Asian Americans Advancing Justice Condemns Invocation of Japanese American Incarceration As Precedent for a Proposed Muslim Registry

Asian Americans Advancing Justice condemn reference to Japanese American incarceration and demand Trump administration stop divisive rhetoric and plans.
For Immediate Release
Michelle Boykins (202) 296-2300, ext. 0144
Randy Bunnao 213-241-0227
Brandon Lee 773-271-0899 x 200
James Woo 404-585-8446

WASHINGTON – Asian Americans Advancing Justice, an affiliation of five civil rights organizations, called for swift condemnation of prominent Trump supporter Carl Higbie’s statements on Wednesday night suggesting that the internment of nearly 120,000 Japanese Americans during World War II could serve as precedent for the proposed registry of immigrants from Muslim and Arab countries.

We also condemn and strongly oppose any registry of immigrants or targeting of Muslims that has been promoted by Kris Kobach, a member of the president-elect’s transition team and architect of Arizona’s anti-immigrant law that was struck down by the Supreme Court.  Kobach has been the proponent of numerous anti-immigrant and voter suppression efforts.

The mass incarceration of Japanese Americans during World War II was one of the most flagrant violations of civil liberties in American history.  Asian Americans Advancing Justice calls for all Americans to speak out against this shameful part of our history and to reject hateful rhetoric and policies.

We are outraged that anyone, including political leaders in the U.S., would find inspiration in the racially-motivated imprisonment of nearly 120,000 individuals.  The mass incarceration of Americans of Japanese ancestry violates America’s constitutional commitment to equality and due process under the law.  The incarceration was driven by racial prejudice, war hysteria, and a failure of political leadership. We will not stand by and watch as new political leaders fail us again.  We stand ready to fight any effort to revive such inherently discriminatory policies to the fullest extent of the law.