Attorney General Jeff Sessions responded to allegations that the United States is on par with Nazi Germany in their use of concentration camps. Defending the Trump administration and the separation of children from their parents at the southern border, Sessions said the Nazis “were keeping the Jews from leaving.”
The attorney general appeared on Fox News, “The Ingraham Angle.” He addressed the fervor over the administration’s “zero tolerance” policy to combat illegal immigration. As a part of the policy, thousands of migrant children have been separated from their parents.
Fox News host Laura Ingraham said that some opponents have compared the practice on the border to “concentration camps,” and others have denounced the activity as a human rights violation.
“Well it’s a real exaggeration. Of course in Nazi Germany, they were keeping the Jews from leaving the country,” Sessions said.
“This is a serious matter,” he continued. “We need to think it through, be rational and thoughtful about it. We want to allow asylum for people who qualify for it but people who want economic migration for their personal financial benefit and what they think is their family’s benefit is not a basis for a claim of asylum.”
Attorney General Jeff Sessions: “We want to allow asylum for people who qualify for it, but people who want economic migration for their personal financial benefit…is not a basis for a claim of asylum.” @IngrahamAngle pic.twitter.com/ae0QoEMAVD
— Fox News (@FoxNews) June 19, 2018
A Department of Justice spokesperson added even more clarification to the issue: “The Nazi comparisons that others are making” were just a “desperate attempt to distract from the fact that their policies led to the number of families illegally crossing the border jumping five-fold over the last four years.”
On Monday, Sessions reiterated his position that prosecuting anyone who crosses the border illegally can serve as a deterrent against illegal immigration.
“Hopefully people will get the message … and not [come] across the border unlawfully,” Sessions said.
President Trump has repeatedly blamed Democrats for the separation policy, despite his administration issuing the directive that led to the practice. On Monday, he stated emphatically that the U.S. “will not be a migrant camp and it will not be a refugee holding facility.”