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MYTILENE, GREECE - MAY 20: A refugee child plays alone at the Moria refugee camp on May 20, 2018 in Mytilene, Greece. Despite being built to hold only 2,500 people, the camp on the Greek island of Lesbos is home to over 6,000 asylum seekers who crossed the Aegean Sea from Turkey's nearby shore by boat, usually at night to avoid interception. Although the numbers of arrivals are lower than at the beginning of the crisis in 2015, when Syrians and Iraqis fled ISIS-controlled strongholds, boatloads of refugees from those countries and other troubled areas continue to land there, and critics say the local governments have yet to manage the situation, leading the squalid conditions at Moria to be seen as symbolic of poorly-managed policy. The camp, on the site of a former military base, is comprised of shipping containers, tents, and improvised shelters of wooden pallets and tarps, whose residents stranded there complain of poor food, power failures, disease, lack of medical care, and poisonous snakes as they wait to obtain transfer to the mainland and less temporary legal status.  (Photo by Adam Berry/Getty Images)
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MYTILENE, GREECE - MAY 20: A refugee child plays alone at the Moria refugee camp on May 20, 2018 in Mytilene, Greece. Despite being built to hold only 2,500 people, the camp on the Greek island of Lesbos is home to over 6,000 asylum seekers who crossed the Aegean Sea from Turkey's nearby shore by boat, usually at night to avoid interception. Although the numbers of arrivals are lower than at the beginning of the crisis in 2015, when Syrians and Iraqis fled ISIS-controlled strongholds, boatloads of refugees from those countries and other troubled areas continue to land there, and critics say the local governments have yet to manage the situation, leading the squalid conditions at Moria to be seen as symbolic of poorly-managed policy. The camp, on the site of a former military base, is comprised of shipping containers, tents, and improvised shelters of wooden pallets and tarps, whose residents stranded there complain of poor food, power failures, disease, lack of medical care, and poisonous snakes as they wait to obtain transfer to the mainland and less temporary legal status. (Photo by Adam Berry/Getty Images)
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Habiba Mohamed, 38, and Abdalla Munye, 44, arrived in the United States just two days before President Donald Trump's inauguration. 
Their 20-year-old daughter, Batula Ramadan, was supposed to join them in Clarkston, Georgia, next week. But the Somalian refugees were devastated to learn that their daughter's trip was canceled due to Trump's executive order. Speaking to reporters on Tuesday, they said they hoped the first lady could convince her husband to change his mind.
"My daughter right now is in a lot of pain. She's unable to express herself because of how much she's crying," Mohamed said. "I'm afraid she feels I abandoned her."


Decatur, Ga. on Tuesday, January 31, 2017.
Melissa Golden/Redux for CNN
Habiba Mohamed, 38, and Abdalla Munye, 44, arrived in the United States just two days before President Donald Trump's inauguration. Their 20-year-old daughter, Batula Ramadan, was supposed to join them in Clarkston, Georgia, next week. But the Somalian refugees were devastated to learn that their daughter's trip was canceled due to Trump's executive order. Speaking to reporters on Tuesday, they said they hoped the first lady could convince her husband to change his mind. "My daughter right now is in a lot of pain. She's unable to express herself because of how much she's crying," Mohamed said. "I'm afraid she feels I abandoned her." Decatur, Ga. on Tuesday, January 31, 2017.
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Refugees and migrants cross by boat the Aegean sea from Turkey, to reach the Greek island of Lesbos, on October 31, 2015. AFP PHOTO / ARIS MESSINIS        (Photo credit should read ARIS MESSINIS/AFP/Getty Images)
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Refugees and migrants cross by boat the Aegean sea from Turkey, to reach the Greek island of Lesbos, on October 31, 2015. AFP PHOTO / ARIS MESSINIS (Photo credit should read ARIS MESSINIS/AFP/Getty Images)
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(CNN) —  

Actor George Takei argued that “in one core, horrifying way,” the family separations occurring at the United States’ southern border are “worse” than the Japanese-American internment camps during World War II.

“At least during the internment, when I was just 5 years old, I was not taken from my parents,” he wrote in an op-ed for Foreign Policy magazine that was published Tuesday. Takei, an American citizen of Japanese ancestry who was detained with his family at camps in Arkansas and California, wrote that there was a “hideous irony” in the comparison.

“At least during the internment, my parents were able to place themselves between the horror of what we were facing and my own childish understanding of our circumstances,” Takei wrote, describing the ways his family protected him from “the grim reality” of their circumstances.

“At least during the internment, we remained a family, and I credit that alone for keeping the scars of our unjust imprisonment from deepening on my soul,” he continued. “I cannot for a moment imagine what my childhood would have been like had I been thrown into a camp without my parents. That this is happening today fills me with both rage and grief: rage toward a failed political leadership who appear to have lost even their most basic humanity, and a profound grief for the families affected.”

At least 2,300 children have been separated from their families under the Trump administration’s “zero-tolerance” policy.

“How do political leaders convince themselves of the virtues of such a policy? History shows it doesn’t take much,” Takei wrote. He said the fact that the infamous executive order authorizing the internment camps was signed by Democratic President Franklin Roosevelt shows that “the United States’ flirtation with authoritarianism is not tied to any political party.”

“Even people of good heart and conscience can be swept up in the frenzy,” he wrote.

Former first lady Laura Bush also drew parallels between the family separations and World War II internments.

“These images are eerily reminiscent of the Japanese American internment camps of World War II, now considered to have been one of the most shameful episodes in US history,” she wrote in an op-ed for The Washington Post Sunday.