Today is the anniversary of the signing of Executive Order 9066, an order that allowed the government of the United States to declare people like me a threat, round them up (including Japanese from other countries, like Peru), put them in “internment” concentration camps across the US. The xenophobia and racism of that time was unrepentant and an outgrowth of the anti-Asian, anti-immigrant policies ranging from the late 1800’s to today.

We can never forget the damages of tenuous immigration statuses and the dangers of a government that will bend to xenophobia. We can never forget what was done to Japanese and Japanese Americans. We can never forget Executive Order 9066. We can never forget that it took more than 40 years for the government to ‘apologize’ for their actions. We can never forget to show love to those who survived those camps and continue to struggle so that no others need face that type of government-sanctioned persecution and detention.

- Justin Valas