Letter to the Editor: ‘Don’t Repeat History’

August 30, 2019 • Columnists, Letters to the Editor

During World War II, Japanese Americans were detained in incarceration camps just because they looked like the enemy, Japan. Today, immigrant children are being removed from their families and put into detention centers just because President Trump hates immigrants.

I’m going to talk about their similarities and why people should not be put in these camps just because of their looks or where they come from.

Japanese incarceration camps were established during World War II by President Franklin Roosevelt through his Executive Order 9066. From 1942-45, it was the policy of the U.S. government that people of Japanese descent would be placed in isolation camps. These camps are now considered one of the most horrible violations of American civil rights in the 20th century.

Immigrant families, including children, who now seek a better life in the United States are being separated when they try to move here. The detention centers that children are being held in are unsafe and unhealthy.

Immigrant and refugee children should be treated with dignity and respect and should not be exposed to conditions that may harm or traumatize them.

From the moment children are in the custody of the United States, they deserve good care. Please don’t repeat history.

Signed,

M. Aki, 6th Grader 

(This letter was submitted for publication by Joemy Ito-Gates, a teacher in the summer program Daruma no Gakko in Berkeley, Calif. This letter was written by his student as a final project about the parallels between Japanese American incarceration during WWII and the current-day concentration camps at the U.S. southern borders. Students spent four weeks learning about JA incarceration history, the reparations and redress movement and current-day JA activism such as the Tsuru for Solidarity actions.)

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