Washington, DC - Today, the Japanese American Citizens League joined advocates representing the broad civil rights community, faith leaders, and most importantly parents and children, to protest the government’s continuing inhumane policy of separating and imprisoning children and their families seeking to enter our country.
The Flores Settlement Agreement, which was the topic of the hearing, is in place to protect the rights of children to not be unnecessarily incarcerated. The medical and psychology professions are unequivocal in their denouncement of current family separation and incarceration practices because of the long term effects upon the children. Japanese Americans who similarly experienced “indefinite detention” during World War II continue to experience the effects of the trauma intergenerationally 75 years later.
JACL Executive Director David Inoue, who joined today’s walkout emphasized, “The Japanese American community made a promise that what happened to us must never happen again. It is deeply painful to our community, not just bringing back the emotions of having experienced similar traumas, but as people of conscience previously seeing children torn from their parents, and now our government pursuing a policy of inhumane indefinite family incarceration.”
We call upon the administration to seek humane ways to manage those coming to our borders seeking asylum from violence and persecution in their home countries. Thirty years ago at the signing ceremony for Japanese American redress, President Reagan stated, “America stands unique in the world: the only country not founded on race but on a way, an ideal. Not in spite of but because of our polyglot background, we have had all the strength in the world. That is the American way.” Today, we must stand up for our American ideals to welcome these families seeking a better life in this country.