The news reports about conditions in the migrant detention camps are horrifying. Let’s call them what they are — concentration camps.

Too strong a term? Here’s the Merriam-Webster dictionary definition of concentration camp: "A place where large numbers of people (such as prisoners of war, political prisoners, refugees, or the members of an ethnic or religious minority) are detained or confined under armed guard — used especially in reference to camps created by the Nazis in World War II for the internment and persecution of Jews and other prisoners."

When you put 900 people in a space that should hold 100 people, that is a concentration camp. When you deny human beings the basics of hygiene — soap and toothbrushes — that is a concentration camp.

When you leave small children to try to take care of each other, because the uniformed officials running the camps will not — that is a concentration camp. When you deny medical care, or create conditions that allow illness to flourish — that is a concentration camp.

When you put human beings back into Japanese internment camps — that is a concentration camp. We, the people, are running concentration camps. This is who we are, and nothing systemically is being done to stop this humanitarian crisis.

This overcrowding and inhumanity is a feature, not a bug, of the Trump administration. Where is our decency? Where is our humanity? Congress must act. Call Sen. Ron Wyden, Sen. Jeff Merkley and U.S. Rep. Suzanne Bonamici today. Not in our name; not on our watch.



(1) comment

william furnish

Your 'definition' falls way short of truth. I participated in the public health sector of the clean-up after hurricane Camille. Years later, media reported similar horrible conditions following hurricane Katrina. Neither were in any way planned, funded or part of a political agenda. Both were inadequate preparation and response to natural disasters - but both scenarios represented good people trying to do their best under near-impossible conditions. Concentration camps? No. The poor souls at Buchenwald, Auschwitz, Ravensbruck, etc.were not given any alternatives - they were in concentration camps. Motives are important, for example: what is the difference between grave robbing and archaeology? I suggest you stop believing anything AOC says.

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