Daughter of man who fought Japanese internment speaks on Trump p - KCTV5

Daughter of man who fought Japanese internment speaks on Trump policies

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Minoru Yasui spent his life advocating for human rights. (Natalie Davis/KCTV) Minoru Yasui spent his life advocating for human rights. (Natalie Davis/KCTV)
Laurie Yasui, accepts the Presidential Medal of Freedom from President Barack Obama on behalf of her father Minoru Yasui in 2015. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci) Laurie Yasui, accepts the Presidential Medal of Freedom from President Barack Obama on behalf of her father Minoru Yasui in 2015. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
“It is very scary to me that the government keeps reverting back to such prejudicial times," Laurie Yasui said. (Natalie Davis/KCTV) “It is very scary to me that the government keeps reverting back to such prejudicial times," Laurie Yasui said. (Natalie Davis/KCTV)
Laurie Yasui is reflected with photos of her father Minoru Yasui on a table in her daughters home in Kansas City, Mo., Friday, Nov. 20, 2015. (AP Photo/Orlin Wagner) Laurie Yasui is reflected with photos of her father Minoru Yasui on a table in her daughters home in Kansas City, Mo., Friday, Nov. 20, 2015. (AP Photo/Orlin Wagner)
KANSAS CITY, MO (KCTV) -

February 19, 2017 marks 75 years since Franklin Delano Roosevelt issued the presidential executive order that sent more than 100,000 Japanese Americans to internment camps.

Now, KCTV5 looks at the “then” and “now” through the eyes of a local Japanese American family.

Laurie Yasui’s father, Minoru Yasui, spent two years at the Minidoka relocation camp, but not before putting up a fight.

“It was such a shock to them that the United States of America would do that to its citizens,” Yasui said.

At 26 years old, he marched the streets and was arrested.

“It seemed to me that a military order distinguishing between one citizen on one hand and another citizen on the basis of ancestry was absolutely wrong,” Minoru Yasui had said in a documentary.

He spent his life advocating for human rights and, after he died, was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

“His love for America was so absolute, so strong, that he never gave up,” his granddaughter Chani Hawkins said.

Considering the current political climate, they can't help but wonder: What would Minoru Yasui think of President Donald Trump’s approach to national security?

“He would be up there in the forefront saying, 'This is not right,'” said an emotional Laurie Yasui.

President Trump’s executive order on immigration focused on seven predominately Muslim nations.

That doesn't sit well with the Yasui family.

“It's that mentality that certain people, certain groups are all guilty,” Yasui said. “It is very scary to me that the government keeps reverting back to such prejudicial times and such hysteria."

“To see almost an eerily similar situation, it's terrifying because we're standing right on the edge,” Hawkins said.

The family just wants their history to be remembered... not repeated.

Related:

Today marks 75 years since the internment of Japanese Americans

Japanese-Americans mark anniversary of WWII incarceration

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