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

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-CortezAlexandria Ocasio-CortezWhat the coronavirus reveals about the race grievance industry Democrats struggle to keep up with Trump messaging on coronavirus Overnight Health Care: Global coronavirus cases top 1M | Cities across country in danger of becoming new hotspots | Trump to recommend certain Americans wear masks | Record 6.6M file jobless claims 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 McCarthyThe Hill's Coronavirus Report: Dybul interview; Boris Johnson update Pelosi, McConnell clash over next coronavirus bill Pelosi scales back coronavirus infrastructure proposal 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 CheneyScott Gottlieb becomes key voice warning Trump, GOP on coronavirus Self-quarantined New York lawmaker: 'We should be in total lockdown' On The Money: Trump hopes to reopen economy by Easter | GOP senators expect stimulus vote on Wednesday | Democratic leaders forecast at least two more relief bills 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.