A survivor of the Holocaust, has delivered a stinging rebuke to Donald Trump’s top immigration enforcer and said “history is not on your side”.
At a public forum in Sacramento, California, an 87-year who survived being held in both the Auschwitz and Dachau concentration camps, said people were being torn apart by the policies being enforced by Mr Trump’s Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents.
Since becoming president, Mr Trump has initiated a crackdown on undocumented migrants, leading to a spike in arrests, detentions and deportations.
This is how ICE director Thomas Homan was greeted by the crowd in Sacramento. pic.twitter.com/rEwuQUHNlk— Hamed Aleaziz (@Haleaziz) March 29, 2017
“Don’t forget, history is not on your side,” said 87-year-old Bernard Marks.
“You’re tearing families apart. It’s not much different than what happened to me, you’re doing here in the United States.”
Mr Marks spoke at a forum hosted by Sacramento County Sheriff Scott Jones and acting ICE Director, Thomas Homan.
“Let’s be clear about one thing. ICE isn’t going anywhere. We’re going to enforce the laws that are on the books in this country,” said Mr Homan.
Both and Mr Jones said ICE agents only intended to target people who committed serious crimes. Local media said that many in the crowd had their doubts.
“Why are you here in California when we’re against ICE?” said one person, Irvis Orozco, according to Fox News.
Mr Marks said he felt obliged to speak out.
“For many decades I have lived my American dream, as a husband, a father, an engineer and an educator who works with young students to help them learn about the Holocaust so that the lessons of that tragic era are never forgotten,” he said.
“Much of my life has been dedicated to this mission because, one day in the not-too-distant future, the voices of my generation will only echo from the past.”
He added: “I never imagined the day would come that I would feel compelled to raise a warning to the people of my adopted homeland about a danger that is all too familiar to me, a threat to democracy and to the character that defines America.”