Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi would not address comments made by New York Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez on Wednesday comparing immigrant detention centers to concentration camps.
“These members of Congress, they come to represent their districts and their point of view and they take responsibility for the statements that they make,” Pelosi said to reporters at a Christian Science Monitor breakfast when asked about Ocasio-Cortez’s comments and whether she has had a conversation with the freshman Democrats about the “power of their words.”
“I’m not up-to-date with her most recent remarks,” Pelosi continued. “I saw them on the news, but I haven’t spoken to her about that.”
Ocasio-Cortez said Monday that the U.S. government is “running concentration camps on our southern border” to hold migrants.
“That is exactly what they are. They are concentration camps,” Ocasio-Cortez said during a live-stream on her Instagram.
“The fact that concentrations camps are now an institutionalized practice in the Home of the Free is extraordinarily disturbing and we need to do something about it,” she continued.
Ocasio-Cortez’s comments sparked push-back from Republicans in Congress, like Wyoming Republican Rep. Liz Cheney who said the freshman representative needs to “do us all a favor and spend just a few minutes learning some actual history.”
Cheney also mentioned that “6 million Jews were exterminated in the Holocaust. You demean their memory and disgrace yourself with comments like this.”
In June 2018, Ocasio-Cortez explained her belief that abolishing the Immigration Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency is “common sense” during an interview on CNN.