In February 1942, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9066 which resulted in my father and grandparents, all born in the U.S, being sent to Minidoka, an “internment camp” in eastern Idaho. I have often wondered why there was not more protest against this Executive Order at the time. I have also wondered what Executive Order 9066 might look like in my lifetime. Now I know. Last month President Trump issued an Executive Order “temporarily” barring entry to the United States for people from seven predominantly Muslim countries and indefinitely suspending immigration for refugees from Syria.
The World War II incarceration of Japanese Americans is now seen as one of the most shameful periods in American history and a sobering lesson in what can happen when racism and war-time hysteria supersede the constitutional rights of our people.
I am concerned that this newest Executive Order will harm those that are most deserving and in need of our help and compassion and will not ferret out true threats to our national security. I ask you this, “Have we not learned our lesson?” Seventy-five years ago, our political leadership failed, and America got it wrong. Let’s not make the same mistake again.
Julie Kikuchi, Boise