Roanoke Mayor Cites Japanese Internment in Refugee Decision

In the aftermath of the Paris terror attacks, governors across the country have announced their opposition to refugees coming to their states. As a result, some mayors have announced their support for the refugees.

However, the mayor of Roanoke, Virginia, announced his opposition to the refugees and cited the Japanese internment policy of World War II. Virginia’s governor, Terry McAuffle (D), supports refugee resettling in the state.

“President Franklin D. Roosevelt felt compelled to sequester Japanese foreign nationals after the bombing of Pearl Harbor,” Mayor David Bowers (D) said, “and it appears that the threat of harm to America from ISIS now is just as real and serious as that from our enemies then.”

President Franklin Delano Roosevelt (D) used Executive Order 9066 to move Japanese-Americans to internment camps following the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. In 1944, Roosevelt suspended the executive order. Roughly thirty-two years later, President Gerald Ford (R) officially rescinded the order.

The decision to intern Japanese-Americans has been viewed with disdain and controversy. The American government officially apologized for the move in 1988 and awarded money to survivors. The policy was attributed to “race prejudice, war hysteria, and a failure of political leadership.”

Facing negative publicity, the city council drafted and voted in support of a resolution proclaiming the city to be a welcoming one. Members also held a press conference where they blasted the mayor for his remarks.

Mayor Bowers is not running for re-election. However, Vice Mayor David Trinkle, who is running for mayor, pointed out that the mayor does not have the authority to halt the flow of refugees.

About Tyler

Tyler is the chief media reporter for TKNN, with the news organization since its founding in November of 2010. He has previously served as chief political reporter and chief political anchor for TKNN.

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