Congressman Adam Smith (WA-09) released the following statement in recognition of the 25th Anniversary of the Civil Liberties Act this Saturday:
"Japanese Internment during World War II is one of the darkest stains on American History. Over 120,000 Japanese Americans were forced out of their homes and communities and placed into internment camps purely based on racial prejudice. The Civil Liberties Act, signed into law by President Ronald Reagan 25 years ago, paid necessary reparations to surviving Japanese and Japanese Americans who were unjustly interned during World War II. Many of the Japanese and Japanese Americans interned lost their property, jobs, and their status and reputation in society. Although long overdue, the Civil Liberties Act acknowledged and apologized for the discriminatory internment of U.S. citizens, provided funds to educate the population in hopes to prevent such prejudice from happening again, and paid surviving Japanese and Japanese Americans for injustices and any personal or community property that was taken or destroyed during the War.
"Because many Japanese and Japanese Americans were interned in Washington State, the Japanese internment plays an important role in the history of the region. Through museums such as the Wing Luke Museum of the Asian American Experience, and the many Japanese Americans closely tied to this dark period of our shared history, the people of Washington's 9th District are both educated and active in sharing the important lessons of Japanese internment. I am honored to join my constituents and my colleagues in celebrating the 25th Anniversary on the Civil Liberties Act being signed into law."