George Takei is the latest notable name to speak out against the Trump administration’s “zero tolerance” immigration policy that has separated children from their parents at the southern U.S. border.
In a piece written for Foreign Policy and published Tuesday morning, Takei reflects on his time spent in a Japanese internment camp as a child in the early 1940s after Japan’s attack on Pearl Harbor during World War II. Though the experience was brutal for Takei and his family, the actor notes that the camps were somewhat tolerable because the American government didn’t separate children from their parents.
“In one core, horrifying way this is worse. At least during the internment of Japanese-Americans, I and other children were not stripped from our parents. We were not pulled screaming from our mothers’ arms,” he writes. “We were not left to change the diapers of younger children by ourselves.”
The Star Trek alum continues: “I cannot for a moment imagine what my childhood would have been like had I been thrown into a camp without my parents. That this is happening today fills me with both rage and grief: rage toward a failed political leadership who appear to have lost even their most basic humanity, and a profound grief for the families affected.”
Takei goes on to say that having his parents by his side kept “the scars of our unjust imprisonment from deepening on my soul.”
Takei’s op-ed comes as calls continue to mount on Capitol Hill for President Trump and his administration to put a stop to the child separation policy. Trump is expected to meet late Tuesday afternoon with House Republicans to discuss the zero tolerance approach to illegal border crossings — which has been criticized by celebrities and politicians alike, including former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
According to the Associated Press, nearly 2,000 children were separated from their families over a six-week period in April and May.
Read Takei’s entire piece here.