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Site near Japanese American Incarceration Camp Considered to Detain Children

Rowher Relocation CenterCivil rights advocates fear history may be repeating itself after word leaked out that the Trump administration is considering opening up immigrant camps to detain undocumented children.

KUAR Public Radio reports the Department of Health & Human Services visited two government-owned sites in Arkansas near an incarceration camp in Rohwer where Japanese Americans were imprisoned during World War II.

The visit comes just hours after President Trump reversed his decision to separate children from their undocumented families caught crossing the border.

“I don’t believe this proposal is a good one,” said Rep. Rick Crawford, (R-AR) to Talk Business Net. “Someone should have looked a little closer at the historical context of this site. It’s literally within sight of another internment camp dating back to 1942 involving Japanese Americans. That proposal wasn’t a good idea, either.”
Actor/activist George Takei, who spent his childhood detained at Rohwer, tweeted he had “no words” to describe his feelings after hearing the news.


Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson also expressed his concern.

“It is up to DHHS to answer questions about potential sites. I am opposed to the use of any Arkansas facility that would be for children who are separated from their parents,” Hutchinson said.

Health and Human Services sent out the following explanation of their visit in Arkansas:

The USDA property will be assessed to determine the site’s suitable for HHS to temporarily provide shelter for unaccompanied alien children (UAC) at some point in the future. The DoD property will be visited to determine if a more detailed assessment is warranted. USDA and DoD officials will join the HHS staff as they tour the vacant properties. HHS will make the determination if it will use either of the two sites for UAC operations. HHS will continue to keep local and congressional officials informed during this assessment and selection process.

I’d also like to clarify that our notification was for UAC shelter not family detention. ORR/HHS is legally mandated with the care of unaccompanied alien children and operates shelters.

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