As usual, Representative Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) ("AOC") was way ahead of most Democratic leaders, as well as the media in drawing attention to the Trump/Miller regime's cruelty, brutality and human rights violations against Central American and other nonwhite immigrant children by calling the CBP hellholes where they have been locked up "concentration camps".

In response, some of Trump's supporters have engaged in a cynical and diversionary smear campaign against AOC based on her use of the term "concentration camps", which are generally associated with gas chambers, extermination and the holocaust. But, as Dahlia Lithwick points out in a June 19 column in slate.com, not only does the term "concentration camp" have a broader meaning that is not limited to the holocaust extermination of the Jews, one of the most terrible chapters in all of human history, but the entire argument over AOC's use of these words is completely beside the point. See:

The AOC-Liz Cheney "concentration camp" fight might be a distraction

https://slate.com/news-and-politics/2019/06/aoc-liz-cheney-concentration-camp-debate-words.htm;

The issue is not who is right in a semantic debate over the meaning of "concentration camps", or whether using this term implies any lack of respect to holocaust victims (which it does not). The issue is what the Trump regime is doing to immigrant children now, in the United States of America in the second decade of the 21st century. And as Eugene Robinson writes in the June 24 Washington Post concerning Trump's immigrant child detention agenda:

"President Trump's immigration policy has crossed the line from gratuitous cruelty to flat-out sadism."

See: This is the reality of Trump's America

Robinson continues by quoting Willamette University law professor W. Warren Binford, who has visited one of the camps (sorry, I meant "centers"), and interviews many of the detained children::

"They [the children] were filthy dirty, there was mucus on their shirts...There was food on their shirts, and the pants as well. They told us they were hungry. They told us that some of them had not showered until the day or two before we arrived. Many of them described that they only brushed their teeth once...

So, in any event, the children told us that nobody's taking care of them, so that basically the older children are trying to take care of the younger children...

Many of the children reported sleeping on the concrete floor. "


These are only some of the horrible conditions that Robinson describes in his article. he concludes:

"But this is a humanitarian crisis of Trump's making. A president who panders to his base by seizing billions of dollars from other programs to build a 'big, beautiful wall' also panders to his base by cruelly treating brown-skinned migrant children like subhumans.

Do not look away. This is the reality of Trump's America. Deal with it."


But how should we, as lawyers and immigration advocates deal with it? One solution is to look way ourselves. The fact that young children - some only infants - are being tormented and treated like animals in detention centers under horrendous conditions which may or may not bear comparison with concentration camps may not be directly related to our own particular areas of concern, whether H-1B RFE's, new public charge regulations, EB-5 retrogression or whatever else we may be concerned with on a day-to day basis.

But does this mean we should also look away? Or should be be calling for Donald Trump's impeachment for crimes of violence, as a courageous columnist by the name of James Bassett is doing in a June 24 column a paper called the Indiana Daily Student? See:

OPINION: The President's crimes of violence toward immigrants are grounds for impeachment

https://idsnews.com/article/opinion-the-presidents-crimes-of-violence-toward-immigrants-are grounds-for-impeachment

I will discuss this article, and the legal grounds for impeaching Donald Trump because of his cruelty and sadism toward brown immigrant children, in Part 2 of this two-part series.


Roger Algase
Attorney at Law