‘Not the same’: Twitter erupts after Ocasio-Cortez likens migrant caravan to Jews fleeing Holocaust
Just as Jews sought refuge from Nazi Germany, members of the migrant caravan have every right to ask for asylum in the US, Congresswoman-elect Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has argued, prompting both applause and jeers on Twitter.
The self-described “democratic socialist” expressed her outrage over a Sunday altercation on the US-Mexico border, in which US guards used tear gas to disperse migrants who tried to force their way into the United States. The San Ysidro crossing, a busy entry port between Tijuana and San Diego, was temporarily closed following the clashes, and several dozen migrants were arrested on the US side of the border.
Asking to be considered a refugee & applying for status isn’t a crime.It wasn’t for Jewish families fleeing Germany.It wasn’t for targeted families fleeing Rwanda.It wasn’t for communities fleeing war-torn Syria.And it isn’t for those fleeing violence in Central America. https://t.co/qhv7Rr1itn— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@Ocasio2018) November 25, 2018
“Asking to be considered a refugee & applying for status isn’t a crime,” the New York congresswoman-elect wrote on Twitter. “It wasn’t for Jewish families fleeing Germany. It wasn’t for targeted families fleeing Rwanda. It wasn’t for communities fleeing war-torn Syria. And it isn’t for those fleeing violence in Central America.”
Ocasio-Cortez, who became the youngest woman elected to Congress after triumphing in November’s midterm elections, has emerged as a leading progressive voice – but her critics have accused her of being ill-informed. While some applauded her, the soon-to-be congresswoman was quickly swamped by angry tweets calling her comment ridiculous and offensive.
“Peope where (sic) rushing the border today and throwing rocks. Border Patrol pushed back. Ocasio compared the rushers to Jews fleeing Europe. I said it is not the same on merit (no pre-Holocaust now in S. America) and my grandparents did not border-rush despite suffering. Case closed,” one blue-check-marked commenter wrote.
Peope where rushing the border today and throwing rocks. Border Patrol pushed back. Ocasio compared the rushers to Jews fleeing Europe. I said it is not the same on merit (no pre-Holocaust now in S. America) and my grandparents did not border-rush despite suffering. Case closed.— Yossi Gestetner (@YossiGestetner) November 26, 2018
The Daily Caller’s Benny Johnson also scoffed at the comment, arguing that it was an absurd comparison.
We are here now:America accepting a Jewish refugee from Germany - who was fleeing the systemic state-sponsored mass slaughter of their people that killed +6 million Jews from 1934-1944 - is the moral equivalent of America accepting economic migrants in the caravan today.Sick https://t.co/EIbiHTOGtI— Benny (@bennyjohnson) November 26, 2018
Even some of her defenders noted that perhaps it wasn’t the best comparison – since the United States was not as welcoming as it should have been to those fleeing Hitler’s Germany.
True but the US wasn’t very generous about letting Jews fleeing Hitler in. In fact we turned them away. But they weren’t regarded as criminals.— Frances Dinkelspiel (@Frannydink) November 26, 2018
More than 7,000 migrants from Central America are currently stranded on the border between Mexico and the US. President Donald Trump has resisted calls to allow the migrants to enter the country, and has even threatened to “permanently” close the border in order to keep the caravan – which he claims consists of numerous “stone cold criminals” – out.
Meanwhile, the huge influx of migrants appears to be taking its toll on Mexico: the mayor of the border city of Tijuana described the situation as a “humanitarian crisis.”
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