Tammy Duckworth, Mazie Hirono, and Mark Takano Want to Prevent Race-Based Imprisonment of Americans
February 19th marked the annual Day of Remembrance recognizing the incarceration of thousands of Japanese Americans during World War II. To help prevent a similar atrocity from ever happening again in the U.S., Senators Tammy Duckworth (D-IL)and Mazie Hirono (D-HI), and Congressman Mark Takano (D-CA), last week introduced the Korematsu-Takai Civil Liberties Protection Act, which would establish a clear legal prohibition against policies that seek to imprison American citizens on the basis of race, religion, nationality, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, ethnicity, or disability. The lawmakers say this bill would protect Americans from arbitrary detention without due process, as happened to Japanese Americans during World War II. “We, as a nation, must never forget or repeat the horrors thousands of Japanese Americans experienced as prisoners within our own borders. We must also continue to do everything we can to ensure such a national travesty never happens again [and] protect civil liberties and strengthen our resolve to ensure we never again repeat such shameful acts,” Duckworth said. Hirono stated that, “Over the past two years, however, Donald Trump and his administration have pursued divisive policies and rhetoric that demonize the Muslim community and other marginalized groups. By repudiating the Supreme Court’s precedent in Korematsu, this legislation makes clear that a travesty like the Japanese internment should never happen again.” Takano, whose parents and grandparents were imprisoned, added: “The cruelty and inhumanity behind the internment of Japanese Americans is a stain on the fabric of our country that was born out of hate, discrimination, and politics rooted in fearmongering. The rhetoric and policies being promoted by this Administration are a cause for concern and further emphasize the need for this legislation.” The legislation is named in honor of the late HI Democratic Congressman Mark Takai and Fred Korematsu, who challenged the Executive Order in the Supreme Court. More here.