Omar: 'People are being put in camps' at southern border

Omar: 'People are being put in camps' at southern border
© Greg Nash

Rep. Ilhan OmarIlhan OmarSanders 'very concerned about what appears to be a coup' in Bolivia Overnight Defense: Protests at Trump's NYC Veterans Day speech | House Dems release Pentagon official's deposition transcript | Lawmakers ask Trump to rescind Erdogan invite Ilhan Omar blasts Pete King as an 'Islamophobe' after he announces retirement: 'Good riddance' MORE (D-Minn.) showed support Friday for fellow freshman Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-CortezAlexandria Ocasio-CortezOcasio-Cortez calls for Stephen Miller to resign over leaked emails Ocasio-Cortez meets Sasha Velour following DC performance Sanders 'very concerned about what appears to be a coup' in Bolivia MORE's (D-N.Y.) assessment of the Trump administration's migrant detention facilities.

During an interview with PRI's "The World" radio program, Omar said that the situation developing at Border Patrol facilities along the U.S.-Mexico border fit the traditional definition of a "concentration camp," while drawing a distinction between the term and the death camps of Nazi Germany.

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"When you look at what is taking place, people are being put in camps. And when you think about the definition, if we separate it from death camps, I would say these are camps and people are being concentrated in them. And so that's the general definition," Omar said in the interview.

"I think a lot of people are conflating what a death camp looks like or a specific removal of people. These people are coming to the border. We are removing them from the border. We are placing them in camps. Some of them are being removed from communities and being put in what we're calling detention centers — but are essentially camps," she added.

Omar went on in the interview to criticize the rhetoric used by members of the Trump administration to refer to refugees and migrants, which she said was dehumanizing and "alarming."

"When you talk about the process of de-humanizing people so that you can exterminate them, there is a process. When you are constantly engaging in the kind of rhetoric this administration has engaged in — when it comes to immigrants and people who are seeking asylum and refugees — we have to be alarmed," she said.

"It is very worrisome. When we say 'never again,' that means we have to be vigilant that that doesn't happen under our watch as we stay politically correct and try to find the proper words to use or even worse look the other way," Omar continued.

Ocasio-Cortez was criticized by Republicans this week after referring to the Trump administration's detention facilities for migrants as "concentration camps" during an Instagram video. She has since doubled down on the assertion, and was defended by fellow congressional Democrats as well as actor George Takei, who was forced into a Japanese-American internment camp during World War II.

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