JASC sponsors Day of Remembrance for the 75th Anniversary of Japanese American Incarceration; Condemns Muslim Ban

The Japanese American Service Center (JASC) of Chicago is a co-sponsor of events on Febrary 18th & 19th remembering the incarceration of Japanese Americans in World War II.  75 years ago on February 19th Presidnet Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9066 that called for the incarceration of 120,000 Japanese Americans.  A "Day of Rememberance" event will be held Sunday, February 19th at 2:00 pm at the Chicago History Museum, 1601 North Clark St.

The JASC has issued a press release strongly condeming the recent signing of an executive order by President Trump aimed at banning Muslims from several countries entering the United States.  Full press release follows here.

PRESS RELEASE                                                 CONTACT: Mike Takada
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                         Office: (773) 275-0097 ext. 230
DATE: January 31, 2017                         Email: mtakada@jasc-chicago.org
JASC Condemns Muslim Ban
The Japanese American Service Committee (JASC) strongly condemns the recent signing of an executive order by President Trump that indefinitely halted the ability of Syrian refugees to enter the U.S., and which temporarily suspended the entry of people from seven-Muslim majority countries.

Having seen the news of this "Muslim Ban" by President Trump, members of the Japanese American community are reminded of another infamous presidential action, Executive Order 9066, signed 75 years ago by President Franklin Delano Roosevelt at the onset of the U.S.'s involvement in World War II, which authorized the wholesale incarceration of 120,000 Japanese Americans in the Japanese American Concentration Camps.  Two-thirds of those incarcerated were American citizens, with the rest being Japanese nationals ineligible to naturalize, due to racially discriminatory naturalization laws in existence at the time.

"As members of the Japanese American community, who had historically experienced unjust incarceration under the guise of protecting national security, we cannot allow similar forms of discriminatory policies to be enacted today," stated Michael Takada, CEO of the JASC.

For Japanese Americans and Asian Americans in general, these kinds of discriminatory restrictions hearken back to an era in which the 1882 Chinese Exclusion Act and the 1924 Immigration Act were specifically designed to target particular ethnic and racial groups for exclusion.

"In this challenging time, we must continue to remember the societal impact that such measures can produce, namely in the normalization of discriminatory sentiments towards a particular group of people, in this case those of the Muslim faith," stated Takada.

The JASC, having been founded in 1946 with the original purpose of helping Japanese Americans to resettle in Chicago after their release from the camps, knows full well the terrible consequences that can arise from misguided and poorly conceived governmental actions in a time of fear and prejudice, and stands steadfastly in reaffirming our opposition to any attempts to profile whole communities on the basis of religion, national origin, or race.  We call upon all communities to remember the lessons of the past and to join in struggle against the forces of bigotry, prejudice, and fear.

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