Phyllis Beveridge Nissila
To get past the highly-triggering (yet politically expedient?) rhetoric of one of our young, freshman congresswomen who is comparing America’s southern border facilities for migrant children to Nazi concentration camps, I offer three resources, two that have been around for a long time and one recent, to make the stark differences very clear.
1: A Guide to Children Arriving at the Border: Laws, Policies and Responses (American Immigration Council Special Report, June 26 2015).
Here is an overview of the Report that might help congresswomen Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (AOC) understand what special protections and accommodations have been adopted for migrants, particularly unaccompanied minors, who are processed by U.S. officials through our southern border. She may note this report was drawn up due to the “humanitarian crisis” at our southern border, so-determined back in 2014 by the Obama administration:
The American Immigration Council is updating this Guide which was first issued in summer 2014. It provides information about the tens of thousands of children—some travelling with their parents and others alone—who have fled their homes in Central America and arrived at our southern border. This Guide seeks to explain the basics. Who are these children and why are they coming? What basic protections does the law afford them? What happens to the children once they are in U.S. custody? What have the U.S. and other governments done in response? What additional responses have advocates and legislators proposed? The answers to these questions are critical to assessing the U.S. government’s responses and understanding the ongoing debate about whether reforms to the immigration laws and policies involving children are needed.
It does not take long to read.
In addition to helping AOC acquire at least a rudimentary understanding of the efforts the United States has been taking for a number of years, now, to adequately care for the migrants, the Report also shows the critical need for increased funding for the greatly increased flow of migrants since it was drawn up.
This is something AOC and Congress are in charge of.
The children wait.
2. Getting closer to the actual, and completely opposite in nature, “provisions” (as in, lack of any provisions) for the health, let alone welfare, of persons incarcerated and tortured, gassed, shot, worked, and/or starved to death in the Nazi concentration camp system, in addition to innumerable historic references here is a much more recent perspective, from the June 21, 2019, article by Monica Showalter in American Thinker, “Polish lawmaker schools Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez about the Holocaust,”
Polish lawmaker Dominik Tarczynski wrote to the socialist Ocasio-Cortez describing his distress at her comparison, calling the presence of Nazi concentration camps in his country “deep wounds” and explained why these camps were not alike. He invited her to come to Poland and tour the actual sites of the death camps — Auschwitz-Birkenau, Treblinka, Belzic, Sobibor and Madjenek — as a educational “olive branch.”
From his open letter to AOC, Tarczynski writes (as quoted and cited in Showalter’s article):
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 pic.twitter.com/ivOTfmiCfo— TARCZYŃSKI Dominik (@D_Tarczynski) June 20, 2019
3. In a recent post, here, I offer a summary of Holocaust survivor John Steier’s experiences as a teenager in one of Hitler’s slave labor camps where he barely survived, battling the cruelty of camp guards, literal starvation-level rations, random and intentional executions by sadistic overseers, and many other real deprivations and tragedies inflicted there.
His experience is, of course, vastly different from the provisions migrants are given at our borders, thanks to at least two of our presidential administrations and by the generosity of the tax payers of the United States.
But, please note, AOC, if you read this, we can’t do more or better until you and your colleagues in Congress approve adequate funding. If you think the migrants need more assistance while also closing the gaps in current laws that prohibit real long-term solutions, it’s really in your and your colleagues’ hands.
NOTE: for more testimonies of the true realities of a Nazi concentration/death/slave labor camp (many were all three), I would invite Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (a self-described Democrat Socialist/Progressive) to read more testimonies of Holocaust survivors at the USC Shoah Foundation, “The Institute for Visual History and Education,” whose mission is to “…[Develop] empathy, understanding and respect through testimony.”
I believe this will help her understand the real comparison–rather, contrast–and to see the truth beyond the blinding rhetoric of ideology and the misinformation that a lack of education produces.
It may also help her comprehend what totalitarian states, the “isms” of communism, comprehensive socialism, fascism, Marxism, and so on, produce.
In the end.
Related: See https://pnissila.blog/category/then-they-came-for-my-ancestors/ for more commentary and primary source information on the real horrors of the Holocaust.