WASHINGTON (CBS DC) — Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., reportedly made a comparison between “boatloads of Jewish immigrants” turned away from the U.S. as they attempted escape from Nazi Germany during World War II and the current influx of illegal immigrants coming across the border today.
As President Barack Obama met with Texas Gov. Rick Perry and other Republican and Democratic officials to discuss the ongoing border crisis, Feinstein joined several Democrats in criticizing moves to deport thousands of Central American unaccompanied illegal children back to their respective countries, Boston.com reports.
“I think we’d better think twice,” Sen. Richard Durbin, D-Ill., said.
Feinstein then reportedly likened the situation to the “boatloads of Jewish immigrants trying to come to this country during Nazi Germany and getting turned back.”
“That’s not what this country is all about,” she told Boston.com. “This, in my view, has to be handled in a way which is compassionate.”
Congressional Republicans have criticized Obama’s request for $3.7 billion in emergency funding in order to quell the border crisis that has seen estimates of 57,000 unaccompanied immigrant children flooding across the border and into U.S. Border Patrol custody.
“What I do think this shows is another area where lack of leadership from this administration is coming back to haunt us,” Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart, R-Fla., told Boston.com.
The American Civil Liberties Union and the American Immigration Council both stepped into the immigration debate on Wednesday, filing a class-action lawsuit in Seattle on behalf of the illegal immigrant children being held in U.S. detention facilities. The lawsuit contends that the federal government is not giving the children adequate legal representation during the detainment and deportation process.