March 01, 2017

Cortez Masto Joins Resolution Commemorating 75th Anniversary of Japanese American Internment

Washington, DC – U.S. Senator Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.) joined a resolution led by her colleague Senator Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii) marking the 75th anniversary of the issuance of Executive Order 9066, which led to the internment of more than 120,000 Japanese Americans during World War II. S.Res.70 affirms that policies that discriminate on the basis of actual or perceived race, ethnicity, national origin, or religion would repeat the mistakes of the internment.

“The internment of tens of thousands of Japanese Americans is a dark period in history that should not be forgotten, and never be repeated,” said Cortez Masto. “President Trump’s proclivity for spreading lies, using divisive rhetoric, and promoting a hateful, anti-immigrant agenda mirrors what led to the internment. It is more important now than ever that we recognize the grave mistakes in our nation’s past and do not allow us to return down the path of demonizing or harming communities based on color, religion, or country of origin.”

S.Res.70 is cosponsored by Senators Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.), Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), Patty Murray (D-Wash.), Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Cory Booker (D-N.J.), Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), Tom Carper (D-Del.), Chris Coons (D-Del.), Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.), Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), Al Franken (D-Minn.), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), Tim Kaine (D-Va.), Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Ed Markey (D-Mass.), Robert Menendez (D-N.J.), Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), Jack Reed (D-R.I.), Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii), Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.), Christopher Van Hollen (D-Md.), Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), and Ron Wyden (D-Ore.).

The resolution is supported by more than 30 organizations including the American Bar Association, American Civil Liberties Union, Council on American-Islamic Relations, Demand Progress, Democracy for America, the Fred T. Korematsu Institute, the Japanese Cultural Center of Hawaii, the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association, the National Council of Asian Pacific Americans, the Japanese American Citizens League, South Asian Americans Leading Together, the Sikh American Legal Defense and Education Fund, Muslim Advocates, the Shoulder to Shoulder Campaign, and the Sikh Coalition.

"It has been 75 years since our nation succumbed to fear and shamefully incarcerated 120,000 Japanese Americans,” said National Council of Asian Pacific Americans (NCAPA) National Director Christopher Kang. “Today, as we sit at a similar precipice in history, we must not forgot the lessons of the past. We must continue to speak out and force our leaders to recognize the harms to our immigrant, refugee and Muslim communities from recent discriminatory policies and executive orders.”

“As President Trump attempts to write anti-Muslim bigotry into law, we are reminded of another very dark time in our country's history when race was used as the basis to intern thousands of Japanese Americans,” said Madihha Ahussain, Muslim Advocates Staff Attorney and Head of Program to Counter Anti-Muslim Hate. “We cannot allow prejudice to divide our communities during this time of concern.”

Click here to download a copy of the resolution.