Ocasio-Cortez: 'The US ran concentration camps before'

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-CortezAlexandria Ocasio-CortezKamala Harris, Stacey Abrams among nominees for Time magazine's 2020 Person of the Year Ocasio-Cortez, Cruz trade jabs over COVID-19 relief: People 'going hungry as you tweet from' vacation Biden Cabinet picks largely unify Democrats — so far MORE (D-N.Y.) on Wednesday doubled down on her criticism of migrant detention facilities as “concentration camps” after similar remarks sparked an avalanche of criticism. 

“The US ran concentration camps before, when we rounded up Japanese people during WWII. It is such a shameful history that we largely ignore it. These camps occur throughout history. Many refuse to learn from that shame, but here we are today. We have an obligation to end them,” Ocasio-Cortez tweeted.

“Not one dime should go to DHS for building these camps as they detain children & families. Congressional appropriations season is now. That means it’s time - we‘re voting to fund federal government programs," she added. "We should not fund the caging of kids & families. Pretty simple.”


The freshman New York Democrat sparked criticism earlier this week with her remarks about the Trump administration's migrant detention facilities.

“The U.S. is running concentration camps on our southern border, and that is exactly what they are,” Ocasio-Cortez said during an Instagram Live appearance on Monday night.

“If that doesn’t bother you ... I want to talk to the people that are concerned enough with humanity to say that ‘never again’ means something.”

Republicans swiftly condemned the remark, saying the comparison to the Holocaust was inappropriate.

“Please @AOC do us all a favor and spend just a few minutes learning some actual history. 6 million Jews were exterminated in the Holocaust,” tweeted Rep. Liz CheneyElizabeth (Liz) Lynn CheneyPressure grows from GOP for Trump to recognize Biden election win Trump: Liz Cheney's election remarks sparked by push to bring US troops home Biden's lead over Trump surpasses 6M votes as more ballots are tallied MORE (Wyo.), the third-ranking House Republican.

“She actually owes the country an apology,” House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthyKevin Owen McCarthyTop Republicans praise Trump's Flynn pardon Richmond says GOP 'reluctant to stand up and tell the emperor he wears no clothes' Sunday shows preview: Biden transition, COVID-19 spike in spotlight MORE (R-Calif.) added Tuesday. 

Jewish groups also slammed the Holocaust reference, urging Ocasio-Cortez to refrain from using the genocide to discuss today’s political issues. 

"As concerned as we are about the conditions experienced by migrants seeking asylum in the United States…the regrettable use of Holocaust terminology to describe these contemporary concerns diminishes the evil intent of the Nazis to eradicate the Jewish people,” the nonpartisan Jewish Community Relations Council wrote in a letter to Ocasio-Cortez.

Ocasio-Cortez's latest tweet comes after the top members of the Senate Appropriations Committee struck a deal on a $4.5 billion package that will allocate funds for humanitarian aid at the border and other operations like expanding the number of detention beds and providing more investigative resources.