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Why won't Latin American countries condemn the U.S. for its migrant detention centers? According to Wikipedia, the detention centers in the U.S. for so-called illegals and asylum seekers are considered to be concentration camps.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Concentration_Camp

Since the U.S. is criticizing China for doing the same thing as them, why won't Latin American countries hit back and criticize the U.S. for its inhumane treatment of their people? Is there a realpolitik motive behind this?

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    Both the terms "concentration camps" and "illegal immigrants" are incorrect. As long as there is an asylum seeker application ongoing, they are not held without trial and it is not a concentration camp. And as long as there is an asylum seeker application ongoing, their presence is legal as they have the legal right to lodge such an application. – gerrit Jul 10 '19 at 9:04
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    Furthermore, detention policies have worked to disregard the sanctity of the family unit, violate the rights of refugees and asylum seekers, and ignore both domestic and international laws of due process. – blackbird Jul 10 '19 at 11:08
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    @gerrit are those apllications in progress in all cases? As for the term concentration camps, some of those cages look very similar to how livestock is crammed together. It may not be the best term, but they're not totally dissimilar. But yes, probably best to change the term here, migrant detention centers, maybe? – JJJ Jul 10 '19 at 11:27
  • @JJJ I understood so, but I don't know. Migrant detention centers is accurate, I agree that the conditions under which they are kept are inhumane, but it appears incorrect to call them concentration camps unless people are indeed held without charge. – gerrit Jul 10 '19 at 11:45
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    @blackbird I don't dispute that. I agree with the criticisms against the conditions of the migrant detention centers, I just don't think they should be called concentration camps. – gerrit Jul 10 '19 at 11:55
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Quite simply, they have.

As a brief terminology summary, Latin America refers to the American countries whose culture substantially descends from Romance-language-speaking countries in Europe, such as Spain or France. It thus includes North American countries such as Mexico, non-Hispanic countries such as Brazil, but not countries as the Philippines or Equatorial Guinea that are partly "Hispanic" but located outside the Americas.

So, for instance, México has condemned the family separation policy and the conditions in which immigrants are held:

The Mexican government on Tuesday condemned as “cruel and inhuman” the Trump administration policy of separating immigrant families detained on U.S. soil.

The current president himself, before he was president, also spoke out against the policy. According to the same article:

Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador — front-runner in the July 1 election — charged that U.S. authorities were expelling the children in “inhumane conditions.”

So has Bolivian president Evo Morales, who asserted that if the US cared about human rights:

And nor would it have separated migrant children from their families, nor put them in cages.

Morales seems to have come closer to the term concentration camp in other statements:

Trump está tan mal, que su propio pueblo marcha contra su política cruel e inhumana de tortura psicológica a niños inocentes en campos de detención.

Or:

Trump is so evil that his own people march against his cruel and inhumane policy of psychological torture of innocent children in detention camps.

I wouldn't be surprised if he used that precise term in some speech.

Although they aren't using the precise terminology used in the question, they're nonetheless criticizing the same thing.

As to why some countries might be more careful in their criticism or its terminology:

  • People in glass houses shouldn't throw stones. Anti-immigrant policies exist in some Latin American countries as well. They might be particularly leery of criticizing mass immigrant detention centers, since some Latin American countries, particularly recently, such as Mexico, have engaged in similar practices.

  • They might be afraid of antagonizing the US. The US has a great deal of political and economic influence in the Americas, and its leader has often been quick to pick fights. The increase in Mexican immigration enforcement has been partly attributed to this.

  • They might agree with those policies. For instance, Jair Bolsonaro in Brazil is unlikely to criticize US detention centers. Several other governments in Latin America have conservative or nationalistic views or an affinity for Trump.

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The portion that you discuss has since been removed from Wikipedia. But there is still a definition of concentration camp there:

The American Heritage Dictionary defines the term concentration camp as: "A camp where persons are confined, usually without hearings and typically under harsh conditions, often as a result of their membership in a group which the government has identified as dangerous or undesirable."

But the people in detention are not confined without hearings. They get hearings. And they can leave detention by simply designating a place to which they would like to be deported (that will accept them) and dropping their asylum claim. They could have avoided detention by staying in Mexico, either to make asylum claims at the border or refugee claims at a US embassy or consulate.

These people aren't singled out for membership in a group. The only common group they have is people who illegally entered the United States and voluntarily surrendered to law enforcement. If that's singled out for membership in a group, every prison and jail is a concentration camp.

Contrast this with China, which puts its own citizens in detention and forces them to labor. That's much closer to the modern implication of concentration camps as places where undesirables are sent to work as slave labor until they are executed (see Nazi concentration camps).

why won't Latin American countries hit back and criticize the U.S. for its inhumane treatment of their people?

Well, let's think about this. The people in the camps are there because they claim that they need protection from the governments of their own countries. That's what an asylum claim is. So their own countries don't have a basis for complaint. And other countries have the problem of if they are successful, a reasonable thing for the US to do would be to send the people from the camps to the other countries. They could then stay there while they make refugee claims to the US or simply seek asylum in those countries.

Latin American countries don't want these people any more than the US does.

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  • (that will accept them) — what if nobody will accept them? – gerrit Jul 10 '19 at 8:57
  • because they claim that they need protection from the governments of their own countries, or because their government is failing to protect them from others in their own countries (such as in a civil war or severe crime) – gerrit Jul 10 '19 at 8:59
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    Furthermore, detention policies have worked to disregard the sanctity of the family unit, violate the rights of refugees and asylum seekers, and ignore both domestic and international laws of due process. – blackbird Jul 10 '19 at 11:09
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    This is an answer, but some claims may need some references. Also, the comparison with prison doesn't seem to hold as prisons, at least in the US, have better standards for prisoners, I think (e.g. allowed to shower, more personal space). – JJJ Jul 10 '19 at 11:35
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    refugee claims at a US embassy or consulate. — is that actually possible? Most countries don't allow this. – gerrit Jul 10 '19 at 11:56

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