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house Bill H.R. 1288

Should the Federal Gov’t Be Prohibited from Detaining People Based on Protected Characteristics?

Argument in favor

The current political climate, in which the Trump administration has detained unauthorized immigrants and persecuted specific religious and ethnic groups as threats to the U.S., risks a repeat of the circumstances that led to Japanese-Americans’ internment during WWII. This legislation is needed to ensure that history doesn’t repeat itself.

burrkitty's Opinion
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04/22/2019
Obviously. Protection from the government should be first and foremost. Certainly the government must embody the law. Otherwise it’s not law now is it?
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David's Opinion
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04/22/2019
Please take away a fear-mongering & mass-control tool from this and future authoritarian Administrations by explicitly banning the kind of internment/concentration camps used in WW2 and earlier in our history.
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MasonWhisman's Opinion
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04/22/2019
People should not be targeted for their other-ness. Police should be able to identify people with their characteristics (such as race), but should not be able to discriminate unfairly against anyone.
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Argument opposed

The Supreme Court has already overruled its prior ruling upholding the federal government’s authority to detain citizens based on identity. Similarly, legislation overturning the legal framework for detaining citizens and legal residents based on their identities has been overturned. With this in mind, there’s no need for this legislation.

Gopin2020's Opinion
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04/22/2019
Not at all, this is a useless bill. The Supreme Court has already ruled on this issue. #MAGA
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Lance's Opinion
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04/22/2019
When the police are looking for a Certain individual no matter what race the police should have the authority to at least stop and question them and have no ID to hold them until they can be ID ‘ed properly
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JTJ's Opinion
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04/22/2019
The democrats are the party of internment. This is political propaganda from an idiot congressman.
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bill Progress


  • Not enacted
    The President has not signed this bill
  • The senate has not voted
  • The house has not voted
      house Committees
      Constitution, Civil Rights, and Civil Liberties
      Committee on the Judiciary
    IntroducedFebruary 14th, 2019

What is House Bill H.R. 1288?

This bill — the Korematsu-Takai Civil Liberties Protection Act of 2019 — would amend the federal criminal code to modify the federal government’s detention authority. Specifically, it would add a provision prohibiting the detention or imprisonment of an individual based solely on an actual or perceived protected characteristic. A “protected characteristic” would include race, ethnicity, national origin, religion, gender, gender identity, and sexual orientation.

Impact

U.S. citizens; U.S. residents; and U.S. detention authority.

Cost of House Bill H.R. 1288

A CBO cost estimate is unavailable.

More Information

In-DepthRep. Mark Takano (D-CA) reintroduced this bill from the 115th Congress to establish a clear legal prohibition against policies seeking to imprison American citizens on the basis of race, religion, nationality, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, ethnicity, or disability, as happened to Japanese Americans during World War II:

“We cannot allow what my parents, grandparents, and 115,000 other Japanese Americans underwent during World War II to ever happen again in our country. The cruelty and inhumanity behind the internment of Japanese Americans is a stain on the fabric of our country that was born out of hate, discrimination, and politics rooted in fearmongering. The rhetoric and policies being promoted by this Administration are a cause for concern and further emphasize the need for this legislation. In honor of Congressman Takai and Fred Korematsu, we must ensure that no person is ever a target of despicable policies that are discriminatory and un-American.”

Sen. Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), who has sponsored Senate companions to this bill in both the 115th and 116th Congresses, adds:

“We, as a nation, must never forget or repeat the horrors thousands of Japanese Americans experienced as prisoners within our own borders. We must also continue to do everything we can to ensure such a national travesty never happens again. I’m proud to introduce this bill with Senator Hirono and Congressman Takano, in honor of the courage of Fred Korematsu and in remembrance of my dear friend and former colleague Mark Takai, to protect civil liberties and strengthen our resolve to ensure we never again repeat such shameful acts.”

Fred Korematsu’s daughter Karen Korematsu, who is the founder and executive director of the Fred T. Korematsu Institute, supports this bill. She says:

“This year marks my father’s 100th birthday and the 75th anniversary of Korematsu v. United States decision. At these milestones, it is a reminder that we must ‘Stand Up For What is Right’ and ‘Stop Repeating History’ by enacting a law that will ensure what happened to my father and 120,000 Americans of Japanese ancestry can never be done to anyone again in the US. It is fitting at this time of national stress that our lawmakers use their powers to correct one of the worst U.S. Supreme Court decisions of all time. I am grateful for the leadership of Senator Duckworth, Senator Hirono and Congressman Takano for introducing a bill that honors both my father and the late Congressman Takai.”

National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA) President Daniel Sakaguchi adds:

“The Korematsu-Takai Civil Liberties Protection Act acknowledges a dark chapter of our history when our government used national security as a pretext for racial discrimination, and incarcerated tens of thousands of Japanese Americans unconstitutionally. This bill honors the memories of Fred Korematsu and Congressman Mark Takai by enacting measures to stop this sordid history from being repeated — and would bar detentions based on race, religion, or other protected characteristics.  We thank Senator Duckworth, Senator Hirono, and Congressman Takano for continuing to champion this important legislation and the more than a dozen original cosponsors of the bill for joining this effort to protect the civil rights and civil liberties of all communities.”

The White House has declined to comment on this bill. However, in 2015, then-Republican presidential frontrunner Donald Trump told TIME he didn’t know whether he’d have supported or opposed Japanese Americans’ internment during WWII:

“I would have had to be there at the time to tell you, to give you a proper answer. I certainly hate the concept of it. But I would have had to be there at the time to give you a proper answer. It’s a tough thing. It’s tough. But you know war is tough. And winning is tough. We don’t win anymore. We don’t win wars anymore. We don’t win wars anymore. We’re not a strong country anymore. We’re just so off.”

This bill has four Democratic cosponsors in the current session of Congress. A Senate companion bill, introduced by Sen. Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), has 14 Democratic cosponsors. It also has the support of the Korematsu Institute, Stop Repeating History, the Anti-Defamation League, the Japanese American Citizens League, the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association, NAACP, Human Rights Campaign, National Council of Asian Pacific Americans, Asian Pacific American Institute for Congressional Studies, Asian Americans Advancing Justice | AAJC, and the Japanese American National Museum (JANM).

Last Congress, Rep. Takano introduced this bill with the support of 18 Democratic cosponsors, and it didn’t receive a committee vote. A Senate companion bill in the 115th Congress, introduced by Sen. Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), had the support of 10 Democratic cosponsors and also didn’t receive a committee vote.


Of NoteThis bill is named in honor of the late U.S. Congressman Mark Takai (D-HI), who led on this issue for a long time prior to his passing, and Fred Korematsu, who challenged President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s Executive Order 9066 directing all people of Japanese ancestry to be removed from designated areas on the West Coast in the Supreme Court. Ultimately, 120,000 Japanese-Americans were sent to internment camps for the remainder of World War II.

Although Korematsu lost his case against the Supreme Court in 1944, the Court tossed out its prior ruling as “objectively unlawful” in 2018. Writing for the majority, Chief Justice John Roberts wrote that “Korematsu was gravely wrong the day it was decided, has been overruled in the court of history, and — to be clear — has no place in law under the Constitution.”

The Non-Detention Act of 1971 repudiated the legal framework allowing the government to detain U.S. citizens by deeming them national security risks. However, the Non-Detention Act didn’t specifically bar detentions or imprisonment based on race or religion. This bill would fix this loophole.

In 1988, President Ronald Reagan signed legislation apologizing to the over 100,000 people of Japanese ancestry who were placed in detention camps during WWII. He also authorized reparations for survivors.


Media:

Summary by Lorelei Yang

(Photo Credit: iStockphoto.com / Melissa Kopka)

AKA

Korematsu-Takai Civil Liberties Protection Act of 2019

Official Title

To ensure due process protections of individuals in the United States against unlawful detention based solely on a protected characteristic.

    Obviously. Protection from the government should be first and foremost. Certainly the government must embody the law. Otherwise it’s not law now is it?
    Like (79)
    Follow
    Share
    Not at all, this is a useless bill. The Supreme Court has already ruled on this issue. #MAGA
    Like (43)
    Follow
    Share
    Please take away a fear-mongering & mass-control tool from this and future authoritarian Administrations by explicitly banning the kind of internment/concentration camps used in WW2 and earlier in our history.
    Like (44)
    Follow
    Share
    When the police are looking for a Certain individual no matter what race the police should have the authority to at least stop and question them and have no ID to hold them until they can be ID ‘ed properly
    Like (32)
    Follow
    Share
    The democrats are the party of internment. This is political propaganda from an idiot congressman.
    Like (30)
    Follow
    Share
    Every US Citizen already enjoys “protected status“ via the Bill of Rights / US Constitution.
    Like (28)
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    People should not be targeted for their other-ness. Police should be able to identify people with their characteristics (such as race), but should not be able to discriminate unfairly against anyone.
    Like (25)
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    Share
    Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal. I’m certain he would have included women if he’d thought about it. This applies also to brown people and LGBTQ people and people of all religions. Profiling like discrimination has no place in this country. It’s an inaccurate tool at best in any type of law enforcement and when used exclusively in lieu of probable cause can have deadly consequences. I support limiting the ability of any law enforcement agency, federal or state, to detain or arrest any human being based solely on profiling. All Parties, especially the Party of Lincoln, must accept this.
    Like (22)
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    House Bill HR 2288 AKA “Korematsu-Takai Civil Liberties Protection Act” 👎🏻👎🏻👎🏻👎🏻👎🏻👎🏻👎🏻👎🏻👎🏻👎🏻 The Supreme Court has already overruled its prior ruling upholding the federal government’s authority to detain citizens based on identity. Similarly, legislation overturning the legal framework for detaining citizens and legal residents based on their identities has been overturned. With this in mind, there’s no need for this legislation. SneakyPete..... 👎🏻👎🏻HR-1288👎🏻👎🏻. 4*23*19.....
    Like (16)
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    This ‘Policy’ can be abused beyond belief- especially by the 9th circuit/circus.
    Like (16)
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    The current political climate, in which the Trump administration has detained unauthorized immigrants and persecuted specific religious and ethnic groups as threats to the U.S., risks a repeat of the circumstances that led to Japanese-Americans’ internment during WWII. This legislation is needed to ensure that history doesn’t repeat itself.
    Like (16)
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    Thank you Mark Takano for recognizing that projecting our own faults onto a group of people mistakenly seen as different, when humans share 99,9% of our genes and race is an artificial construct. My husband was imprisoned as an 8 year old for being born to Asian immigrant parents. Like the newer immigrant kids we are imprisoning, his life was irreparably harmed by the trauma of imprisonment. Unconscionable.
    Like (12)
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    We need to stop restricting border patrol and others from being able to do their job. They have an extremely difficult job already. Vote no on this bill.
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    What do people want these days? The government to change their diapers. Law enforcement needs to be able to do their job.
    Like (11)
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    Who is protecting Americans from Democrats? They are destabilizing America. It’s time to reign them in!!! What ever it takes.
    Like (10)
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    In a normal administration this would not be necessary, but TRUMP IS NOT NORMAL & NEITHER ARE THE HORRIBLE PEOPLE WHO ARE SUPPOSEDLY IN HIS CABINET CANNOT BE TRUSTED TO do WHAT’S RIGHT. SADLY.
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    I only say nay based on this. What if a red haired male robs a liquor store? The cops should be well within their right to profile all red haired males that cross their path. The same would be true for a hispAnic with a mustache. But do they have the right to profile just for shots and giggle, absolutely not. The key word is use discretion and not abuse of power. All the Supreme Court rulings in the world are not going to be able to stop that
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    This bill is sick, it proposes special rights for special people. Only a leftist would think that this is a good idea.
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    No Mark, not needed. Typical Democrat useless legislation. Stop the Obstructionist nonsense. Get to work . Secure the Southern border.
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    This a political bill. What it is supposed to make illegal already is.
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