A Virginia Mayor Gave the Worst Answer For How We Should Deal With Syrian Refugees


While billionaire entrepreneur Richard Branson gave one of the best responses to resolve the Syrian refugee crisis, a Virginia mayor probably gave one of the worst.  


Mayor David Bowers of Roanoke, Virginia referenced the Japanese-American internment camps used on American soil during World War II as justification for delaying assistance to Syrian refugees. In a statement released on Wednesday, Bowers said:

“I’m reminded that President Franklin D. Roosevelt felt compelled to sequester Japanese foreign nationals after the bombing of Pearl Harbor, and it appears that the threat of harm to America from ISIS now is just as real and serious as that from our enemies then.”


The incarceration of Japanese Americans into internment camps by mandate of the U.S. government during the 1940’s is regarded as a dark period in American history. It is remembered as one of the greatest violations of civil liberties that left a majority of Japanese-Americans displaced and discriminated against for years after the end of World War II.


Presidents who have succeeded Roosevelt have apologized for how the U.S. government reacted to what they perceived as a threat on American soil. In 1976, former President Gerald Ford called the internment camps a national mistake and issued a formal apology as he signed a proclamation that would terminate it.


“February 19 is the anniversary of a very, very sad day in American history. It was on that date in 1942 that Executive Order 9066 was issued resulting in the uprooting of many, many loyal Americans. Over 100,000 persons of Japanese ancestry were removed from their homes, detained in special camps, and eventually relocated.”

Years later, President Ronald Reagan passed the Civil Liberties Act and signed into law repatriations that totaled $1.8 billion to those affected. It was a lesson in history that Americans learned not to repeat. People took to Twitter shortly after the mayor released his statement to voice their opinions:

JI1 ji3

Support our Journalism with a Contribution

Many people might not know this, but despite our large and loyal following which we are immensely grateful for, NextShark is still a small bootstrapped startup that runs on no outside funding or loans.

Everything you see today is built on the backs of warriors who have sacrificed opportunities to help give Asians all over the world a bigger voice.

However, we still face many trials and tribulations in our industry, from figuring out the most sustainable business model for independent media companies to facing the current COVID-19 pandemic decimating advertising revenues across the board.

We hope you consider making a contribution so we can continue to provide you with quality content that informs, educates and inspires the Asian community. Even a $1 contribution goes a long way. Thank you for everyone’s support. We love you all and can’t appreciate you guys enough.

NextShark is a leading source covering Asian American News and Asian News including business, culture, entertainment, politics, tech and lifestyle.

For advertising and inquiries: info@nextshark.com