FY2019 Budget Proposal Eliminates Funding for Japanese American History Preservation

February 23, 2018 • JACL, National, News

President Donald Trump’s new budget proposal could mean the end to the Japanese American Confinement Sites Grants program.

By National JACL

President Donald Trump’s new budget proposal, unveiled Feb. 12, includes the elimination of funding for the Japanese American Confinement Sites Grants program.

The JACS Grants program, authorized in 2006, has provided more than $21 million in grants to 163 grantees representing states, counties, local governments and nonprofit organizations. Funds may be used to support the research, interpretation and preservation of Japanese American confinement sites.

The JACS Grants program has enjoyed broad bipartisan support and was initially passed through both the House and Senate without objection from either party. The program was initially authorized for up to $38 million, of which close to $17 million still remains available to support the ongoing preservation of Japanese American history.

It is especially disturbing that this budget proposal be released one week before the 76th anniversary of the signing of Executive Order 9066 on Feb. 19, 1942, by President Franklin D. Roosevelt.

E.O. 9066 paved the way for the incarceration of 120,000 Japanese and Japanese Americans for the duration of World War II. The JACS Grants program is an important component of the country’s recognition of the egregious wrong that was done and the need to remember and preserve that history so that it is not repeated.

Japanese American and other partner communities around the country have planned activities to recognize this anniversary as a Day of Remembrance. JACL urges individuals to locate an activity in their community, attend and affirm the country’s belief in justice and that a mistake such as this will never happen again.

For more information about Day of Remembrance activities, please refer to the JACL website (https://jacl.org/2018-day-of-remembrance-national-events-directory/).

The president’s budget proposal is but one step in the process for determining the funding for next year. JACL will work to impress the importance of this program upon the administration and members of Congress to ensure that 2019 funding is continued at the same level as what has been done in years past.

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