10 January 2007

Is it fascism yet?

Not to worry. Sure, the President just asserted his right to open your mail without a warrant. But it's not like there are concentration camps in the US.

Not so fast, says David Neiwert of Orcinus, writing at FireDogLake. What about detention centers for people alleged to be illegal immigrants? There are thousands of people there.

Last week, Pachacutec raised a few eyebrows by referring to the privately operated “detention centers” where Immigration and Customs Enforcement has been incarcerating thousands of illegal immigrants, including their citizen children, as “concentration camps.” Some of his commenters particularly objected, like my elderly inquisitor, to using a term that they, at least, associated primarily with Nazis and the Holocaust.

But as Pach noted in follow-up (with an assist from Lambert at Correntewire), “concentration camp” is a perfectly applicable term here, for largely the same reasons I gave at the talk. Considering the information that is starting to come to light from at least the largest of these centers, there are reasons to believe that conditions at these privately run “detention centers” are even worse than those at the Japanese American camps.
In their determination to arrest illegal immigrants, the government—acting, in the end, at the behest of nativist agitators—is potentially putting itself in the business of splitting up families, since many of these illegal immigrants are the parents of citizen children. So to avoid that outcome, the only solution available is to incarcerate those children alongside their parents. The end result: concentration camps—euphemistically designated “family detention centers” as part of an effort to “secure our borders.”

Neiwert also describes at least one troubling example involving arrests by the Department of Homeland Security.

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