After comparing the illegal migrant detention centers on the southern border to “concentration camps,” Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has been invited by a Holocaust commemoration group to tour Auschwitz.
In an open letter, From the Depths, a Jewish charity group, invited the New York Democrat to go on a educational tour of Nazi German’s Holocaust concentration camps this summer.
The “educational tour,” was “specifically built for legislators,” the letter states. “Over 100 international parliamentarians from across the political spectrum” have gone on the tour, including 20 members of Congress both the Republican and Democrat parties.
The tour would be led 93-year old Ed Mosberg, the organization’s Polish-born president who survived several Nazi camps, according to the Jewish Telegraphic Agency. Last month, Mosberg was awarded the Order of Merit, his country’s highest civilian distinction, from Polish President Andrzej Duda for his work as a philanthropist and educator.
The offer comes after Cortez faced fierce backlash from Republicans and some Democrats for comparing the Trump administration’s migrant detention centers along the U.S.-Mexico border with Nazi-era concentration camps throughout Europe, where millions of Jews were murdered.
“The United States is running concentration camps on our southern border and that is exactly what they are – they are concentration camps – and if that doesn’t bother you,” Ocasio-Cortez said as she threw up her hands in an Instagram live session from her DC apartment Monday night. “I want to talk to the people that are concerned enough with humanity to say that we should not — that ‘Never Again’ means something.”
Cortez, a self-described Democratic socialist, then called President Trump a “fascist” detaining illegal immigrants.
“I don’t use those words lightly. I don’t use those words to just throw bombs,” she continued. “I use the word because that’s what an administration that creates concentration camps is. A presidency that creates concentration camps is fascist and it’s very difficult to say that.”
Cortez also blasted the administration’s plans to temporarily place 1,400 migrant children in Fort Sill in Oklahoma, the same facility used as an internment camp for Japanese Americans during World War II.
The Obama administration also used Fort Sill to hold nearly 2,000 migrant children in 2014 because of a surge of immigrants at the time.
“This is not just about the immigrant communities being held in concentration camps being a crisis, this is a crisis for ourselves,” she said. “This is a crisis on if America will remain America – its actual principles and values – or if we are losing to an authoritarian and fascist presidency.”
From the Depths argued in their letter that Cortez’s comments were made from misguidance, not malice.
“The comparison you mde recently to the migrant detainment camps on the southern United States border to the German Nazi Concentration camps, brought a great deal of backlash,” the letter states. “We firmly believe that this was not your intention, this was not done out of spite or ill faith, rather a misguided comment, due to a lack of proper education on the Holocaust, a significant issue of our generation.”
In April, Cortez accused Customs and Border Protection agents of forcibly injecting child migrants with drugs and putting them in cages.
“At least I’m not trying to cage children at the border and inject them with drugs,” she told viewers during a long Instagram session. “That’s not a mistake. That is a deliberate policy to attack people based on their national origin. That’s not a mistake, that’s just hatred. That’s just cruelty. That’s just wrong!” She seemed to be referring to an earlier lawsuit claiming migrant children were forced to take psychotropic medication.