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Mayor Says US Should Treat Refugees Like Japanese Americans During WWII

In a truly baffling turn of xenophobic events, Roanoke, Virginia Mayor David Powers put out a statement comparing Syrian refugees to Japanese Americans during World War II.

In the statement, he said,

I'm reminded that President Franklin D. Roosevelt felt compelled to sequester Japanese foreign nationals after the bombing of Pearl Harbor, 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.

Yup, that's a real thing a real American mayor put out in a real statement.

Many people who saw the statement were, to put it lightly, shocked.

Deep breath now, everyone.

Indeed, after the bombing of Pearl Harbor, FDR forced Japanese Americans into internment camps.

This is widely noted as one of the clearest incidences of unjustly snatching freedom from American residents.

Of the many policies FDR put in place during his long presidency, the idea of internment camps for “our enemies” is perhaps the one and only thing you should unequivocally not suggest repeating, as many people recognized.

However, this is, devastatingly, the logical endpoint to the rampant and unjustified fear of refugees entering the nation as politicians ignore history's lessons by trying to one-up each other with increasingly insane suggestions of how exactly the US can continue to not help those whose lives are threatened — despite the facts the US is made up of refugees and those politicians' suggestions would actually make the world less safe and help ISIS.

Perhaps it's time for politicians to go back to AP US History and stop saying stupid, harmful sh*t.

Citations: David Bowers statement on Syrian refugees (The Roanoke Times), JAPANESE-AMERICAN RELOCATION (History), Turning back Syrian refugees isn't just wrong — it helps ISIS (Vox)

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Alexandra Svokos

Editor

Alexandra is the Senior News Editor at Elite Daily. She previously worked at HuffPost and has been published in Vox, Glamour, Refinery 29, Mic, Cosmopolitan and Quartz. Find her on Twitter / FB @asvokos and at tinyletter.com/asvokos
Alexandra is the Senior News Editor at Elite Daily. She previously worked at HuffPost and has been published in Vox, Glamour, Refinery 29, Mic, Cosmopolitan and Quartz. Find her on Twitter / FB @asvokos and at tinyletter.com/asvokos

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