UW-Madison compares migrant crisis to Nazi Germany

An event set to take place Tuesday at the University of Wisconsin, Madison discussing the current waves of immigration from Central America into the United States compares the situation on America’s southern border to the Holocaust.

The event’s description notes that the program “will explain that migrants who abandon Central America are not leaving the country, they are running away from the country, and their profile is different from the traditional migrant. They are, in many cases, ‘refugees’ protected by international law, as were Jews during the Nazi era or Bosnians during the Balkan war.”

The event, titled “The caravans, the phenomenon that changes the face of emigration” is being hosted by the Latin American, Caribbean and Iberian Studies Program at UW-Madison. 

According to the event description, “caravans have changed the face of emigration[sic], which has ceased to be something individual and clandestine to be collective and in broad daylight,” adding that they “have become politicized and a symbol that humiliates and reminds the failure of the Central American governments...”

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”Far from dissuading, every time that Donald Trump tweets about migrant caravans, more and more people join this phenomenon because migrants know that if Trump is paying attention to them, they would have some visibility and more opportunities,” the description states.

UW-Madison’s selected speaker for the event is Jacobo Garcia, a journalist with nearly 20 years of political reporting experience in South and Central America. The event at UW-Madison event is just one of many instances where colleges and professors have used the Holocaust while discussing modern-day political issues. 

Students at the University of Arizona last fall were asked to compare the Trump Administration’s Muslim ban and anti-DACA policies to those presented in Nazi Germany. The extra credit assignment was presented to students in a class about the Holocaust.

[RELATED: Prof asks students to compare Trump, Nazi policies]

Last summer, Campus Reform reported that an editor of Princeton University’s Daily Princetonian compared President Trump’s family separation policies at the southern border to the Holocaust. 

Assistant editor Samuel Aftel wrote in an op-ed that “although family separation is not murderous genocide, the ‘we are just taking them to bathe’ tactic is chillingly reminiscent of the way Nazis during the Holocaust told people in concentration camps that they were going to have a shower before they were gassed to death.”

For its part, UW-Madison defended the event and its description, saying that it “invites speakers with a wide range of views to lecture on current events,” noting that Garcia is an “internationally recognized commentator on war, natural disaster, and conflict, who will speak on the parallels between the Central American caravans and previous mass migrations during the Balkan War and Nazi-era Germany.”

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