Patterico's Pontifications


Today’s Outrage: Ocasio-Cortez Labels ICE Detention Centers “Concentration Camps”

Filed under: General — Dana @ 3:24 pm

[guest post by Dana]

I guess it all depends on your definition of “concentration camps”and whether usage of the phrase “Never again” has a soberingly significant meaning:

“The United States is running concentration camps on our southern border, and that is exactly what they are. They are concentration camps,” Ocasio-Cortez said.

“I want to talk to the people that are concerned enough with humanity that ‘Never Again’ means something,” Ocasio-Cortez continued, referencing the slogan adopted after the Holocaust. “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.”

“This is a crisis on if American will remain America … Or if we are losing to an authoritarian and fascist presidency,” Ocasio-Cortez said, referring 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.”

The blowback to Ocasio-Cortez’s claim was swift:

”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​,” wrote Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming on Twitter. “You demean their memory and disgrace yourself with comments like this.​”

Rep. Lee Zeldin called for Ocasio-Cortez to “stop trying to draw these crayon parallels between POTUS & Hitler!”

“Try working WITH your colleagues on BOTH sides of the aisle to secure our border & fix this rather than desperately trying to promote mass hysteria w this disgusting & woefully false comparison,” the Long Island Republican said on Twitter.

Ocasio-Cortez shot back at Cheney:

”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?” the first-term lawmaker said. “How would you dress up DHS’s mass separation of thousands children at the border from their parents?”

Today, Ocasio-Cortez pointed to University of Virginia lecturer, Waitman Wade Beorn, to justify her use of “concentration camps”:

“Things can be concentration camps without being Dachau or Auschwitz. Concentration camps in general have always been designed – at the most basic level – to separate one group of people from another group,” the report quoted Waitman Wade Beorn as saying. “Usually, because the majority group, or the creators of the camp, deem the people they’re putting in it to be dangerous or undesirable in some way.”


The Trump administration doesn’t call then concentration camps for the same reasons the Obama, Bush, and Clinton administrations didn’t — they’re not concentration camps. With thousands of people flooding across the border, the US and Mexico both have to set up facilities to house them while their status gets adjudicated. Their presence in those facilities are necessarily temporary and ends when their cases are finally decided, at which point they’re either admitted or sent out of the country.

The term “concentration camps” is more accurately used for facilities meant for ethnic-cleansing purposes rather than control of immigrants and refugees. This is not a situation in which citizens and residents of a country are being relocated en masse into detention facilities, as happened to the Japanese by FDR in World War II, where the term applies even with its historical baggage. It’s certainly not the situation created by actual fascists in the 1930s and 1940s to isolate, enslave, and then exterminate ethnic minorities within their own citizen populations, intended as a permanent policy. That ethnic cleansing from an existing population is precisely what the term “concentration” connotes, in fact. Regardless of whether a handful of historians use the term to engage in histrionics, the two situations aren’t equal, analogous, or even exist in any connectable context.

Anyway, I’m just glad to see that next week, our elected officials will have an opportunity to actually help ease the suffering in our “concentration camps”:

Trump administration officials have repeatedly urged Congress to provide more funding for the provision of shelter and medical care to the migrants, but the requests have gone largely unanswered due to partisan infighting over how much will be spent on enforcement verses humanitarian aid.

Majority leader Mitch McConnell announced Monday that he plans to hold a vote next week on legislation that would provide $4.5 billion in additional funding to address the situation at the border.

“I’m going to bring it up freestanding next week and see if they really aren’t interested in dealing with this mass of humanity that we have to take care of at the border,” McConnell said in an interview with Fox News. “What’s the objection? This is not about the wall but about the humanitarian crisis.”

Of course, there is no level of care or accommodation for detainees that would make the practice of detention acceptable to Ocasio-Cortez and her supporters.

(Cross-posted at The Jury Talks Back.)


Re-Election Campaign Launches With President Trump Announcing “Millions Of Illegals” Will Be Removed

Filed under: General — Dana @ 8:22 am

[guest post by Dana]

President Trump essentially launched his re-election campaign on Twitter yesterday by simultaneously announcing that “thousands of people” were already lined up in Orlando for his first campaign rally that will be held tonight and that “millions of illegals” would be removed from the U.S. Of course the number of estimated rally attendees is already the subject of debate, given his tendency to overestimate such things.



Interspersed with his tweets about the campaign rally were the tweets announcing that ICE will begin the process of removing millions of illegal aliens from the U.S.:

Next week ICE will 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. Mexico, using their strong immigration laws, is doing a very good job of stopping people…….

….long before they get to our Southern Border. Guatemala is getting ready to sign a Safe-Third Agreement. The only ones who won’t do anything are the Democrats in Congress. They must vote to get rid of the loopholes, and fix asylum! If so, Border Crisis will end quickly!


The acting director of ICE explained why the deportation move was necessary:

Arguing that federal agencies are at a “breaking point” trying to handle migrant crossings, the country’s top immigration official Sunday in Louisville called for an increase in federal funding and pledged to focus on deporting families.

Mark Morgan, the acting director of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, said repeatedly that the thousands of people crossing the Southwestern border of the United States is a crisis, and that agencies such as ICE, Health and Human Services, and Border Patrol are overwhelmed.

Focusing on families in particular, Morgan called children effectively a “U.S. passport” for migrants and argued that no one should be exempt from enforcement.

“Our priorities will always remain the same: The safety and security of the neighborhoods throughout the entire country, to remove the top-priority criminal aliens,” Morgan said in a sit-down interview. “We can’t do that and ignore the rest of the demographics that are here in violation of federal law.”

Clearly, both things can be true at the same time: The number of people surging over the border is overwhelming the system, and President Trump knows how to generate excitement with his base. The announcement that millions will be deported not only serves as a rallying cry for his supporters at the launch of his campaign, but also conveniently serves as a distraction while followers continue to wait for Trump’s Wall to be built…

Anyway, that there is a crisis at the border has most recently been confirmed by Uvalde, Texas, Mayor Don McLaughlin, who is a Democrat, and expressed his frustration during an interview: “From my standpoint, I don’t even know why we have federal elected officials.”

While Uvalde sits 40-60 miles from the border, Mayor Mclaughlin went on to detail the negative impact that the surge of illegal aliens have had on his town and its residents:

Uvalde, Texas, is a small town of 17,000 inhabitants, and they are now overrun by illegal immigrants and an international cartel smuggling operation. Uvalde is 40-60 miles from the border, but it might as well be right at the border. “We are in no man’s land. The state is not doing anything; the federal government is not doing anything,” said the mayor, who is begging the politicians to get involved. “We are getting nothing. I’ve lived here all my life and have never seen anything like this. The people in the communities are getting scared. What is coming that we don’t see? Who knows? People up north and in D.C. have no clue what is going on here. They don’t realize that these people are not being screened for diseases. We’re fed up.”

Situated at the crossroads of major highways coming up from border towns in the Laredo and Del Rio border sectors, Uvalde has now become a dumping ground for migrants coming north. And they are not just coming from Central America. Del Rio has received hundreds of African migrants in recent weeks. Uvalde has a Border Patrol holding facility, and according to McLaughlin, whenever it is full, if the city doesn’t take charge, many immigrants are released in a Walmart parking lot. Mayor McLaughlin said his city must pick up the tab to have them bused to San Antonio. On Friday, local media reported how San Antonio has now received hundreds of African migrants.

Mayor McLaughlin also cited an increase in crime as dozens and dozens of illegals with criminal records are now arriving on freight trains. Border Patrol does not have enough manpower to respond to the crisis.

The Mayor also tore into Rep. William Hurd, Sens. Ted Cruz and John Cornyn, as Texas Governor Greg Abbott, and the state attorney general for their “lack of meaningful response” to the crisis in his town.

Additionally, El Paso Sector Border Patrol spokesman Ramiro Cordero, when questioned about the vast number of migrants being held at the foot of the northbound Paso del Norte international bridge in Downtown El Paso and detention center explained the Border Patrol’s frustration:

“If we’re apprehending over 1,000 a day, where do you put them?” he said. “The solution is not more agents or infrastructure or vehicles. You can build 10,000 tents but if people keep coming at the rate that they have, and the system is bottle-necked, there is nothing we can do about it.”

(Cross-posted at The Jury Talks Back.)


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