrote on Twitter. ‘Concentration camps are considered by experts as “the mass detention of civilians without trial.” And that’s exactly what this administration is doing.’
She also retweeted a post from author and Rabbi Danya Ruttenberg, who wrote: ‘Ok, Internet. Time to learn the difference between concentration camps and death (‘extermination’) camps. Germany started with concentration camps in 1933. Death camps started in 1941. Never again is now.’
Ocasio-Cortez also hit back at Cheney, asking her: ‘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?’
‘Happy to help educate you @AOC,’ Cheney tweeted back. ‘You could start with the @yadvashem survivor testimonies. I also recommend Night by Elie Wiesel. Here’s an Amazon link to make it easy for you to purchase.’
The fight began Monday evening when the Democratic Representative for New York’s 14th congressional district streamed a live Q&A with her Instagram followers, in which she doubled down on her criticism of the government’s crack down on asylum seekers and migrants.
‘That is exactly what they are. They are concentration camps,’ Ocasio-Cortez said during the live-stream.
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez said in an Instagram Q&A on Monday that concentration camps are now an ‘institutionalized practice’ in America and described Trump’s border policy as ‘extraordinarily disturbing’
‘I want to talk to the people that are concerned enough with humanity to say that “never again” means something.’
The phrase ‘never again’ has strong ties to the aftermath of the Holocaust and some conservatives accused Ocasio-Cortez of ‘trivializing’ the term by applying to Trump’s policy.
But Ocasio-Cortez maintained that the Democrats ‘are losing to an authoritarian and fascist presidency’ and insisted that she does not ‘use those words lightly’.
‘I don’t use those words to just throw bombs,’ she continued. ‘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.’
‘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 Congresswoman from New York told her followers that the Democrats ‘are losing to an authoritarian and fascist presidency’
Ocasio-Cortez came under fire from conservatives in November after she used the Holocaust analogy to point out that applying for refugee status should not in itself be considered a crime.
‘Asking to be considered a refugee and applying for status isn’t a crime,’ the 29-year-old posted on Twitter. ‘It wasn’t for Jewish families fleeing Germany. It wasn’t for targeted families fleeing Rwanda. It wasn’t for communities fleeing war-torn Syria. And it isn’t for those fleeing violence in Central America.’
According to NBC, as of early June, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) was detaining more than 52,500 immigrants every day in a network of more than 200 detention centers.
Ocasio-Cortez said: ‘A presidency that creates concentration camps is fascist and it’s very difficult to say that’
The outlets reports that 24 immigrants have died in ICE custody during the Trump administration, while at least four others died shortly after being released.
That number also does not include those, including five children, who died in the custody of other federal agencies.
Ocasio-Cortez’ latest statement came as President Trump threatened to remove millions of people living in the country illegally on the eve of formally announcing his re-election bid.
In a pair of tweets Monday night, Trump said that U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement would next week ‘begin the process of removing the millions of illegal aliens who have illicitly found their way into the United States.’
‘They will be removed as fast as they come in,’ he wrote.
An administration official said the effort would focus on the more than 1 million people who have been issued final deportation orders by federal judges but remain at large in the country. The official spoke on condition of anonymity to explain the president’s tweets.
President Trump who is due to formally announce his re-election bid tonight, yesterday tweeted threatening to remove millions of people living in the country illegally
It is unusual for law enforcement agencies to announce raids before they take place. Some in Trump’s administration believe that decisive shows of force – like mass arrests – can serve as effective deterrents, sending a message to those considering making the journey to the U.S. that it’s not worth coming.
Trump has threatened a series of increasingly drastic actions as he has tried to stem the flow of Central American migrants crossing the southern border, which has risen dramatically on his watch. He recently dropped a threat to slap tariffs on Mexico after the country agreed to dispatch its national guard and step-up coordination and enforcement efforts.
A senior Mexican official said Monday that, three weeks ago, about 4,200 migrants were arriving at the U.S. border daily. Now that number has dropped to about 2,600.
Immigration was a central theme of Trump’s 2016 campaign and he is expected to hammer it as he tries to fire up his base heading into the 2020 campaign.
Trump will formally launch his re-election bid Tuesday night at a rally in Orlando, Florida – a state that is crucial to his path back to the White House.