Your NPR news source

Japanese Americans See Parallels Between New Immigration Policies And WWII Incarceration

“It happened to us, it’s happening now!” Chicago Japanese-Americans see echoes of their own community history in current immigration policies.

SHARE Japanese Americans See Parallels Between New Immigration Policies And WWII Incarceration
Japanese Americans March Thumbnail

Katherine Nagasawa

From the ban on immigrants from majority Muslim countries to the separation and detention of families at the southern border, President Trump’s immigration policies have been hotly debated. Many have compared the current migrant detention centers and family separation to the U.S. government’s incarceration of about 120,000 Japanese Americans during World War II.

Last Saturday, Chicago Japanese Americans marched in the Families Belong Together rally to protest migrant family separation and detention.

“We want to project our story from our lens and tell people what the true lessons of incarceration for Japanese Americans were,” said Ryan Yokota of the Japanese American Service Committee, a nonprofit that leads programming around Japanese American history and culture. “We’re hoping to be part of a resurgence of Japanese American and Asian American voices around these issues.”

Watch the video story below:

Katherine Nagasawa is the multimedia producer for Curious City. You can contact her at knagasawa@wbez.org.

The Latest
County Board President Toni Preckwinkle is also trying to figure out which pandemic-funded programs to keep as the county spends down federal dollars.


In an attempt to meet people where they are, Chicago now has a licensed professional counselor at the Legler Regional Library.
The inspector general’s office urged Johnson to create a task force aimed at “preventing, identifying, and eliminating extremist and anti-government activities and associations within CPD.”
A greater share of Chicago area Republicans cast their ballots by mail in March compared to the 2022 primary, but they were still vastly outpaced by Democrats in using a voting system that has become increasingly popular.
As the 2024 presidential election approaches, officials, advocates and experts have expressed concern over misinformation and disinformation about candidates and elections in Chicago, Cook County and Illinois.