WASHINGTON — The JACL on March 23 issued a statement condemning Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz’s proposal “to empower law enforcement to patrol and secure Muslim neighborhoods before they become radicalized.”

Sen. Ted Cruz
Sen. Ted Cruz

The Texas senator made the statement shortly after the terrorist attacks in Brussels. Following criticism from President Obama, Democratic presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, New York City Police Commissioner Bill Bratton and others, Cruz defended his remarks by saying, “It is standard good policing to direct your resources to where the threat is coming from. We should do the exact same thing with radical Islamic terrorism.”

The JACL statement read, in part, “The deadly and heinous attacks in Brussels clearly demonstrate the concern to safeguard our country; however, targeting the Muslim community is counterproductive in recognizing that Muslim Americans are an established and contributing segment of our society.

“In 1942, Japanese Americans were targeted and surveilled by our government. Prior to and following the forced removal of Japanese Americans from their West Coast homes, the government provided detailed tabulations of where Japanese Americans lived and even breached the confidentiality of census information by supplying actual names and addresses.

“This is a path we do not want stray down. The unjust treatment of Japanese Americans during World War II remains as a permanent stain on our legacy as a nation that values the rule of law.

“JACL cautions that we must not stray from our unique American values in reaction to the fear aroused by Paris, San Bernardino, and now Brussels. It would be a betrayal of our constitutional principles of due process and religious freedom.”

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