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

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-CortezAlexandria Ocasio-CortezWhat to watch in New Jersey's primaries on Tuesday Democratic strategist Andrew Feldman says Biden is moving left Hispanic Caucus asks Trump to rescind invitation to Mexican president 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 McCarthyOn The Money: Breaking down the June jobs report | The biggest threats facing the recovery | What will the next stimulus bill include? McCarthy to offer bill withholding funds from states that don't protect statues McCarthy calls on Pelosi to condemn 'mob violence' after toppling of St. Junipero Serra statue 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.

ADVERTISEMENT

"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 CheneyRussian bounties revive Trump-GOP foreign policy divide The Hill's Morning Report - Trump lays low as approval hits 18-month low House panel votes to constrain Afghan drawdown, ask for assessment on 'incentives' to attack US troops 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.

ADVERTISEMENT

"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.