We Must Not Forget Our Country’s Shameful History

Bruna Bouhid Press Releases

Humans Do Not Belong in Camps

Washington, D.C. – Last week, news surfaced that Fort Sill in Oklahoma, where 700 people of Japanese descent were detained and one murdered by an official during World War II, will serve as the site for a new detention center for children.

This week, a video from Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s (D, NY-14) sparked wide discussions about the use of these camps by Trump administration and the deportation force of ICE and CBP.

These organizations – United We Dream, Asian Americans Advancing Justice | AAJC, and Bend the Arc: Jewish Action, and the NACA Inspired Schools Network – who have known human rights abuses against their communities, released the following statement:

Cristina Jimenez, Executive Director and Co-Founder of United We Dream, said:

“People are dying at the hands of the deportation force; Johana, Simratpal, Abel, Augustina, Roxsana, Huy Chi, Felipe, Jakelin, Claudia and many others. We have said it before and we will say it again – we must end the inhumane practice of incarceration and deportations.

We are living through a moral crisis and we must remember the suffering and deaths of millions of people throughout history as we demand Congress to defund the deportation force and once in for all close down all concentration camps.

Children must be reunited with their families immediately and every individual who arrives at our border seeking asylum deserves a fair chance at applying for this protected status. The solution is humanity, not more camps.”

John C. Yang, President and Executive Director of Asian Americans Advancing Justice | AAJC, said:

“This administration has once again chosen to ignore history with their plans to imprison asylum-seeking children in a former Japanese American incarceration site. For the Japanese American community, the trauma from incarceration has lasted for generations. Putting children and families seeking asylum in a prison is morally reprehensible and should not continue in any administration. We urge Congress to reject funding for family incarceration and instead reunite families, treating them humanely and with dignity.”

Stosh Cotler, CEO of Bend the Arc: Jewish Action said:

“Whether we call them concentration camps, mass detention centers, or cages for children, they are a moral abomination.

“The real question is not what we call these mass detention sites growing all over the country, the question is: what is every government official and citizen doing to stop this evil? Our government is scapegoating, demonizing, and terrorizing immigrants. These policies echo the worst of Jewish history and the worst of American history. Jewish Americans overwhelmingly reject the hateful, anti-immigrant policies being perpetrated by the very people pretending to be offended on our behalf. We demand that Congress take immediate action to stop this ongoing campaign of cruelty towards immigrants by defunding the agencies that carry it out.”

Anpao Duta, Standing Rock Leader and Executive Director of NACA Inspired School Network:

“For indigenous communities in this country, military bases like Fort Sill in Oklahoma are reminders of the violent history of the United States. Across the country, many of our relatives and ancestors, including Geronimo, have experienced displacement, assimilation, disparities and expressions of racism, xenophobia and dehumanization in these very places.

Now, we’re seeing it happen again and we must stand together to say no more. People do not belong in camps.”

United We Dream has published a report that details the truth about the devastating impact of ICE, CBP and this Administration’s horrific policies as well as an Abuse Tracker that collects stories to expose their cruelty.

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United We Dream is the largest immigrant youth-led organization in the nation, a powerful network made up of over 400,000 members and 48 affiliate organizations across 26 states. UWD’s vision is to build a multi-racial, multi-ethnic movement of young people who organize and advocate at the local and national levels for the dignity and justice of immigrants and communities of color in the United States. You can find more about UWD online at www.unitedwedream.org.

Asian Americans Advancing Justice | AAJC has a mission to advance the civil and human rights for Asian Americans and to build and promote a fair and equitable society for all.

Bend the Arc: Jewish Action is uniting a movement of tens of thousands of progressive Jews across the country who are fighting for justice and equality for all. We are the only national Jewish organization focused exclusively on social change in the U.S.

NISN supports leaders in Indigenous communities to develop a network of schools providing rigorous academic curriculum aimed at college preparation while also promoting Indigenous culture, identity, and community investment.