API Legislative Caucus Opposes Tulelake Airport Fence

Watercolor by George Tamura, a teenager held at Tule Lake. This work was rescued from being sold at the Rago auction in 2015. Courtesy Japanese American National Museum.

SACRAMENTO — Members of the California Asian Pacific Islander Legislative Caucus sent the following letter on Oct. 10 to Modoc County Road Commissioner Mitch Crosby.

“On behalf of the California Asian Pacific Islander Legislative Caucus, we are writing in strong opposition to the proposed fence at the Tulelake Municipal Airport in Modoc County.

“The California API Legislative Caucus prides itself in its work and advocacy to ensuring that Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders have a strong voice in our community and State Capitol. This is why we are standing behind the preservation of the Tule Lake War Relocation Center, a site that has been designated as a National Historic Landmark, California Historical Landmark, and one of only nine sites of the World War II Valor in the Pacific National Monument.

“Tule Lake was a … maximum-security internment camp where the federal government forced more than 24,000 Japanese Americans to relocate, including two former members of the California State Legislature. Not only was it one of ten camps where Japanese Americans were sent during World War II, it was also considered to be the site with the harshest and most severe conditions.

“The site at Tule Lake remains as a physical reminder of a dark time in our history, marred with segregation and hatred against Japanese Americans during World War II. Preventing further damage to this landmark is imperative because it serves to educate future generations about the mistakes of the past in an effort to learn from them and make progress. Construction of a fence will impede access to a place that