Holocaust survivor blasts Sacramento sheriff, ICE director: 'History is not on your side'



Sacramento County Sheriff Scott Jones and Immigration and Customs Enforcement Acting Director Thomas Homan held a public forum to discuss immigration in Sacramento on Tuesday.

They were not ready for Bernard Marks. Before a rapt audience, the local educator and Holocaust survivor shamed the two law enforcement officials for rupturing immigrant families and prioritizing the interests of the Trump administration over those of local residents.

"History is not on your side," Marks told them sternly, to thunderous applause from the crowd. Footage of the exchange can be viewed here, and below:


"When I was a little boy in Poland, for no other reason but for being Jewish, I was hauled off by the Nazis," Marks began his statement. "And for no other reason I was picked up and separated from my family, who was exterminated in Auschwitz. And I am a survivor of Auschwitz and Dachau.

9 PHOTOS
Dachau concentration camp
See Gallery
Dachau concentration camp
The entrance gate without the door of the former concentration camp in Dachau, southern Germany, pictured on November 3, 2014. This gate with the inscription 'Work sets you free' (Arbeit macht frei) has been stolen on November 2, 2014. AFP PHTO/CHRISTOF STACHE (Photo credit should read CHRISTOF STACHE/AFP/Getty Images)
The entrance gate without the door of the former concentration camp in Dachau, southern Germany, is pictured on November 3, 2014. This gate with the inscription 'Work sets you free' (Arbeit macht frei) has been stolen on November 2, 2014. AFP PHTO/CHRISTOF STACHE (Photo credit should read CHRISTOF STACHE/AFP/Getty Images)
Jewish visitors at Dachau concentration camp (Photo by: Godong/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)
DACHAU, GERMANY: FILES - Portrait taken at the end of April 1945 upon the liberation of the Nazi concentration camp of Dachau, near Munich, of an unidentified 18-year-old Russian Jew, a camp prisoner, suffering from dysentery. More than 1,000 survivors of the camp marked the 60th anniversary of their liberation on 01 May 2005. Between 1933 and 1945, more than 200,000 people from 38 countries and across the religious and political spectrum were held by the Nazis under appalling conditions. At least 30,000 people were killed, starved or died of disease. (FILM) AFP PHOTO/ERIC SCHWAB (Photo credit should read ERIC SCHWAB/AFP/Getty Images)
DACHAU, Germany: A man walks past the gate with the writing 'Work makes Free' as he enters the memorial site of the former Nazi concentration camp in Dachau 01 May 2005. More than 1,000 survivors of the camp marked the 60th anniversary of their liberation. AFP PHOTO DDP/TIMM SCHAMBERGER GERMANY OUT (Photo credit should read TIMM SCHAMBERGER/AFP/Getty Images)
4th May 1945: Prisoners at Dachau, the infamous concentration camp, celebrate their liberation following the arrival of the men of the 42nd Rainbow Division of the US 7th Army. (Photo by Horace Abrahams/Keystone/Getty Images)
3rd May 1945: Young prisoners interned at Dachau concentration camp cheer the American troops who liberated the camp. The boy third from left has been identified as 18 year old Juda Kukiela. (Photo by Horace Abrahams/Keystone/Getty Images)
GERMANY - APRIL 01: Dachau Concentration Camp, Germany In April, 1945-Prisoners photographed soon after their Liberation. (Photo by 1704/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images)
HIDE CAPTION
SHOW CAPTION
of
SEE ALL
BACK TO SLIDE

"I spent five and a half years in concentration camps, for one reason and one reason only: because we picked on people, and you as the sheriff, who we elected as sheriff of this county — we did not elect you for sheriff of Washington, D.C.," Marks said. "It's about time you side with the people here."

Marks then made reference to recent news reports that ICE agents were entering courthouses in California to arrest undocumented people — a practice that Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye of the Supreme Court of California condemned in her state of the judiciary address on Monday.

ICE spokesperson Virginia Kice confirmed earlier in March that her agency does indeed use this tactic, but only when investigators have "exhausted other options," according to the Associated Press.

"[When] this gentleman [acting ICE Director Thomas Homan] stands up there and says he doesn't go after people, he should read today's [Sacramento] Bee," Bernard Marks added. "Because in today's Bee, the Supreme Court Justice of California objected to ICE coming in and taking people away from the courts. Don't tell me this is a lie.

"You stand up here Mr. Jones. Don't forget — history is not on your side," Marks concluded.

10 PHOTOS
US Department of Homeland Security -- TSA, ICE, Customs and Border Protection
See Gallery
US Department of Homeland Security -- TSA, ICE, Customs and Border Protection
WASHINGTON, USA - MARCH 7: The Department of Homeland Security logo is seen on a law enforcement vehicle in Washington, United States on March 7, 2017. (Photo by Samuel Corum/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
A Transportation Security Administration (TSA) officer stands in the TSA pre-check area at Dulles International Airport in Dulles, Virginia, U.S., on Wednesday, Aug. 19, 2015. The TSA, part of the Homeland Security Department (DHS), reported seizing a record number of firearms at U.S. airports in 2015, a 20 precent increase over 2014. Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images
A Transportation Security Administration (TSA) officer operates an x-ray machine in the TSA pre-check area at Dulles International Airport in Dulles, Virginia, U.S., on Wednesday, Aug. 19, 2015. The TSA, part of the Homeland Security Department (DHS), reported seizing a record number of firearms at U.S. airports in 2015, a 20 precent increase over 2014. Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Prohibited items are displayed as they sit in a voluntary abandoned property bin in the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) pre-check area at Dulles International Airport in Dulles, Virginia, U.S., on Wednesday, Aug. 19, 2015. The TSA, part of the Homeland Security Department (DHS), reported seizing a record number of firearms at U.S. airports in 2015, a 20 precent increase over 2014. Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images
A Transportation Security Administration (TSA) sign stands at Ronald Reagan National Airport (DCA) in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Wednesday, Feb. 25, 2015. Financing for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is set to lapse after Friday and the agency would face a partial shutdown unless Congress provides new money. More than 200,000 government employees deemed essential at DHS, including TSA officers, would still have to report to their posts, even though their pay would stop unless Congress finds a solution. Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Transportation Security Administration (TSA) officers check passenger's identification at a security checkpoint at Ronald Reagan National Airport (DCA) in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Wednesday, Feb. 25, 2015. Financing for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is set to lapse after Friday and the agency would face a partial shutdown unless Congress provides new money. More than 200,000 government employees deemed essential at DHS, including TSA officers, would still have to report to their posts, even though their pay would stop unless Congress finds a solution. Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images
CHICAGO, IL - JUNE 02: A sign directs travelers to a security checkpoint staffed by Transportation Security Administration (TSA) workers at O'Hare Airport on June 2, 2015 in Chicago, Illinois. The Department of Homeland Security said that the acting head of the TSA would be replaced following a report that airport screeners failed to detect explosives and weapons in nearly all of the tests that an undercover team conducted at airports around the country. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
The entrance to the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Cyber Crimes Center is seen in this U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) building in Fairfax, Virginia, U.S. on July 21, 2015. Courtesy Josh Denmark/U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Immigration and Customs Enforcement/Handout via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY. EDITORIAL USE ONLY.
$506,057 of the more than a $1-million collected by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers at the Laredo, Texas port of entry in two separate southbound enforcement actions is seen after being seized in this undated handout photo released by CBP on July 27, 2010. On July 22, CBP officers seized $506,057 in undeclared cash from a 36-year-old male Mexican citizen from Brookshire, Texas driving south into Mexico. The second money seizure occurred on July 25 as CBP Field Operations Officers and Border Patrol (BP) agents seized 50 bundles containing $607,629 in undeclared U.S.currency from a 33 year-old Mexican citizen driving south into Mexico from Houston, Texas. The drivers were turned over to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) special agents for further investigation. REUTERS/U.S. Department of Homeland Security/Handout (UNITED STATES - Tags: CRIME LAW) FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NOT FOR SALE FOR MARKETING OR ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS
HIDE CAPTION
SHOW CAPTION
of
SEE ALL
BACK TO SLIDE

Marks has spent decades educating people about the horrors the Jewish people faced under the Nazis in Europe, using his personal experiences as a point of reference. He has written opinion pieces for the Sacramento Bee about immigration in the past, and as demonstrated in Tuesday's speech, remains a staunch opponent of current ICE practices.

President Donald Trump, for his part, has overseen an aggressive crackdown on undocumented immigration since he took office on Jan. 20. On Jan. 25, the president signed an executive order affirming his administration's commitment to enforcing immigration law, calling for expedited processing of people suspected of being undocumented and more rapid deportations once that determination is made. He also continues to press for a massive wall to be built along the United States' southern border with Mexico.

Read Full Story

Sign up for Breaking News by AOL to get the latest breaking news alerts and updates delivered straight to your inbox.

Subscribe to our other newsletters

Emails may offer personalized content or ads. Learn more. You may unsubscribe any time.