Editorial: Reflections on Immigration and Profiling

February 18, 2003

Source: San Francisco Chronicle


On February 18, 2003 the San Francisco Chronicle printed an editorial by Annie Nakao stating that "Wednesday is the annual Day of Remembrance -- 61 years ago, Franklin Delano Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9066, putting 120,000 Japanese Americans behind barbed wire, solely because of their ancestry... And Friday is the next deadline for foreign men from Pakistan and Saudi Arabia to register with the Immigration and Naturalization Service... I've been thinking a lot about these dates, especially since Rep. Howard Coble (R-N.C.) recently spoke on radio and justified the World War II internment of Japanese Americans... Unbelievably, at least to me, Coble is chairman of the Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism and Homeland Security... Unprecedented times call for unprecedented response, we are told. I, too, watched slack-jawed at the falling towers, feared the next attack on America and wanted the perpetrators captured and punished... Yet I also believe that it is, without question, a very dangerous time to be an immigrant in America... As I watch what has unfolded since Sept. 11 in the name of the War on Terror, I have silently thanked my ancestors for the fact of my citizenship. Of course, in 1942, this did not help two-thirds of the internees, who were American citizens. Embarrassed by that, the federal government took to calling these folks 'non-aliens.'"