Ocasio-Cortez stands by concentration camp remarks: 'I will never apologize'

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-CortezAlexandria Ocasio-CortezSteyer, Biden clash over climate credentials Trump tax breaks for low-income neighborhoods draw scrutiny Sanders doubles down on Bolivia 'coup,' few follow suit MORE (D-N.Y.) on Wednesday rejected calls to apologize for her controversial comments comparing the Trump administration’s migrant detention centers to concentration camps. 

“DHS ripped 1000s of children from their parents & put them in cages w inhumane conditions. They call their cells ‘dog pounds’ & ‘freezers,’” Ocasio-Cortez tweeted, referring to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).

“I will never apologize for calling these camps what they are. If that makes you uncomfortable, fight the camps - not the nomenclature,” she added.

The freshman lawmaker was responding to House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthyKevin Owen McCarthySaagar Enjeti expresses concern over MSNBC hosting debate after Weinstein scandal Former Speaker Boehner's official portrait unveiled Saagar Enjeti blasts alleged Epstein cover-up by media MORE (R-Calif.) declaring that she owed the the U.S. and the world an apology for comparing the centers along the southern border with concentration camps.

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"She does not understand what is going on at the border at the same time. But there is no comparison ... and to actually say that is embarrassing," McCarthy said. “To take somewhere in history where millions of Jews died ... and equate that to somewhere that's happening on the border ... she owes this nation an apology."

The New York progressive has faced a wave of criticism from other Republicans and some Democrats for her remarks since she first made the comparison during an Instagram Live video on Monday night, most notably trading barbs with Rep. Liz CheneyElizabeth (Liz) Lynn CheneyOvernight Defense — Presented by Boeing — Stopgap spending bill includes military pay raise | Schumer presses Pentagon to protect impeachment witnesses | US ends civil-nuclear waiver in Iran Cruz, Graham and Cheney call on Trump to end all nuclear waivers for Iran Pompeo: US ending sanctions waiver for site where Iran resumed uranium enrichment MORE (R-Wyo.) this week.

Ocasio-Cortez on Tuesday dismissed criticism from "shrieking Republicans," saying they did not know the difference between concentration camps and death camps.

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"Concentration camps are considered by experts as 'the mass detention of civilians without trial.' And that’s exactly what this administration is doing,” she wrote. 

Jewish groups also slammed the Holocaust reference and urged Ocasio-Cortez not to use the genocide for partisan politics. 

"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 Communities Relations Council wrote in a letter to Ocasio-Cortez.