Internment of Japanese Americans (including my parents) was not a model policy

Mr. Speaker. 70 years ago my parents and grandparents were stripped of their possessions and placed in Japanese-American internment camps.

They were not guilty of espionage. They did not commit treason. They simply looked like our enemy — and that cost my family their freedom.

Yesterday, the mayor of Roanoke, Virginia, suggested that this country’s treatment of Japanese-Americans during the 1940s is a model for how we should address today’s global refugee crisis.

It does not take courage to condemn such disgraceful comments, nor does it take wisdom to say our World War Two policies were a product of fear and hysteria.

What takes wisdom is recognizing that history is now repeating itself. And what takes courage is sending a message to the world that America will protect innocent people regardless of their nationality or religion.

That’s what my mother and father deserved 70 years ago, and it’s what these refugees deserve today.

Thank you and I yield back.