- The Washington Times - Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Democratic presidential hopeful Julián Castro on Wednesday said he agrees with the “sentiment” of Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s likening the situation at the United States’ southern border to concentration camps.

“Well look, I think the point she was trying to make is that this is serious, and this is the mistreatment of human beings,” Mr. Castro, a former Obama administration official, said on CNN’s “New Day.”

“Of course, I understand that there’s a significance to that term, but I agree with the sentiment behind what she said, which is that we can’t take this as normal — this is cruelty for these children,” he said.

Mr. Castro said experts have said children will be affected for their entire lifetimes.

“And so we can’t write it off, and I think we should focus on what she was trying to say, which is that we need to end this and end it now,” he said.

Ms. Ocasio-Cortez said in an Instagram video earlier in the week that the U.S. is running “concentration camps on our southern border” — comments that earned her swift rebukes.

Sen. Bernard Sanders, another Democratic presidential contender, put some distance between himself and Ms. Ocasio-Cortez’s words on Tuesday.

“I didn’t use that terminology,” Mr. Sanders said on CNN. “I have a lot of respect for Alexandria — I think she’s doing a fantastic job.”

“What I will tell you is that we are locking up children in deplorable conditions,” he said. “I have not used that word.”

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