The Salt Lake Tribune editorial board on Saturday came to the defense of Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), arguing that it was correct to say that the Trump administration was operating “concentration camps” for undocumented immigrants.
“They are not work camps. They are not death camps. At least, not on purpose,” the board writes. “Our government is not building massive gas chambers and industrial crematoria. It is not conducting sick medical experiments on members of an unfavored class.”
“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 editorial also blasted Utah lawmakers for their lack of response to the crisis at the southern border.
The board acknowledged that the detention facilities are in no way similar to the death camps that Nazi Germany built for the systematic mass slaughter of European Jews and homosexuals during World War II.
The paper, however, argues 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 adds 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 writes. “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 also took issue with the “government 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 says.
“Good, caring, moral Utahns, and their elected representatives, should be shouting bloody murder over this extended and deliberate abuse of human rights,” the board writes, before concluding that the U.S. must stop “denying” that it is “operating concentration camps for refugee children.”