Christopher Pratt (cpratt) wrote,
Christopher Pratt
cpratt

It's not Manzanar.

You know, I'm getting tired of people comparing recent arrests of foreigners who have overstayed their visas in the US with the detention of American residents of Japanese origin during World War II.

If you're not familiar with what happened to Japanese Americans in the 1940s, it's a little complicated but can be simplified kind of like this: America was at war with Japan, and (basically completely incorrectly) assumed that all people of Japanese ancestry were security risks, even US citizens (about two thirds of those interned were US citizens). Legislation was drafted allowing incarceration of people of Japanese ancestry living in certain militarily sensitive areas (which was basically interpreted to mean everywhere along the West Coast). So, something like 113,000 people were sent off to internment camps such as Manzanar in south eastern California for the duration of the war.

Bear in mind, Canada did this as well, at one point selling all Japanese-Canadian owned fishing boats and locking up all adult Japanese-Canadian males in BC, even though over 75% of them had Canadian citizenship, so this wasn't just a US thing. Sorry!

What happened this week around the US seemed pretty straightforward: people who broke immigration laws were arrested. They overstayed their visas and got busted. This isn't the same thing as the government swooping down on lawful residents and sending them to a detention camp for an unspecified period of time.

If you want to argue that this is unfair because the INS is only concentrating on residents of a select few Muslim majority countries, then I'll gladly listen to you - heck, I might even agree with you - but to simply state that the INS is running around locking up Muslims "just because" is oversimplifying things.
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