To the editor:
Recent issues concerning immigration and DACA brings to mind the plight of my family and my wife’s in the earlier years of America’s history.
My father came to America from Japan in 1918, followed by my mother and their three young children a few years later. Throughout the many years that followed, my parents were denied the right to citizenship through naturalization because of the existence of the Law of 1790. When World War II commenced they were considered “aliens” and along with over 110,000 Japanese Americans we were incarcerated in American concentration camps, denied due process of the law.
My brother Hank, brought to America at the age of two, American as apple pie, was denied the right to serve in the armed forces of the only country he’d known because he was Japan-born and considered a risk for sabotage. Through the efforts of Eleanor Roosevelt, he was granted special consideration and served faithfully in the U.S. Army in the Pacific Theater of War during World War II.
It was not until Congress passed the Immigration Act of 1953 that my parents finally became U.S. citizens. Prior to that they were both forced to register at a U.S. post office every January or be deported, this in spite of the fact Dad worked as a tool and die maker in a defense plant during the height of the war. Thinking back, it’s hard to believe that if they chose not to comply my siblings born in the U.S. would lose our parents to deportation.
Being the great country that it is, America will continue to fight injustices, and will overcome the fear and hate that we are faced with today.
Roy U. Ebihara