Looking back at the Civil Liberties Act of 1988

Aug 9th, 2013
A. H. Nishikawa

A. H. Nishikawa tells his personal story as he looks back at the drive to pass the Civil Liberties Act of 1988, which acknowledged the fundamental injustice of the relocation of Americans of Japanese descent during World War II.

On August 10, 1988, President Ronald Reagan signed a historic bill into law, which called for a letter of apology and a redress check from the United States government to be presented to Americans of Japanese descent who had been incarcerated during World War II in internment camps without involving any due process of law.

This was the Civil Liberties Act of 1988 (often referred to as the Redress Act).

In 2013, we mark the 25th anniversary of this Act, the passage of which came against remarkable odds, and only after multi-year grass roots efforts by a very small American ethnic minority (only about 0.3 percent of the U.S. population), which pursued it as a “matter of principle for all Americans.”



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