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Internment Camps and the Immigration Debate

July 19, 2019 – In 1941, during her fourth birthday party in Seattle, Nikki Nojima Louis saw her father arrested by FBI agents. It was December 7 and the Japanese had just bombed Pearl Harbor. Her father was an immigrant from Japan and he ended up in a New Mexico detention camp. Nojima Louis and her mother were interned in Idaho. They were among the 120,000 Japanese Americans rounded up and incarcerated during World War II. Nojima Louis now lives in Albuquerque and is artistic director for the New Mexico Japanese American Citizens League Players. Recently, she traveled to Oklahoma to join a protest with other internment veterans from World War II at Fort Sill. That facility was used to incarcerate Japanese men, including Buddhist monks, during the war. Now, there are plans to use Fort Sill to house young migrants. In this episode, she speaks with NMIF correspondent Megan Kamerick about why she decided to add her voice to the protest.


Nikki Nojima Louis, New Mexico Japanese American Citizens League


For Further Reading/Watching:

Army officer suspended for confronting Japanese-Americans protesting Fort Sill’s role in migrant detentionArmy Times 

Japanese internment camp survivors protest Ft. Sill migrant detention Center Los Angeles Times

Not getting stuck in injustice: Japanese American citizens WWII-era New MexicoSanta Fe New Mexican 

Buddhist memorial service to be held at Fort Sill protest against migrant detentionLions Roar

Oklahoma’s Fort Sill has a history of jailing minority groups. Migrant children could be next – PRI’s The World