My U.S. Senator: Date:
Washington, D.C. 20510
I ask that you, as my Senator in Congress, support and actively work for the passage of S. 1237 Wartime Parity and Justice Act of 2001, introduced this session by Rep. Xavier Becena (CA-30), that will 1) fully fund the unfulfilled public education mandate of the 1988 Civil Liberties Act; 2) equitably redress certain WW II Japanese American internees who were denied redress under the '88 Civil Liberties Act; and 3) equitably redress Japanese Latin Americans who were abducted and also interned by the U.S. in WW II.
Public Education Funding: The '88 Civil Liberties Act provided $50 million would go to public education, essential in redress. Undercount of the internment survivors resulted in $45 million of the education portion being used for compensation. In fact, the government's failure to invest the entire redress fund netted a loss of $200 million. Thus, only $5 million was appropriated for education. Action on S. 1237 will fulfill the U.S.'s original commitment to the $50 million for public education-re-appropriate $45 million--so future generations will be informed of the shameful internment event, and not allow such injustice to be repeated to any people.
Redress Eauitv for Japanese Americans (JA): The U.S. government's WW II internment of over 120,000 Japanese Americans is well known. Surviving internees received redress under the '88 CLA. But certain individuals were unfairly excluded: dependent children of railroad and mine workers fired from their jobs and made destitute by the government's actions; and individuals who were born U.S. citizens in barbed wired internment camps after the erroneous redress cutoff date of June 30, 1946. S. 1237 provides these U.S. citizens will be equitably redressed.
Redress Eguitv for Japanese Latin Americans (JLA): This section of S. 1237 will give JLAs redress denied them under the '88 CLA. During WW II, the U.S. government forcibly uprooted 2,264 Latin American citizens and residents of Japanese ancestry from their homes in Peru and 12 other Latin American countries and put them in U.S. internment camps. The U.S. used 865 of them as hostage exchange for U.S. civilians held by Japan. At war's end their countries refused their return, and the U.S., having declared them "illegal entry aliens," deported 1,000 JLAs to a war torn Japan, where many of them were strangers, and where they endured starvation and untold hardship. That left 400 JLAs in the U.S. to fend for themselves.
A 1966 class action case in federal court bro Light the JLAs a terse apology and $5,000 compensation. Inasmuch as that was an unsatisfactory closure to the redress issue, the settlement agreement explicitly allowed [sec 23] for further action by Congress to equitably redress these innocent victims of this ill-advised event in our history. S. 1237 will expunge JLAs' U.S. immigration records that were stamped "illegal entry" by the selfsame government that abducted them; fully disclose the actions the government took against them; and redress them equitably under authority of the '88 Civil Liberties Act; viz., full apology and $20,000 compensation.
Please let me know of your support of this bill. Passage will provide public education funds and long overdue closure to our former interned citizens and Japanese Latin Americans.
How you can help in the Japanese Latin American effort