In a recent interview with Eyewitness News ABC7NY, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) said she has no regrets about comparing immigrant holding facilities along the U.S.-Mexico border to Nazi-era concentration camps.
A partial transcript is as follows:
ABC7NY REPORTER DAVE EVANS: On Israel, you said [the Trump] administration has established concentration camps on the southern border of the United States for immigrants, where they are being brutalized in dehumanizing conditions and dying. You got a lot of grief for using the word “concentration camps.” Do you regret that or do you think people misinterpreted that?
REP. ALEXANDRIA OCASIO-CORTEZ (D-NY): I don’t. Yeah, I think there’s a few things at play. One, I don’t regret it at all. A group, in fact, I think of at least 200 historians, rabbis, academics have come together in support of this term—
EVANS: —But you think conditions are that bad at the border?
OCASIO-CORTEZ: Yeah, I’ve been there. I’ve seen it. I sat on concrete floors with women whose hair was falling out and they were developing soars in their mouth. Parents are dying with their children watching them. And all without a trial, all with just an accusation, and all with the intent to dehumanize.
EVANS: And again, this may be part of what the Republicans want to do, but they painted that as antisemitic.
OCASIO-CORTEZ: Which is ahistorical. If we study our history, which, we’re supposed to study our history, especially as elected officials, I think we have a unique responsibility to study history. And what we see is concentration camps are not unique to any one period of time. We, in the United States, have a history of concentration camps with Japenese interment, in South Africa. They were part of a larger process in the Holocaust, but they were not unique, nor were they the actual death camps in the Holocaust either. Concentration camps are a facility when people are targeted by their identity and held without trial.