During World War II, more than 100,000 people of Japanese ancestry were relocated and incarcerated for years following Japan’s attack on Pearl Harbor.
Largely considered one of the most egregious civil-liberties violations in American history, thousands of American citizens, many of them children, were forced to sleep in overcrowded, converted barracks and even horse stalls with no running water. Families’ assets were seized, and while many returned after the war to find their homes defaced and destroyed, others found their small businesses and industries co-opted by permanent residents and were forced to find less appealing work.
Japanese-American lawmakers lobbied for years for a formal apology, and in 1991 President George H.W. Bush issued one in conjunction with the federal government’s reparations payments to Japanese-Americans, saying the US should “recognize that serious injustices were done.”
“A monetary sum and words alone cannot restore lost years or erase painful memories — neither can they fully convey our nation’s resolve to rectify injustice and to uphold the rights of individuals,” Bush said. “We can never fully right the wrongs of the past, but we can take a clear stand for justice and recognize that serious injustices were done to Japanese-Americans during WWII.”
Donald Trump has expressed support for a Muslim registry during his campaign for president.
Last year, Trump said that while he did not necessarily support Japanese internment camps, he would “have had to be there at the time” to decide whether it was justified for President Franklin D. Roosevelt to violate the US Constitution by quarantining more than 100,000 Japanese immigrants and Japanese-Americans without cause. (Business Insider)
Here’s a look back at Japanese internment camps in the U.S.
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