In a House committee hearing on immigration Wednesday, Rep. Clay Higgins (R-La.) had this to say:

“Let me just put this in context for the American people. Perhaps the most famous invasion in the history of the world, D-Day; 73,000 American troops landed in the D-Day invasion. We have 76,103, according to my numbers, apprehensions along our southern border last month. We have D-Day every month on our southern border.”

Generally, when a person compares two things for “context,” it illuminates the understanding of those things. In this case, the reaction seemed to be “Huh?”

Whether you are wearing a brown vest at a congressional hearing or not, here are some things you may want to know about D-Day.

Yes, American troops were technically the invaders, but they were liberating France from the Nazis.

On June 6, 1944, Allied forces began a combined air, land and sea assault on Nazi-occupied France. Shortly after midnight, the campaign started with an air assault; more than 18,000 paratroopers landed in French territory. Then, thousands of ships landed more than 130,000 ground troops on Normandy beaches code-named Utah, Omaha, Gold, Juno and Sword. Soldiers carrying 80 pounds of equipment had to navigate water, sand, machine-gun fire, land mines and other obstacles. Recent research indicates about 4,400 Allied soldiers died on the first day. But by the time the sun went down, Allied forces had a foothold in reclaiming Europe from the Nazi empire.

(So, for "context,” if one compares Allied forces to migrants at the southern border, that makes Customs and Border Protection employees the Nazis in this unfortunate scenario. Which brings us to “Godwin’s law” — the idea that the longer an online discussion, or perhaps a congressman, goes on, the likelier it is that something will be compared to Adolf Hitler or Nazis.)

D-Day took months of planning by some of the most highly decorated military men in history.

Active planning for D-Day began in July 1943, a full 11 months before the campaign, according to the Imperial War Museum in Britain. Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower, fresh off his success in Italy, took command of the operation that December. For months, deception campaigns lured the Nazis away from Normandy. And factories worked overtime to produce enough weapons and equipment for the operation.

(For “context,” the majority of the Central American migrants apprehended at the southern border in February were parents with children fleeing violence. Presumably, few of them were decorated military strategists or driving tanks.)

A 'wall’ did not stop Allied forces.

First, there was the English Channel to contend with. Then, there was the “Atlantic Wall” — yes, that’s actually what the Nazis called it — a chain of forts, machine-gun emplacements, mines and beach obstacles. Allied forces got past all of these.

(For “context,” Border Patrol agents, who, again, are not Nazis, do not use machine guns or mines to stop migrants. And unlike Allied forces, the more than 60,000 migrants apprehended in February were, well, apprehended.)

One more thing: Millions of refugees

World War II created 7 million refugees and displaced people, according to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.

In December 1945, President Harry S. Truman ordered immigration authorities to expedite applications for 40,000 refugees displaced by the war. The Displaced Persons Act of 1948 further loosened immigration quotas, and by the time it expired, more than 350,000 refugees had immigrated to the United States.

(For “context,” in 2017, the Office of the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees said the total number of people “seeking safety across international borders as refugees” exceeded 22 million — three times the number in the aftermath of World War II. In September, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced the United States would take in no more than 30,000 refugees from around the world in fiscal 2019.)

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