FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
NOVEMBER 19, 2015
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Gautam Dutta (415) 236-2048
AAA Fund Condemns Remarks of Roanoke Mayor to Treat Syrian Refugees like Japanese American Internees
Asian American and Pacific Islander Democratic PAC condemns politicians who seek to scapegoat vulnerable populations
American values do not include xenophobia. Roanoke Mayor David Bowers is wrong to call for treating Syrian refugees the way Japanese American citizens were sent to internment camps during World War II. It was one of the darkest decisions by the American government to unfairly and cruelly relocate and separate Japanese American families, and our government has apologized and made reparations for its actions. It is reprehensible to suggest that Executive Order 9066 was a model policy for how we should treat refugees to our country.
AAA Fund Board Member Ken Inouye commented, “It is truly hard to believe that in this day and age we are seeing the Japanese American Internment being cited as something to be lauded and emulated. President Ronald Reagan had the courage and leadership to sign HR 442 (the Civil Liberties Act of 1988), apologizing on behalf of the people of the United States for the Japanese American internment. Years ago, our great country formally recognized this dark episode of our history for what it was: a mistake, and today we call on politicians of both parties to stand up to xenophobic elements in our communities and work to fulfill the greatest version of our democracy.”
Earlier today, AAA Fund’s Honorary Chair, Congressman Mike Honda (D-CA) was interviewed about his experience in the Granada Relocation Camps in Amache, Colorado. “We were able to get the country to recognize that what led to the incarceration was three things: Racial prejudice, war hysteria and a failure of political leadership,” Honda said.
“That’s what makes this country so great: In the face of this kind of peril — terror, tragedy and disruption — that we remain calm and anchored to our Constitution,” Honda said. “That’s what makes us so different.”
The Asian American Action Fund supports the Constitutional and equal treatment of refugees, who are some of the most vulnerable amongst us. Refugees in this nation have gone on to become some of our most celebrated Americans including Albert Einstein, Madeleine Albright, and former U.S. Representative Anh “Joseph” Cao (R-LA).
The Asian American Action Fund (www.aaa-fund.com) is a national Democratic political organization whose goal is to increase the voice of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPIs) in local, state and federal government, by encouraging AAPIs to volunteer on campaigns, raise money for candidates, and run for political office.