Tuesday, March 17, 2009

U.S. Government Kidnapped Japanese Latin Americans

During World War II, the United States government rounded up Americans of Japanese descent and put them in camps. Hopefully, this is not news to you. What you may not know is that some of the people imprisoned were actually residents of Latin American countries.

Apparently, someone in our government had the idea of trading these Latin Americans of Japanese descent in prisoner exchanges. According to the Campaign for Justice, 2,264 people were kidnapped from various countries in Latin America, forcibly taken to the United States, stripped of their passports, and imprisoned (with no legal recourse).

Some of these kidnapped Latin Americans were traded. Others were deported after the war. Since many of the Latin American countries refused to take them back, many were deported to Japan - a country devastated by war.

Despite the fact that they were brought to the U.S. against their will, these prisoners were treated as illegal entrants. So when Japanese Americans received compensation for what they went through, Latin Americans of Japanese descent were ineligible.

There are currently two bills making their way through congress (H.R. 42 and S. 69) which call for an investigation into this truly repugnant time in U.S. history. I'll be following this one.

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