Top Utah newspaper says Trump migrant detention centers are 'concentration camps'

The Salt Lake Tribune's editorial board on Saturday came to the defense of Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-CortezAlexandria Ocasio-CortezGreene: McCarthy 'doesn't have the full support to be Speaker' Omar calls out Boebert over anti-Muslim remarks, denies Capitol incident took place Five reasons for Biden, GOP to be thankful this season MORE (D-N.Y.), arguing it's correct to call the Trump administration's migrant detention facilities "concentration camps."

"They are not work camps. They are not death camps. At least, not on purpose," the board wrote. "Our government is not building massive gas chambers and industrial crematoria. It is not conducting sick medical experiments on members of an unfavored class."

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"But that does not mean that the places into which we are herding tens of thousands of migrants, refugees and asylum-seekers are not properly called concentration camps. Because that is precisely what they are," the board added.

The editorial also took issue with how Utah lawmakers have responded to the crisis at the southern border. 

The board acknowledged that the detention facilities are in no way similar to the concentration camps Nazi Germany built for the mass slaughter of European Jews during World War II. 

But it argued that "some of the people who study, and some of the people who survived or are descended from survivors of the Holocaust, are pointing out that that crime against humanity did not arrive overnight."

The board added that the "same warning" is coming from Japanese Americans who were held in internment camps in the U.S. during World War II. 

"The places where these tempest-tossed humans are being held are kept deliberately uncomfortable and largely out of view of the public, the press, members of Congress and even the courts," the board wrote. "The people being held there are cold, hungry, dirty and often sick. Children are separated from parents. Children are caring for children. Medical care is not to be found. A few — not millions, but a few — have died."

The board went on to take issue with the "government's failings," saying that "people have a moral right to seek a better life, and a legal right to seek asylum."

"If our border and immigration system isn’t up to the task, that’s not their fault, it is ours," the editorial said. 

"Good, caring, moral Utahns, and their elected representatives, should be shouting bloody murder over this extended and deliberate abuse of human rights," the board wrote before concluding that the U.S. must stop "denying" that it is "operating concentration camps for refugee children."

The editorial from Utah's largest newspaper comes just days after Ocasio-Cortez said the Trump administration was operating "concentration camps" at the border. The comments sparked outrage from conservatives, with many saying the congresswoman should apologize for the comparison. 

Ocasio-Cortez has repeatedly stood by her remarks, saying she would "never apologize for calling these camps what they are."