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Lions Roar : September 2019
CELEBRATING YEARS We Will Come Back for You Not so long ago their own families were held in camps like these. That’s why Japanese American Buddhists like SATSUKI INA will keep coming back until the tragedy on America’s southern border ends. IN MARCH, I joined sixty other Japanese American and Japanese Latin Americans who paid homage to parents and grandparents who had been unjustly incarcerated during WWII at the Crystal City, Texas Family Internment Camp. We were reminded of the interconnectedness of all things as we pro- ceeded to Dilley, Texas, where today 2,400 Central American women and children seek- ing asylum are being unjustly detained in prison facilities. We wanted the children inside to know that someone outside cared. We wanted the world to know that we will not be silent when people are suffering at the hands of a cruel and unjust government policy so resonant of our own family experience. I was already too familiar with the suffering happening behind the fences of such detention centers. Three years ago, a young Japanese American attorney working in the ACLU National Prisons Project, himself a descendant of internees, asked me if I would enter the detention facility in Karnes, Texas, working undercover as a “religious volunteer.” My task was to “visit” with mothers and their children while assessing them for symptoms of trauma. After several visits, there was no doubt in my mind that the trauma being inflicted on families in the dehumanizing prison environ- ment is causing lasting affects on the emotional ILLUSTRATION BY SYDNEY SMITH LION’S ROAR | SEPTEMBER 2019 69