Once again, Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), also known as AOC, who can justifiably be called America's conscience and one of our most courageous voices, has warned about the fascism underlying Donald Trump's immigration agenda and the danger this poses for America's democracy. The Washington Post reports on her latest warning in a June 18 story:

Ocasio-Cortez presses case that U.S, is running 'concentration camps' at border amid Republican outcry

The Post quotes AOC as follows concerning current conditions at an Oklahoma army base that was once used to inter Japanese-Americans during WW2 and has been used to intern immigrant children under both the Obama and Trump administrations:

"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."

The WP also quotes AOC as accusing Trump of running an "authoritarian. fascist, presidency." She continued::

"I don't use those words just to throw bombs. I use that word because that is what an administration that creates concentration camps is. A presidency that creates concentration camps is fascist, and it's very difficult to say that."

There is an unfortunate, and totally unjustified, tendency in the media to downplay or dismiss AOC as just a left wing politician who is only trying to attract attention.

But her comments need to be taken seriously. She is not the only person in America who has compared the conditions in Trump's immigration detention facilities to concentration camps. See, Esquire, June 12:

Concentration Camps Expert Andrea Pitzer: The Trump Administration Is Running Camps at the Southern Border

https://www.esquire.com/news/politics/a27813648/concentration-camps-southern-border-migrant-detention-facilities-trump/

It is hard to argue with the proposition that even though concentration camps (which are not necessarily extermination camps - AOC's detractors have deliberately, and falsely, confused the two in order to try to discredit her, as shown by the above WP story) have sometimes been set up by ostensibly democratic countries, they are typical of fascist and other authoritarian countries.

Esquire quotes another expert on the history of concentration camps, Waitman Wade Beorn of the University of Virginia, as follows:

"Things can be concentration camps without being Dachau of Auschwitz. Concentration camps in general have always been designed...to separate one group of people from another group. Usually, because the majority group, or the creators of the camp deem the people they are putting in it to be dangerous or undesirable in some way."

The Esquire article continues:

"Not every concentration camp is a death camp...Often, much of the death and suffering is a result of insufficient resources, overcrowding and deteriorating conditions. So far, 24 people have died in the custody of Immigration and Customs Enforcement under the Trump administration, while six [immigrant] children have died in the care of other agencies since September."

In the light of the above, Trump's June 18 threat to conduct mass arrests and deportation of millions of "illegal" immigrants is exceptionally alarming for anyone who believes, as AOC does, that America should not become a country of concentration camps.

As the news reports about this latest threat point out, ICE does not even begin to have the facilities or ability to lock up millions of immigrants in anything even remotely resembling humane or safe conditions.

See Vox, June 18:

Trump blindsides ICE with mass deportation announcement on eve of reelection rally

https://www.vox.com/2019/6/18/18683600/trump-mass-deportation-tweet-ice

Any detention centers or facilities where a potentially millions of immigrants could be locked up would, almost by definition, have to be called a concentration camp. There would inevitably be hundreds, if not thousands, of detainee deaths in such conditions, including many children.

This is what Donald Trump has in store for America, judging by his own statement.


But it is not just the specter of concentration camps (which would also inevitably one day soon hold, not only nonwhite immigrants, but also American citizens who commit "treason" by speaking out against Trump on immigration or any other issue) that creates the very real danger of fascism which AOC warns about.

Mass deportation is itself a typical, unmistakable feature of fascism or similar right wing extremism


See, June 18:

Trump says he will begin mass deportation as early as next week. White nationalists and conservative media have spent years calling for this

https://www.mediamatters.org/blog/2019/06/18/Trump-says-he-will-begin-mass-deportation-as-early-as-next-week-White-nationalists-and-con/223958

And as Rabbil Sikdar, who describes himself as a "Leftie Muslim, political writer, warned almost exactly one year ago, on June 20, 2018, mass deportation is a hallmark of fascist and authoritarian regimes in many different times and places.

See, Huffington Post UK

The World Has Let Fascism Back In

Sikdar writes that a hatred of migrants and Muslims has been growing, not only in Donald Trump's America, leading to last year's fascist-style, now abandoned, child separation policy, bit also in the UK, Germany, Italy and France. With regard to Italy, he states:

"The interior minister Matteo Salvani, in chilling echoes to their fascist past, called for a policy that would lead to the expulsion of all non-Italian Roma."


Make no mistake about it. Mass deportation of nonwhite immigrants is an essential part of Trump's blueprint for a fascist America. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is right.


Roger Algase
Attorney at Law