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Polish politician invites Ocasio-Cortez to visit real Holocaust concentration camps

U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) speaks during the Committee on Oversight and Reform hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington D.C., on June 12, 2019. (Stefani Reynolds/CNP/Zuma Press/TNS)
June 21, 2019

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has been invited to Poland to visit real Holocaust concentration camps after comparing them to migrant detention centers at the U.S.-Mexico border.

Polish Parliament member Tarcynski Dominik wrote a formal letter to Ocasio-Cortez, inviting her to study the camps after she referred to migrant detention centers on the southern U.S. border as “concentration camps.”

Along with a photo of the letter, Dominik tweeted, “With this letter, I am formally inviting @AOC to come to Poland, where Adolf Hitler set up the worst chain of concentration camps the world has ever seen, so that she may see that scoring political points with enflamed rhetoric is unacceptable in our contemporary Western societies.”

In the letter, Dominik said he wanted “to extend the olive branch of education” to Ocasio-Cortez, “so you can see first hand how different it is from your immigration processing centers on the U.S. border.”

He added that concentration camps “caused a deep wound that persists on our proud Polish and European history that we must deal with every single day, and that we reaffirm to one another can never be forgotten, and never allowed to happen again.”

“This is why when someone cheapens the history, or uses it for political point-scoring, we become agitated and upset,” Dominik wrote.

Ocasio-Cortez made the comparison in an Instagram Live video on Monday.

“The United States is running concentration camps on our southern border, and that is exactly what they are. They are concentration camps,” she said.

She went on to repeat the term two additional times when describing the detention centers.

“The fact that concentration camps are now an institutionalized practice in the home of the free is extraordinarily disturbing, and we need to do something about it,” Ocasio-Cortez said in the video.

“This is a crisis on if American will remain America… Or if we are losing to an authoritarian and fascist presidency. I don’t use those words lightly. I don’t use those words to just throw bombs. I use that word because that is what an administration that creates concentration camps is,” she added.

The next morning, she reiterated her remarks in a tweet.

“This administration has established concentration camps on the southern border of the United States for immigrants, where they are being brutalized with dehumanizing conditions and dying,” she said.

After receiving widespread criticism, Ocasio-Cortez then attempted to justify her use of the term.

“And for the shrieking Republicans who don’t know the difference: concentration camps are not the same as death camps. Concentration camps are considered by experts as ‘the mass detention of civilians without trial.’ And that’s exactly what this administration is doing,” she tweeted.

Ocasio-Cortez continues to use the term and has refused to apologize, insisting it is the correct term.