Thomas Homan, the acting director of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, claims ICE officers are just following orders amidst growing public outrage over migrant children being held in detention centers. Many people have compared them to Nazi concentration camps.
Speaking with Fox News pundit Tucker Carlson on Monday, Homan brushed off the idea that ICE agents are acting like Nazis because they "are simply enforcing laws enacted by Congress."
"I think it's an insult to the brave men and women on border control and ICE, to call law enforcement officers Nazis," Homan told Carlson. "They're simply enforcing laws enacted by Congress."
In other words, ICE agents are just following orders, according to Homan. One need not peer too deeply into history to see the similarity between Homan's defense of ICE and the "just following orders" justification Nazi officers employed as they attempted to skirt justice after the Holocaust.
Homan also said that public outcry over the existence of and conditions within ICE detention centers is a "political sideshow."
"You have to put the blame on the parents," he said.
Let's protect American citizens as much as you're fighting for the illegal alien.
We have seen this before.
During the Nuremberg Trials after World War II, senior Nazi officials defended their participation in the atrocities perpetrated on Jews and other subjugated groups - they would claim they were "just following orders," and ultimately bore no responsibility in the mistreatment and murder of millions of innocent people.
This has since become known as the Nuremberg defense.
And while there are no cattle cars transporting people or gas chambers murdering inmates in the ICE detention centers, and the treatment of detainees is in no way as subhuman as happened in the congregations of death that were the Nazi camps, many people have noted the parallels between President Donald Trump's "zero tolerance" policy and the early days of the Holocaust.
The parallels to the internment of Japanese-Americans during World War II are also swirling through social media.
George Takei, who was imprisoned as a child, said Trump's policy is "worse" than the policies that resulted in the interment of hundreds of thousands of Japanese-Americans.
"At least during the internment of Japanese-Americans, I and other children were not stripped from our parents," Takei wrote in a piece published Tuesday in Foreign Policy. "We were not pulled screaming from our mothers' arms. We were not left to change the diapers of younger children by ourselves."
On Monday, Attorney General Jeff Sessions told Laura Ingraham that comparing zero tolerance to Nazi Germany were "exaggerations," because "in Nazi Germany, they were keeping the Jews from leaving the country."