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Imperial Valley Japanese-Americans, Our Forgotten Pioneers | Letter to the Editor

Within days of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, the FBI over 100 Japanese men A series of large-scale sweeps took place in the Imperial Valley, separating families from their donors. In the weeks that follow, a wave of terror will sweep through our country, with federal, state and local authorities taking panicked political action against local Japanese men, women and children. Six months from now, this will be all the Japanese in the Imperial Valley, including farmers, business owners, ministers, and early settlers. ordered to evacuate Take only what you can carry.Everything will eventually be transported by bus Indian Reservation in the Arizona Desert. Driven by panic and fear, America will also not offer economic protection to those who are suddenly forced to abandon everything they have worked for in pursuit of the American Dream. This was not an “evacuation”.shake your head and wave your handsThis was the mass deportation and imprisonment of Japanese families in the Imperial Valley. This tragedy, which revealed the complicity of the virus and the real consequences of failed leadership, both moral and political, in our country, should be remembered forever.

Pre-war almost Two-thirds of Japanese Americans on the West Coast worked in agriculture and came closer 40% of all California vegetablesinclude Nearly 100% of tomatoes, celery, strawberries and peppers. Of our volleyball Japanese, almost three-quarters worked in agriculturefarmed tens of thousands of acrescompleted the melon industryAs a result, Succeeded in cultivating head lettuce for the first time Leading the United States on a commercial basis in lettuce production.

World War II and the attack on Pearl Harbor would change everything for our valley and the Japanese who helped build it.

Less than two years before President Franklin Delano Roosevelt forcibly relocated more than 120,000 West Coast Japanese Americans, February 19, 1942more than 600 Imperial Valley Japanese Americans stood before the Imperial County Board of Supervisors, pledge their allegiance to America. Elsewhere in the valley, draft political party Hosted by the Japanese Volunteer Club, it was held to say goodbye to a local Japanese man enlisting in the US military. Dinner for local officials To further prove our loyalty to America. Despite these positive efforts, when the war began, everything was blatantly ignored by the fear-blinded populace.

Whether referred to as “” by federal officialsenemy raceor legislators justifying their placement ininland concentration camps‘, and similar sentiments toward the Japanese echoed at the local level. County Sheriff Robert W. Ware warned residents:If you see a Japanese person, report it.” to the authorities. Our Agriculture Department also passed unanimously. Resolution He appealed to Governor Earl Warren to do whatever it takes to keep them out of California.

[Evenafterthewarendedin1945theJapanesefamiliesinImperialValleywhohadoncebeenverystrong[1945年に戦争が終わった後も、かつて根強く残っていたインペリアルバレーの日本人家族は、persona non grata Within county boundaries. County Superintendent BM Graham and Brawley Mayor Elmer Sears will lead a major policy effort. blowry rally He called on the president and governor to keep the Japanese out of the Imperial Valley. District Attorney CG Halliday will also make blocking Japan’s land ownership a “high priority”.Main missionin his office’. The mere thought of returning home maintained the same enthusiasm that had existed when the Japanese family was being deported.

It is surprising that so few of the groups who were unjustly displaced and returned unwelcome wanted anything to do with a place that was no longer their home and the people who persevered to allow it. not. Within a decade, an entire race of Americans had been completely and forcefully exterminated from the Imperial Valley.

As the end of Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month draws to a close, we learn more about the injustices committed against the Imperial Valley’s Japanese families, our original pioneers, and our Valley. and their contribution to shaping an agricultural industry that has endured almost a century later.


Gil Revolor

Brawley City Council

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