Categories
National JACL

Prepared Statement on Expansion of the Muslim Ban

JACL Denounces Expansion of the Muslim Ban

January 31, 2020

For Immediate Release

David Inoue, Executive Director
dinoue@jacl.org, 202-223-1240

Sarah Baker, VP Public Affairs
sbaker@jacl.org


Today’s addition of Eritrea, Kyrgyzstan, Myanmar, Nigeria, Sudan and Tanzania expands he number of countries affected by the Muslim Ban to 13. Similar to the first ban, the people impacted are predominantly Muslim. But these new additions will also affect those fleeing persecution in places such as Myanmar. That these announcements have come in the same week as the three year anniversary of the issuance of the first Muslim Ban and Holocaust Memorial Day is reprehensible. We cannot recall the holocaust without acknowledging our country’s role in refusing holocaust refugees entry. As we now repeat the same mistake through this expanding and misguided policy, it would behoove us to question its validity and effectiveness. Since the implementation of the first Muslim Ban, families have been forced to live apart, college student’s studies have halted, and lives have even been lost because of the restrictions. What has this ban truly done to protect our country?

The ban is a source of particular pain to the Japanese American community. The Supreme Court upheld the ban in its 2018 decision on the basis of national security. This was the exact same rationale used to uphold the World War II incarceration of nearly 120,000 people, many of whom were citizens, because of our national ancestry. The fact that Chief Justice Roberts went out of his way to repudiate the Korematsu decision was ironic in the decision’s reaffirmation of discrimination on the basis of national origin under the guise of national security. In neither case has the government been able to prove an actual security threat.

The expansion of the Muslim Ban continues a pattern of discrimination by this country against communities of color as also seen in the policies of family separation and incarceration, changes to the public charge definition, and most recently, subjecting American citizens of Iranian ancestry to additional screening at the Canadian border. Having experienced the sting of restrictions on Asian immigration in the past, JACL opposes these broad attacks on immigration which stand in direct opposition to the ideals upon which this country was founded that we have yet to truly uphold.

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The Japanese American Citizens League is a national organization whose ongoing mission is to secure and maintain the civil rights of Japanese Americans and all others who are victimized by injustice and bigotry. The leaders and members of the JACL also work to promote cultural, educational and social values and preserve the heritage and legacy of the Japanese American community.


Categories
National JACL Uncategorized

Prepared Statement on Increased Screening of Iranian Americans

JACL Concerned by Reports of Increased Screening Procedures for Iranian American Citizens at the U.S./Canadian Border

January 6, 2020

For Immediate Release

David Inoue, Executive Director
dinoue@jacl.org, 202-223-1240

Sarah Baker, VP Public Affairs
sbaker@jacl.org


Washington, DC – This past weekend, reports of increased screening of Iranian Americans returning to the United States from Canada arose late Saturday night and early Sunday morning. Although individuals were not officially detained or taken into custody according to Customs and Border Protection (CBP), it is clear that many U.S. citizens of Iranian descent were subjected to additional screening that non-Iranian citizens were not.

JACL denounces this expansion of screening and further questioning based solely on Iranian heritage. Our country should have learned its lesson when it targeted Japanese Americans because of our ancestry. We must not repeat the mistake of casting suspicion on American citizens simply because of their family’s country of origin. Racist discrimination should not be institutionalized under the guise of national security interests.


CBP seems to be seeking cover by claiming to have not detained or ordered for the detention of any individual, but has made no comment in regards to the extended questioning and screening procedures. We call upon CBP to immediately halt any discriminatory policies singling out travelers solely for their Iranian heritage. If CBP did not issue orders for additional screening, it must conduct an immediate investigation as to why additional screenings were required for Iranian Americans crossing the border.

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The Japanese American Citizens League is a national organization whose ongoing mission is to secure and maintain the civil rights of Japanese Americans and all others who are victimized by injustice and bigotry. The leaders and members of the JACL also work to promote cultural, educational and social values and preserve the heritage and legacy of the Japanese American community.


 

 

Categories
Events

The Unequal Impacts of Nuclear Weapons

Tuesday, August 06, 2019 at 06:00 PM

Japanese American Historical Plaza in Portland, OR

The Unequal Impacts of Nuclear Weapons: Hiroshima & Nagasaki Memorial 2019

We hope that you will plan to join us on Tuesday, August 6th, 6:00 – 7:00 PM at the Japanese American Historical Plaza (NW Naito Parkway and Couch Street on the Portland waterfront) for the annual Portland-area Hiroshima and Nagasaki memorial event. This year’s event, The Unequal Impacts of Nuclear Weapons, will explore the disproportionate impacts that nuclear weapons have on women, children, indigenous communities, and communities of color.

Michiko Kornhauser, a hibakusha (atomic bomb survivor), will discuss her first-hand experiences as a young girl living near Hiroshima during and subsequent to the August 6th, 1945 bombing. Patricia Hoover, a Hanford Downwinder, will speak on the lasting health impacts of radioactive contamination that resulted from decades of nuclear weapons production at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation on the Columbia River near Richland, Washington. Our event emcee will be Kurt Ikeda, Education Manager at the Oregon Nikkei Endowment. Andrea Cano, Clinical and Palliative Care Chaplain with Providence Health & Services, will provide our opening event invocation. We will also be joined by Native American poet and storyteller Ed Edmo, who will offer an opening land acknowledgement statement. Special thanks to Andrew Tolman, who will be providing American Sign Language interpretation for this event.

The event will also build upon our recent success putting Oregon on record in support of the UN Nuclear Weapons Ban Treaty and urging Congress to lead a global effort to reduce the threat of nuclear war. Introduced at the request of Oregon PSR, Senate Joint Memorial 5 calls out the injustice and harm that nuclear weapons have caused through the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, uranium mining on indigenous lands, weapons testing in the Pacific Islands, and contamination of our own region from the Hanford Nuclear Reservation. The passage of this historic legislation, which was supported by 31 organizations around the state, makes Oregon the second state in the nation to join this growing movement of local governments to support the Ban Treaty.

This event is free and open to the public, and donations are gratefully accepted. Please mark your calendars and plan to join us on Tuesday, August 6th in remembering the victims of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, learning more about the unequal impacts of nuclear weapons, and taking action for a nuclear-free future.

We look forward to seeing you on August 6th!

This event is co-sponsored by Oregon PSR, Multnomah Meeting of Friends, Oregon Hiroshima Club, Oregon Nikkei Endowment, Peace and Justice Works Iraq Affinity Group, Portland JACL, Portland Pearl Rotary, Veterans for Peace Chapter 72, and Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom, among others. Special thanks to our media sponsor, KBOO Community Radio.

Download the event flyer and help us spread the word!

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Categories
Newsletter

The Wishes of Small Children

Ft-Sill-IntCamp_Sachi Kaneko

Categories
Annual Event

2019 Graduation and Scholarship Banquet

By Chip Larouche

Portland and Gresham-Troutdale Chapters of JACL, along with nine other Japanese American organizations and churches, held the 72nd annual Japanese American Graduation Banquet on May 5, 2019 at the Monarch Hotel in Clackamas, Oregon.  Seventeen High School Seniors from the greater Portland area were honored, and all of them received awards and/or scholarships totaling over $19,000.  The emcee was Chip Larouche, PNWDC Governor of JACL.  Also, in attendance was Consul General of Japan in Portland, Takashi Teraoka, who congratulated the seniors and wished them well.  There were over 185 people attending the banquet to support our community youth as they start their collegiate career. 

The keynote speaker for the event was Dr. Wynn Kiyama, the Executive Director of Portland Taiko, who gave an inspiring speech that compared his journey from college to where he is today and related that to some of the ideas that he had heard from the graduates as he chatted with them before the luncheon. 

Pictured below is the Class of 2019 that was honored at the event:
Front Row (L to R) Luke Wilson, Emily Ogawa, Lauren Yanase, Alexandra Tomita, Cinclair Mathies, Mili Nakamura, Erica Pasquantonio, Leonard Tanne, Michael Hasegawa

Back Row (L to R) Kent Ishida, Ella Hirata, Alyson Miura, Isaaiah Baltzel, Sean Cunningham, Yukaiya Nomoto, Kaito Wilson, Miles Takiguchi

Click on image to open it in a new window.

Categories
National JACL

The NO BAN Act

Sen. Chris Coons and Rep. Judy Chu Introduce NO BAN Act to Repeal Muslim Ban

 

 

On Wednesday, Sen. Coons (D-DE) and Rep. Chu (CA-27) announced the National Origin-Based Antidiscrimination for Nonimmigrants Act (the “NO BAN Act”) to challenge the administration’s Muslim ban. The act would repeal all versions of the Muslim ban, amend the Immigration and Nationality Act to protect against religious discrimination, and prevent similar bans in the future.

Among the others speaking at the event were the three Muslim members of congress, Rep. Ilhan Omar (MN-5), Rep. Rashida Tlaib (MI-13), and Rep. Andre Carson (IN-7).

JACL stands in staunch support of the NO BAN Act, remembering the wartime consequences of unchecked xenophobia and executive branch overreach for our own community. As nearly no one stood to defend our rights during WWII, we stand today with nearly 400 organizations in opposition to the Muslim travel ban.

Read the full text of the bill here.

To contact your member of Congress to ask them to support the NO BAN Act visit Muslim Advocates NO BAN Act advocacy center.

(From JACL National Weekly Digest: April 16, 2019)

Categories
National JACL

New Zealand Terrorist Attack

Prepared Statement of David Inoue for CAIR Press Conference on Terrorist Attack on New Zealand Mosque

March 15, 2019

For Immediate Release

David Inoue, Executive Director
dinoue@jacl.org, 202-223-1240

Good morning, my name is David Inoue, and I am the executive director for the Japanese American Citizens League. We are the oldest and largest Asian American civil rights organization in this country.

It is with heavy heart that I come here today to stand with our friends in the Muslim community. What happened in New Zealand is unfortunately becoming too common an occurrence. It is unthinkable that nearly 100 people have been killed or injured in coordinated attacks on two different mosques, sacred places of worship.

We can make no mistake, the evil behind these attacks is too often rooted in white supremacy, exposed by the targeting of places of worship whether most recently a Muslim mosque in New Zealand, or Jewish Synagogue in Pittsburgh, or an African American church in Charleston, South Carolina, or a Sikh Gurdwara in Oak Creek, Wisconsin. For these killers, nothing is held sacred, and these targets are selected because of the religion they practice. This is not new, hatred and discrimination have a long history. But is shows we are not learning from our history.

The Japanese American experience is one where we were incarcerated because of who we are. But that didn’t happen just with the incarceration. It began with the subtle, and not so subtle, discrimination against Japanese Americans, against Chinese Americans, and Asian Americans. That’s what led to incarceration. We don’t have incarceration now, instead we have attempts at genocide, mass killings targeting specific minority groups, and that is clearly wrong.

With all the talk of immigrants invading our country, threatening our way of life, and the need to build a wall. It is the opposite. We now have a segment of our country that is eroding the ideals of what it means to be American from the inside. We are increasingly not a nation that stands for religious freedom, and diversity as memorialized in our first amendment. And it now appears, we are exporting that hatred and evil to other countries.

Today is Friday, it is the day of community worship in the Muslim community, and in fact, that time of prayer will be quickly approaching at the noon hour. We hope that Muslims around the world today can find strength in their community as they worship together and know that they are surrounded by a community of other faiths and beliefs that stands with them. Together, we will all continue to work together to eradicate Islamophobia and other forms of hatred that weaken us as a nation, and as a worldwide community.

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The Japanese American Citizens League is a national organization whose ongoing mission is to secure and maintain the civil rights of Japanese Americans and all others who are victimized by injustice and bigotry. The leaders and members of the JACL also work to promote cultural, educational and 

social values and preserve the heritage and legacy of the Japanese American community.


Categories
Events

For The Sake of the Children Film Screening and Panel Discussion