Volunteers fold cranes at the Far East Lounge in Little Tokyo on March 16.
Nikkei Progressives (NP) invites members of the Japanese American community to participate in its “Families Belong Together” Quilt Project, which seeks to raise awareness and support for families and children suffering from detention and family separation at the border.
As of today, there are still children who are separated from their parents, and toddlers and even infants are being held in detention in places like the “Family Residential Center” in Dilley, Texas. Young children have died while in border control custody or shortly after leaving detention centers. Pediatricians have warned about the long-term psychological, cognitive and emotional impact detention and family separation will have on these children.
The quilt project is part of the national “Never Again Is Now” campaign, which began in 2018 in response to the Trump Administration’s inhumane “zero tolerance” policy of separating children from their parents and holding them in detention. Linking the World War II experience of family separation and detention with today’s events, Japanese American organizations and individuals throughout the country quickly responded, saying, “Never Again Is Now!”
On March 30, NP members Tony Osumi, Jenni Kuida and Sean Miura will join Japanese Americans from throughout the country to protest against the incarceration of immigrant families and children at the family detention center in Dilley. NP’s quilt with messages of solidarity and support will be displayed, along with over 1,000 tsuru (cranes) folded by NP members and supporters this past week. Over 10,000 “Tsuru for Solidarity” will be hung on fences at the Dilley site.
Organizers explain, “We want children and families separated and incarcerated in detention sites or separated by the Muslim travel ban to know that Japanese Americans are fighting for them.”