Seventy-five years ago, in one of the darkest moments in American history, President Franklin Roosevelt issued Executive Order 9066. Immediately, the federal government began forcing 110,000 Americans of Japanese ancestry into concentration camps for fear they posed a threat to national security.
Seventy-five years ago — on Feb. 19, 1942 — President Franklin D. Roosevelt issued Executive Order 9066, a catalyst behind the forced removal and mass incarceration of nearly 120,000 Japanese Americans. America was at war with Japan.
February 19, 2017 is the 75th anniversary of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt signing Executive Order 9066 , which authorised the detention not just of enemy aliens during World War II, but also American citizens. Unlike President Trump’s recent Executive Order restricting immigration and refugees, there was no popular outcry at the time, despite the fact the constitutional rights of American citizens were at risk.
Here’s the audio clip and text of Khurshid Khoja’s moving speech on Feb. 21, at the Bay Area Day of Remembrance. Khurshid is an attorney at Reed, Smith LLP, and a board member of the Asian Law Caucus and Asian American Bar Association. Full text posted with permission from the author:
Sixty-seven years ago today, President Franklin D. Roosevelt issued Executive Order 9066, allowing the military to circumvent the constitutional safeguards of American citizens in the name of national defense.