Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

According to Time, the Trump administration is planning to detain more than a thousand migrant children at Fort Sill in Oklahoma. (Photo: AP)

'This Is Sick': Horror as Trump Administration Plans to Detain Migrant Children at Former Japanese Internment Camp

"It feels as though history can't yell any louder than this."

Jake Johnson

Lending even greater significance to the parallels commentators and historians have drawn between U.S. migrant detention centers and concentration camps of the past, the Trump administration is reportedly planning to hold more than a thousand immigrant children at an Oklahoma army base that was used as an internment camp for Japanese Americans during World War II.

According to Time, Fort Sill "has been selected to detain 1,400 children until they can be given to an adult relative."

"We will look back at this moment in time and ask ourselves what we did to put a stop to these horrific, inhumane policies."
—California Gov. Gavin Newsom

"Fort Sill, located southwest of Oklahoma City, was one of several internment camps where Japanese-Americans were held during World War II," Time reported. "Between 1942 and 1946, the U.S. government forcibly removed an estimated 120,000 men, women and children from their homes and incarcerated them across the country. Fort Sill was later used to hold German prisoners of war."

As Time pointed out, the horrific practice of detaining immigrants at the site of a former internment camp did not begin with Trump.

"In 2014, the Obama administration placed around 7,700 migrant children on bases in Texas, California, and Oklahoma, including Fort Sill. The temporary shelters were shuttered after four months," Time reported. Under Obama, Fort Sill was used to detain around 200 children.

News of the Trump administration's decision to send over a thousand children to the base as it detains a record number of immigrants was met with horror.

California's Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom tweeted, "This is sick."

"We will look back at this moment in time and ask ourselves what we did to put a stop to these horrific, inhumane policies. Speak up. Speak out. Be on the right side of history."

Echoing a sentiment that was common across social media, Yale legal scholar Tiffany Li added, "Those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it."

As Time reported, the Trump administration has detained more than 40,000 children this year alone.

"That's a 57 percent increase from last year, which is a rate on-pace to surpass the record figures in 2016, when 59,171 minors were taken into custody," according to Time.


Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.

This is the world we live in. This is the world we cover.

Because of people like you, another world is possible. There are many battles to be won, but we will battle them together—all of us. Common Dreams is not your normal news site. We don't survive on clicks. We don't want advertising dollars. We want the world to be a better place. But we can't do it alone. It doesn't work that way. We need you. If you can help today—because every gift of every size matters—please do. Without Your Support We Simply Don't Exist.

Please select a donation method:

With Election Days Away, Bernie Sanders Headlines Get-Out-the-Vote Rally for Nina Turner

In his keynote speech, Sanders said corporate interests are pulling out all the stops to defeat Turner because "they know that when she is elected, she is going to stand up and take them on in the fight for justice."

Jake Johnson ·


Bush, Pressley, and Omar Sleep Outside Capitol to Demand Extension of Eviction Moratorium

Rep. Cori Bush, who was formerly unhoused, slammed her Democratic colleagues who "chose to go on vacation early today rather than staying to vote to keep people in their homes."

Jake Johnson ·


As Progressives Call for End to Blockade, Biden Announces More Sanctions Against Cuba

The move comes after Democratic leadership in the House blocked an amendment to roll back limits on how much money people in the United States can send to family on the island nation.

Jessica Corbett ·


Progressives Issue Dire Warning as House Bill to Extend Eviction Moratorium Dies

"If Congress does not act now, the fallout of the eviction crisis will undoubtedly set us backwards as the Covid-19 pandemic continues to ravish our communities, needlessly contributing to more death and destruction."

Brett Wilkins ·


Citing Donziger Case, Dems Raise Alarm About Use of Private Prosecutors in Federal Court

Private prosecutions of criminal contempt charges, said a pair of senators, "are highly unusual and can raise concerning questions of fundamental fairness in our criminal justice system."

Jessica Corbett ·