SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — A mayor’s use of Japanese internment camps as an example of how the United States should handle security measures with Syrian immigrants is drawing backlash.
Marielle Tsukamoto spoke out against Roanoke Mayor David Bower remarks where he said, “I’m reminded that President Franklin D. Roosevelt felt compelled to sequester Japanese foreign nationals after the bombing of Pearl Harbor, and it appears that the threat of harm to America from Isis now is just as real and serious as that from our enemies then.”
“I couldn’t believe that an elected official in this day and age, could make such a statement,” Tsukamoto said.
Tsukamoto’s family was forced from their farm in Florin in 1942 to a temporary quarters in Fresno, then shipped to Arkansas.
The U.S. government under President Franklin Delano Roosevelt forced tens of thousands of Japanese-Americans to live in internment camps following the bombing of Pearl Harbor, fearing another attack on American soil. The U.S. government officially apologized for the policy in 1988.
“There was race prejudice, war hysteria, and failure of political leadership. And if you listen to what some of the elected officials are saying now, we seem to be going back to the pattern,” she said.
Sacramento Rep. Doris Matsui, who was born in a Japanese internment camp, issued a statement saying, “This kind of talk by Mr. Bowers is not the answer. As vulnerable families pursue asylum from the terror being waged in Syria and Iraq, I hope we will remain a model for the world.”