Ken Martin, chairman of Minnesota’s Democratic Farmer-Labor (DFL) Party, recently referred to immigrant detention centers as “concentration camps.”
“Shut these concentration camps now! It’s a disgrace and an abhorrent departure from America’s values. That international relief agencies are needed to intervene at our own border from a crisis caused by our President should disturb anyone that has a soul,” Martin wrote on Twitter Tuesday.
Shut these concentration camps now! It's a disgrace & an abhorrent departure from America's values. That international relief agencies are needed to intervene at our own border from a crisis caused by our President should disturb anyone that has a soul. https://t.co/KFF3zOZTYH
— Ken Martin (@kenmartin73) July 3, 2019
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY-14) first used “concentration camps” to refer to immigrant detention centers during a live stream on Instagram in late June. Debate has been circulating on the appropriateness of the phrase ever since.
Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN-05) defended her colleague’s use of “concentration camps” to describe the crisis at the border, as The Minnesota Sun reported.
“There are camps and people are being concentrated. This is very simple. I don’t even know why this is a controversial thing for her to say,” Omar told reporters. “We have to really truthfully speak about what’s taking place, and this is why it’s really important for us to abolish ICE and make sure that we have an agency that is accountable to the people, that is dealing with the situation in a humane way.”
Republicans, like House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA-23), have pushed back on the use of the term “concentration camps.”
“I think Congresswoman AOC needs to apologize, not only to the nation but to the world,” McCarthy said during a recent press conference. “To take something that happened in history where millions of Jews had died, and equate it to somewhere that’s happening on the border, she owes this nation an apology.”
On Tuesday, the president of the world’s largest Hispanic Christian organization toured the same Texas migrant center that Ocasio-Cortez had visited and saw a completely different scene.
“To my surprise, I saw something drastically different from the stories I’ve been hearing in our national discourse. Even as a veteran of immigration advocacy in the U.S., I was shocked at the misinformation of the crisis at the border,” said Rev. Samuel Rodriguez.
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