WASHINGTON — The Japanese American Citizens League issued the following statement on Feb. 15.


Following congressional passage of a spending bill that included significant spending for border security, the president has declared a national emergency to further expand the border wall.

Even without the wall expansion, components of the border agreement give concern for the potential impact upon immigrant communities and the civil and privacy rights of citizens and non-citizens. With the president’s proclamation, JACL is especially concerned with the overreach of executive power and infringement upon constitutionally appointed congressional duties.

On Feb. 19 we will commemorate the 77th anniversary of the issuance of Executive Order 9066, which, combined with another false security threat, paved the way for the incarceration of nearly 120,000 Japanese and Japanese Americans during World War II. The Supreme Court upheld the incarceration, ignoring the rampant anti-Japanese racism, and giving full deference to the trumped-up security threat justification in the cases of Hirabayashi, Korematsu, and Yasui.

The court recently repeated this blind deference to national security in upholding the Muslim ban. Now, the president is once again invoking a false national security threat as justification to build an unnecessary and costly border wall.

We cannot continue allowing to go unchecked executive action based upon false or misleading information and with underlying racism so clearly on display as it was 77 years ago.

In the coming week, JACL chapters and Japanese American communities across the country will be hosting Day of Remembrance events to memorialize the issuance of Executive Order 9066 and remind our nation of the constitutional dangers of unchecked executive orders issued falsely under the guise of national security.

For a listing of some of the events scheduled, please refer to the JACL website at https://jacl.org/events/day-of-remembrance/

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  1. Obviously what happened to Japanese Americans during WW2 was absolutely wrong in the issuance of EO9066. However, what does that event have to do with discouraging illegal acts of crossing the border without documentation? They are two very different events, and it is absolutely dishonest to oppose the border wall based on FDR’s EO? The answer is that there is no comparison!