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Internment Camps for Undocumented Migrants

By Matthew Yglesias  

"Internment Camps for Undocumented Migrants"

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Speaking of alienating Latino voters, here’s Florida State House candidate Marg Baker saying we should “follow what happened back in the 40s or 50s” and round immigrants up in internment camps as a prelude to deportation:

We can follow what happened back in the 40s or 50s—I was just a little girl in Miami—and they built camps for the people that snuck into the country. Because they were illegal. They put them in the camps and they shipped them back. [Wild applause]. We must stop them. I’m not in the legislature, so I’m not sure of all of what is available for me to use to get done what we want to get done, but I will do it when I know exactly what to do to get it through.

Historically speaking, I’m a bit confused as to what she’s talking about. There were “displaced person” camps in Europe in the 1940s for World War II refugees and there were refugee camps in 1980 associated with the Mariel Boatlift, but those were Cubans and not illegal immigrants. At any rate, if you’re looking to talk about people who’ve come to the United States in hopes of making a better life for themselves in as dehumanizing a manner as possible, you should take lessons from Baker and her audience.

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