U.S. treatment of Japanese Latin Americans during World War II
Japanese Latin Americans (JLAs) who were interned by the United States government during World War II have waited more than 60 years for a full investigation of their experiences. However, their wait may soon be over.
A bill entitled the Commission on Wartime Relocation and Internment of Latin Americans of Japanese Descent Act (HR. 42 and S. 69) was introduced to the House of Representatives and the Senate in January.
The bill was marked up at the end of July by the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Immigration, Citizenship, Refugees, Border Security, and International Law.
Former internees and their families, along with activists and supporters, are calling for public outreach to House Judiciary Subcommittee members for their support in passing and moving the bill onto the House floor.
While many Americans are aware of the internment of Japanese Americans during World War II, few know about the government’s activities in certain non-combatant countries against people of Japanese ancestry.
Approximately 2,264 JLAs were uprooted from their homes and forcibly transported to the United States to be held in internment camps, hundreds of whom were used by the U.S. government for hostage exchanges with Japan.
Although there was a previous commission in the 1980s that studied the internment of Japanese Americans during the war, there has yet to be a comprehensive study of the U.S. wartime enemy alien program, and the civil and human rights violations suffered by Japanese Latin Americans. ♦
For more information, visit www.campaignforjusticejla.org.