LOS ANGELES — On January 7, the Manzanar Committee, sponsors of the annual Manzanar Pilgrimage and Manzanar At Dusk programs, along with the Katari youth education/engagement project, expressed grave concerns regarding reports that the United States Customs and Border Patrol agency has detained persons of Iranian ancestry, including American citizens, at our nation’s borders—singling them out solely because of their ancestry.
Reports indicate that persons of Iranian ancestry are being denied entry into the United States.
Manzanar Committee Co-Chair Bruce Embrey warned that the United States Government has not learned from its mistakes when it unjustly incarcerated more than 120,000 Japanese/Japanese Americans during World War II in American concentration camps and other confinement sites due to “race prejudice, war hysteria and a failure of political leadership.”
“The news that U.S. Customs and Border Patrol agents are detaining Iranians—citizens and immigrants—is an outrage and must be condemned by all democratic-minded people,” he said. “In 1979, during the Iranian Revolution, the Manzanar Committee, and it’s then-chair, Sue Kunitomi Embrey, condemned calls for the Department of Justice to incarcerate Iranians, saying it was all too familiar to Japanese Americans.”
“The failure of political leadership during World War II led to the unconstitutional and racist incarceration of our families” he added. “Today, it is more than a failure of leadership. Rather, it is a rabidly xenophobic, white supremacist immigration policy that has instituted a Muslim travel ban, torn families apart, and incarcerated children in cages without humane housing or health care.”
“The unlawful and racist detentions must stop. Congress and democratic-minded people must act so the same racist policies that led to Japanese Americans being stripped of our Constitutional rights, forcibly detained, and incarcerated without cause or due process, never happens again. We must never again allow war to justify racism or other kinds of discrimination.”
The Manzanar Committee is dedicated to educating and raising public awareness about the incarceration and violation of civil rights of persons of Japanese ancestry during World War II and to the continuing struggle of all peoples when Constitutional rights are in danger. A non-profit organization that has sponsored the annual Manzanar Pilgrimage since 1969, along with other educational programs, the Manzanar Committee has also played a key role in the establishment and continued development of the Manzanar National Historic Site. For more information, check out our web site at https://manzanarcommittee.org, call us at (323) 662-5102, and e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also follow the Manzanar Commitee on Facebook, on Twitter at @manzanarcomm, on Instagram at @manzanarcommittee, on Pinterest and on YouTube.
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