Why Is The Immigration Crisis Being Compared To The Holocaust?

I see some people comparing the border situation with that of the Holocaust—then I see others who are insulted that the border situation is being compared to the Holocaust.

I have a rightful opinion on this debate considering I come from an immigrant family, come from a family of Holocaust survivors and victims, and have studied the Holocaust extensively.

The facts are that the Holocaust wasn't one day "Jews are animals" and the next day they were being exterminated like diseased mice in gas chambers. No, there was a process and progression of dehumanization.

First there were deprivation of basic human rights. Next, there were boycotts. Then, forced business closures, and then they were forced to wear symbols to label them. After, there were curfews, then deportations to ghettos. And finally. concentration camps and gas chambers. And that's just the simplified version.

It all started in 1933 with the Nazi party and Hitler taking power in Germany—with Jews being sent to ghettos and concentration camps in 1940. The time between Step 1 to the "Final Solution" took nearly a decade!

In other words, I understand the hysteria behind people of conscience when comparing placing children in holding cells resembling cages to the Holocaust.

The Holocaust wasn't just concentration camps and gas chambers. The Holocaust was a process of dehumanization: removing human qualities of individuality, compassion, and civility.

Look at the language that's being used: "Immigrant children," "Child detainees." It's as if they don't have names nor identities. I can see that advertently or inadvertently—this is dehumanization. Because they aren't legal citizens of the U.S.A. they are seen as "less than." 

I understand border control and the need for security. I understand abiding by immigration laws and maintaining order. I'm not interesting in comparing one administration's policies to the other's in a debate of who made a shittier decision.

But I also understand dehumanization—and while this is not a Holocaust—it is a damn slippery slope when you begin to allow abhorrent and detestable practices to slide. Good on you for speaking up for these children who are very much human.

Photo by John Moore | Getty Images

Photo by John Moore | Getty Images