Ban on Muslim immigration odious

On the day of the 74th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor, controversialist Donald Trump apparently thought it necessary to remind us of the racially motivated wartime hysteria resulting from the more than 2,000 American lives lost during the surprise military strike.

In the aftermath of the more recent terror attack in San Bernardino, which killed 14 and wounded 21 others, Trump has called for a “total and complete” ban on Muslims entering the United States.

It is no more odious, he suggested, than the actions President Franklin Roosevelt took during World War II — rounding up and relocating 120,000 Japanese Americans, alien and non-alien alike, to government-run internment camps.

“This is a president highly respected by all,” said Mr. Trump. “He did the same thing.” Indeed, Mr. Trump continued, “Take a look at Presidential Proclamations 2525, 2526 and 2527,” under which persons of Japanese, German or Italian descent could be apprehended, restrained or removed from the U.S.

As the Register said, being one of the few newspapers that opposed the internment then, and even F.D.R.’s most ardent apologists would agree now, the executive order he issued, and the presidential proclamations he made, which led to the internment of Japanese Americans, left a lasting stain upon his presidency.

Indeed, in 1982, a federal commission created by Congress issued a report in which it concluded that the internment of Japanese Americans was not necessitated by national security, but was borne of “race prejudice, war hysteria and a failure of political leadership.”

The commission recommended an official government apology for trampling upon the civil liberties of Japanese American internees during World War II, as well as $20,000 in restitution to each survivor of the dark chapter in U.S. history.

We think it noteworthy that President Ronald Reagan in 1988 signed into law the Civil Liberties Act, which incorporated the commission’s recommendations. He was, in effect, repudiating ill-conceived wartime actions of his predecessor.

Now comes Donald Trump, who wants to ban all non-American Muslims from entering the United States because, he said, America is “at war with radical Islam.” Mr. Trump did not propose to ban radical Islamists, however, but all Muslims, wrongly suggesting they are indistinguishable from each other.

Reprinted from the Orange County Register

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