No Nazi camps here

Local civic leader LaRaine DuPuy’s July 13 Trib column compares immigration detention facilities along the southern U.S. border to Nazi concentration camps. In the interest of fairness, she should have also highlighted the significant differences.

First, the infamous Nazi concentration camps held mostly Jewish people rounded up and transported by railroad car against their will. Most were targeted for their religion, unlike those now held in U.S. immigration centers. By contrast, the latter include nationalities aplenty. None being held in U.S. detention facilities is there because of religious faith. These people came to the United States on their own, lured by one part of our government that told them they could all come into our country.

A recent detainee facility tour showed piles of diapers, ladies’ personal things and medical items, available to anyone free of charge. The tour revealed piles of snacks that detainees could get at any time. This included clean water — and not water from toilets. I bet the water at these facilities is better than the water or bathroom facilities many used back home. I suspect Nazi concentration camps were never like this.

After long, difficult trips through Central America, generally on foot, I’m sure many immigrants experience health problems. The children endure a lot more in migration travel than they endure at these centers. They are now getting medical treatment. Many had diseases upon arrival. Yes, some may die, but I argue their conditions were caused or exacerbated by what happened during their arduous journeys. Certainly none appears to resemble the emaciated inmates of Nazi concentration camps.

Also, the immigrants at our southern border do not have to stay. They can go back home anytime they wish. And they won’t be put in showers and gassed. By contrast, the Jewish were prisoners and could never leave.

Another thing: Many detained in the United States are being separated from human traffickers who pretend to be their parents. Without documentation, it’s hard to figure who belongs to who.

This will never happen, but I bet if immigrants were interviewed, many would give thanks for the care and treatment they now receive. If asked about Nazi camps, I’m sure 100 percent would rather be held at U.S.-run detainee facilities. There’s simply no comparison.

It’s too bad one end of the political spectrum uses these people as political pawns in a continuous effort to lambast our president. Many Trump critics have themselves been in power for years and done nothing to solve our border problems. I thank border agents, medical workers and anyone working on the border. They’re trying their best in an almost impossible job, then getting blamed for the way things are. I guarantee these camps are a complete opposite of Nazi camps. Those running these centers do care about the people being held.

Jerry Willett, Lorena

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