The JACL has a long history of advocating for policies that protect and promote the welfare of Japanese Americans, Asian Americans and other communities. This history of advocacy includes the repeal of the Cable Act during the 1930s, which caused Americans to lose their citizenship if they married an Issei, to the Redress campaign in the 1980s, which provided remedies for the injustice of the internment during World War II.
JACL’s advocacy has included participation in transformational events in American history such as joining in an amicus brief in the landmark case of Brown v. Board of Education in 1954 and supporting the 1965 Immigration Law, which equalized immigration quotas for Asian countries, providing a pathway to America for many Asians in the years that followed.
Today, the JACL continues its rich history of civil rights advocacy by participating in current issues of health reform, immigration, environmental justice, historical preservation, education, voter registration, and much more.
Summary of Legal Actions taken by the JACL during the past Biennium
Adapted from a report given by Michelle Yoshida, JACL Legal Counsel, at 2010 JACL Convention
Al-Marri vs. Pucciarelli, Illinois
- Amicus brief
- Habeas corpus case challenging the detention of only remaining individual held in US as an enemy combatant.
- Question of whether President can order military to seize and detain, indefinitely without charge or trial, individuals lawfully residing in the United States based on government assertions of plans to commit terrorist activities.
- Given the legacy of the Japanese American experience during WWII, JACL filed brief in support of safeguarding the civil rights of all individuals.
The following are position and policy statements of the JACL.