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JAMsj to Explore Mexican American Connection

SAN JOSE — The Japanese American Museum of San Jose, 535 N. Fifth St. in San Jose Japantown, will mark the 75th anniversary of Executive Order 9066 on Thursday, Feb. 16, at 7 p.m. with a program entitled “The Japanese American-Mexican American Connection: What Can We Learn from Our Shared Histories of Scapegoating and Forced Expulsion to Protect Civil Liberties Today?”

In the 1930s, over a million Mexicans and Mexican Americans residing throughout the U.S. were deported after a campaign of scapegoating, fear-mongering and racism. Many were U.S. citizens and their country failed to protect their most basic civil liberties. Seventy-five years ago, Japanese Americans suffered similar attacks that culminated in their mass expulsion and incarceration in direct violation of the U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights.

Today, with heightened attacks on immigrant communities, threats of massive deportation and registries for Muslim Americans, what can be learned from this shared history? How can the two communities support each other in the times ahead?

Special guest speaker is Dr. Francisco Balderrama, professor of history and Chicano studies at California State University Los Angeles and co-author of “Decade of Betrayal: Mexican Repatriation in the 1930s.”

The program will also include a presentation by Tom Izu, executive director of the California History Center, Audrey Edna Butcher Civil Liberties Initiative, De Anza College, and responses from students representing De Anza College’s HEFAS (Higher Education for AB 540 Students) and Muslim Student Association.

Admission is free but seating is limited. For more information, call (408) 294-3138, email or visit

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