Scanlon (D) Likens Border Agents to Nazi Collaborators

'Just following orders is no more an excuse today than it was back in Germany.'

A Democratic congresswoman likened border security officials following Trump administration protocols to people following orders in Nazi Germany.

Rep. Mary Gay Scanlon (D., Penn.), speaking Tuesday at a House Judiciary Committee hearing on the administration's policy on separating children at the border, said she was struck by what she called the "denial of humanity" to illegal immigrants.

"When you say that the cause of migration is legal loopholes or bad judicial decisions, rather than the dire conditions of violence and poverty in these people's home countries that's literally driving them from home, I think it's easier to slam the door against these kids and these families," she said. "This hearing is a recognition and an insistence that on that humanity … a recognition that just following orders is no more an excuse today than it was back in Germany."

The euphemism of "following orders" is commonly used in reference to those who collaborated with the Nazi regime in the 1930s and 1940s.

President Donald Trump declared a national emergency at the border on Feb. 15 after failing to get adequate funding to construct a southern border wall in the latest spending bill passed by Congress. Trump said last month there is an ongoing humanitarian and cultural crisis at the border.

Sen. Cory Booker (D., N.J.), now a 2020 presidential candidate, used a similar analogy in January 2018 when he lit into Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen over reports Trump made derisive remarks about African countries.

"People who sit by and do nothing when they hear bigotry are complicit in that bigotry," Booker said on "The Breakfast Club" radio show. "If you come after Jews, if you come under Muslims … you come after my fellow American citizens, I will not tolerate it. And she should have been in the same way, as opposed to just doing her job. Well, we know what happened in Europe when people just did their jobs."