Europeans watched Jews being deported. America must not repeat that mistake – Francine Prose / The Guardian

Among the most iconic and unforgettable images of the Holocaust are photos of Jews being marched at gunpoint through the streets of Amsterdam, Paris and Warsaw, of grim-faced adults holding the hands of terrified children, on their way to the labor and death camps of Auschwitz, Treblinka, Sachsenhausen. Under the Nazi regime, these deportations were entirely legal. The Jews had not only been stripped of their citizenship but criminalized, portrayed as a cancer on society that had to be removed.

Just the other week, 680 people were deported from the United States, but one searches in vain for similar images. What we mostly see are pictures of a young man, alone, his head nearly shaved, photographed from the back, handcuffed and pressed up against the car waiting to take him away. These images support the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (Ice) claims that nearly all of the deportees are men who have been convicted of felony charges. Bad dudes.

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