A Modest Immigration Proposal

Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D., N.Y.) believes that American detention centers that house illegal aliens — over 1 million illegal arrivals during the last six months alone — are similar to “concentration camps.” A storm of criticism met her historically fallacious comparisons. Ocasio-Cortez doubled down on her Hitlerian reference by pedantically claiming that she was referencing “concentration” rather than “death” camps, and thus despite sloganeering “Never Again,” with a wink and nod, she was supposedly not suggesting that Auschwitz was quite comparable to America’s border facilities.

She then doubled down again by visiting the border. On the basis of no evidence, she was soon claiming that detained illegal aliens were drinking out of toilets, as well as alleging that immigration officers met her social-welfare activism with rudeness and sexual innuendo.

Where to start with her abject historical ignorance?

One, America’s detention centers bear no resemblance to concentration camps of the past. Illegal aliens know that there is some chance that, after they enter the U.S. illegally, they may be apprehended and detained. If they really believed the conditions of their detention resembled “concentration camps,” which historically are scenes of mass death, they would never have come.

Millions of Russians by summer 1942 were not voluntarily flooding across German lines on the expectation that they’d survive, much less thrive, in Nazi “concentration camps.” The German public did not pressure the Nazi hierarchy to allow lawyers and counselors into Soviet POW camps. Boer children did not migrate to British territory on the rationale that their detention would be without hazard.

Certainly, undocumented immigrants — receiving, for example, “free” transgendered counseling and hormonal treatment while in American custody — do not resemble the inmates of “concentration camps.” American immigration authorities are trying to facilitate brief detentions and expedite both deportations and refugee hearings to curb the number of detainees. In exact opposite fashion, the wardens of concentration camps historically have wanted to lock up as many people as possible — not release them.

By Victor Davis Hanson for NATIONAL REVIEW
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