Washington - Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., pressed her case Tuesday that the Trump administration is running "concentration camps" at the U.S.-Mexico border amid criticism from Republicans who said she was demeaning Jews exterminated in the Holocaust.
During a live stream Monday night, the freshman lawmaker decried the conditions of migrant detention facilities the administration is using to cope with a surge of border crossings and highlighted a decision to hold some children at an Oklahoma Army base that was used as an internment camp for Japanese Americans during World War II.
"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," Ocasio-Cortez told her viewers on social media. She later accused Trump of conducting "an authoritarian and fascist presidency."
"I don't use those words lightly," Ocasio-Cortez said. "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."
Ocasio-Cortez continued making her argument Tuesday morning, sharing on Twitter an Esquire article that raised questions about the conditions at U.S. detention facilities.
The piece by Jack Holmes, the magazine's politics editor, quoted historians who said that the facilities meet the definition of a "concentration camp," and said that not every concentration camp is intended as a death camp, as in the Holocaust.
Ocasio-Cortez's characterizations prompted an outcry from Republicans, including Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Okla.
"Please @AOC do us all a favor and spend just a few minutes learning some actual history," Cheney, wrote on Twitter on Tuesday morning. "6 million Jews were exterminated in the Holocaust. You demean their memory and disgrace yourself with comments like this."
Ocasio-Cortez fired back shortly afterward.
"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?" Ocasio-Cortez wrote. "How would you dress up DHS's mass separation of thousands children at the border from their parents?"The Washington Post