Wikipedia Added US Border 'Detention Centres' to Its List of Concentration Camps

Alongside Dachau and Japanese internment camps.

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Jun 20 2018, 1:44am

Photo via the US Border Patrol and Customs agency.

This article first appeared on VICE US

The detention centres along the US-Mexico border housing hundreds of migrant children who have been separated from their parents in the last six weeks are now included in Wikipedia's list of concentration camps, Gizmodo reports. It joins a dishearteningly long list of other sites of atrocity throughout history, from Dachau to the Soviet gulags to America's WWII-era Japanese internment camps.

"As part of the 2018 Trump administration family separation policy, nearly 2,000 immigrant children have been taken from their parents and placed in 'detention centers,'" the new section of the Wikipedia article currently reads. "These centers have been described by those in opposition to the policy as 'concentration camps.' The centers had previously been cited by Texas officials for more than 150 health violations."

The section has, unsurprisingly, ignited a string of debate and revisions since it was first added, with editors of the online encyclopedia arguing about the appropriateness of including these immigrant detention centers alongside Nazi extermination camps like Auschwitz. One user has called for the section to be locked "to prevent vandalism," but it is currently still open for edits.

"No comparison with extermination camps or the Holocaust is being made here," a Wikipedia editor named The Anome wrote in defense of the new addition, arguing that, while the border detainment centers differ from Nazi death camps, they still fit uncomfortably well within the broad definition of concentration and internment camps.

"This is a list of concentration and internment camps, and these are very clearly internment camps," The Anome wrote. "For children. In America. In 2018. For shame."

Even Melania Trump's own immigration lawyer, Michael Wildes, spoke out against the Trump Administration's "zero tolerance" immigration policy, calling it "reminiscent of detention centers of Nazi Germany, of the slave trade" during an interview Tuesday, but Attorney General Jeff Sessions continues to shrug off any attempt to compare the policy to Nazi concentration camps.

"[Nazi comparisons are] a real exaggeration, of course. In Nazi Germany, they were keeping the Jews from leaving the country," Sessions told Fox News' Laura Ingraham Monday night. Ingraham, of course, is the same person who said that the border detention facilities currently holding migrant children are "essentially summer camps."

Unfortunately, all you have to do is listen to the heartbreaking recording of terrified, sobbing children left in detention shelters while the guards crack jokes to know that this is a reprehensible piece of American history and likely deserves its place on Wikipedia's list.

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This article originally appeared on VICE US.

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