Japanese American history is rich: it is a narrative of dreams, triumph, loss,
injustice, and the struggle to be rightly and fully American. It is a relatively
short history of 150 years. However, at this moment in the history of the
United States, it is critical that Americans reflect on and relearn the history of
the Japanese American experience so as to not repeat past injustices, and pre-
pare ourselves to meet the challenges that lay ahead. To be more exact, I wish
to invite readers to examine Executive Order 9066, issued on February 19,
1942, by President Franklin D. Roosevelt. Executive Order 9066 authorized
the secretary of war to delegate a military commander to designate military
areas “from which any and all persons may be excluded.” On March 18, 1942,
President Franklin D. Roosevelt passed Executive Order 9102, creating the
War Relocation Authority that forcefully relocated Japanese Americans from
their homes to internment camps. Our government claimed that these orders
were passed in the interest of public safety following the Japanese attack of
Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. These two orders were chiefly enforced
against Japanese Americans, though thousands of Italian and German Amer-
icans were also affected and interned. In total, nearly 62 percent of Japanese
American citizens were interned without due process.
Similarly, on January 27, 2017, President Donald Trump issued Executive
Order 13769, “Protecting the Nation from Foreign Entry into the United States”
otherwise, known as the “Muslim Ban” to protect America from the poten-
tial of terrorist attacks by foreign nationals. In effect, Executive Order 13769
bans travel to the United States from seven Muslim countries: Iran, Iraq, Libya,
Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen. The “Muslim Ban” was met with immediate
protest and challenged by the American Civil Liberties Union in the courts, and
on March 6, 2017, President Trump reissued a revision of the “Muslim Ban” with
Executive Order 13780. Iraq was eliminated from the list of banned countries.
However, the executive order continues to target migrants from Muslim coun-
tries. Besides the systematic attack on Muslim Americans and their communi-
ties, President Trump is also attacking undocumented Americans and wishes
to make his priority the construction of a wall to keep “Mexicans out.” Japanese
Americans: The History and Culture of a People offers comprehensive coverage
of the Japanese American experience, and reveals the long, hard, and aching
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