National Council of Asian Pacific Americans Joins 30+ Organizations to Condemn Political Demagoguery Surrounding Refugees

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

NOV. 25, 2015

 Contact: Mary Tablante;

 (202) 706-6768;

 

mary@ncapaonline.org

National Council of Asian Pacific Americans Joins 30+ Organizations to Condemn Political Demagoguery Surrounding Refugees

Asian Pacific American organizations and institutions issued a statement condemning the recent political demagoguery against Syrian and Iraqi refugees.

Last week, the mayor of Roanoke, Virginia, David Bowers, cited the Japanese American incarceration to justify his request to suspend aid to Syrian refugees. In the same week, a Missouri representative, Mike Moon, recommended that refugees be put in camps. Comments such as these show an ignorance of history, as the incarceration of 120,000 Japanese Americans during World War II was motivated not by legitimate security concerns, but by political scapegoating and xenophobia. This demagoguery must not be used to support policies that would limit refugee resettlement or aid.

Today’s statement was led by the Japanese American Citizens League (JACL), Heart Mountain Wyoming Foundation, Japanese American National Museum, Asian Americans Advancing Justice | AAJC, and the National Council of Asian Pacific Americans (NCAPA). Twenty NCAPA members, including JACL and AAJC, joined this statement.

“The National Council of Asian Pacific Americans strongly opposes all anti-refugee rhetoric, especially from elected leaders in support of policies that are not in line with our nation’s ideals,” said NCAPA National Director Christopher Kang. “This goes beyond the comments of one or two individuals. We stand united to encourage officials and all Americans to learn from our past. Fear and hysteria must not be used to turn away refugees--vulnerable people who need our nation’s compassion the most.”

"Irresponsible statements from Mayor Bowers and others is driving unwarranted hysteria, similar to rhetoric that led to the imprisonment of 120,000 loyal Japanese American men, women and children during World War II,” said Priscilla Ouchida, executive director of the Japanese American Citizens League. “Not one of the Japanese Americans was ever charged with a crime or found guilty of a subversive act. These statements are too familiar -- emotion should not be an excuse for profiling any group of law-abiding people. We call for actions that reflect our nation's ideals."

“The imprisonment of 120,000 innocent Japanese Americans without due process has long been denounced as unconstitutional,” said Mee Moua, president and executive director of Asian Americans Advancing Justice | AAJC. “While we appreciate Mayor Bowers’ apology for his comments, in maintaining his position opposing the resettlement of Syrian refugees in America, Mayor Bowers repeats the offense of vilifying an entire community based on unfounded and irrational fears. We cannot let fear and prejudice blind us and dismantle the founding values of this nation of immigrants.”  

To learn more about the appropriate language that should be used to describe the incarceration of Japanese Americans during World War II, please download the Power of Words Handbook from the Japanese American Citizens League.

 

 ###
 
Based in Washington, D.C., the National Council of Asian Pacific Americans is a coalition of 35 national Asian Pacific American organizations that serves to represent the interests of Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander (AANHPI) communities and to provide a national voice for our communities’ concerns. Our communities are the fastest growing racial/ethnic group in the United States, currently making up approximately six percent of the population.


Be the first to comment

Please check your e-mail for a link to activate your account.