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House Passes Buck’s Bipartisan Bill to Designate Amache Incarceration Site in Granada as a National Historic Site

July 29, 2021
Press Release

WASHINGTON – Today, the House of Representatives passed Rep. Ken Buck (R-CO) and Rep. Joe Neguse’s (D-CO) bipartisan legislation, the Amache National Historic Site Act, to designate the Amache internment site in Southeast Colorado as a National Historic Site.

“Our nation is better today because of the lessons we have learned from our past,” said Rep. Buck. “The Amache National Historic Site Act is important because it recognizes the horrible injustices committed against Japanese Americans and preserves the site for people throughout Colorado and the United States. I’m grateful to my colleagues in the House for voting to pass this legislation today and I hope my colleagues in the Senate will prioritize swift passage.”

“The landscapes, cultural places, and stories we choose to protect reflect our values as a nation. And the story of Amache is an important one,” said Congressman Joe Neguse. “Designation of Amache as a National Historic Site will help us to honor and preserve the stories of many survivors who lived through this dark moment in our nation’s history, and provide education and healing for future generations. We introduced this bill just three months ago, and given the broad and expansive support for the effort, we’re thrilled to pass it through the House so quickly. We implore the Senate to take this measure up swiftly so we can complete this designation and honor all Amache survivors and descendants.”

“The Amache site as a National Park unit highlights the injustices of the internment of Japanese Americans, one of our nation’s darkest chapters,” said Governor Jared Polis. “Colorado is home to world-class national parks and adding the Amache site honors those values and our history.”

Bob Fuchigami, Amache survivor: “Today’s passage of the Amache National Historic Site Act in the U.S. House of Representatives brings me hope and I thank Congressman Neguse and Congressman Buck. I now urge the Senate to pass this bill. The time is not only right; it is long overdue.”

Mike Honda, former Member of Congress and Amache survivor: “Congressmen Neguse and Buck demonstrated what cooperation looks like on the Hill. The two legislators navigated their subcommittee, committee, and the floor engaging both parties' leadership to place this item on Unanimous Consent. Let’s hope the Senate collaborates in the same manner and sends the bill to the White House: this then will be the expression and realization of the people's will.”

Tracy Coppola, Colorado Program Manager, National Parks Conservation Association: “Today’s historic passage of the bipartisan Amache National Historic Site Act by the U.S. House of Representatives is an expression of faith in our future. We applaud the leadership of Congressman Neguse and Congressman Buck and the enduring voice of the Amache community. As America's storyteller, what the National Park Service chooses to preserve and the stories it chooses to tell reflects our values as a nation, and Amache challenges us all to act toward a better future where justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion are America’s top priority. We urge Congress to keep the momentum going and look forward to swiftly getting this bill through the Senate and to President Biden’s desk.” 

Additional statements of support can be viewed here:

Background:

During the first months of World War II, the United States initiated the single largest forced imprisonment in its history when President Franklin D. Roosevelt issued an executive order forcing more than 120,000 people, primarily of Japanese descent, to relocate to 10 remote, military-style prisons.

The Granada Relocation Center in the southeast corner of Colorado, known as Amache, was one of the 10 incarceration centers. Approximately 10,000 Japanese Americans passed through Amache and 7,000 people were imprisoned there.

The Amache Preservation Society, along with the support of other organizations, currently maintains the physical site of Amache. They have established an Amache Museum and research center, renovated the cemetery, and restored key Amache landmarks. This legislation designates Amache as a National Historic Site under the protection of the U.S. Department of the Interior and the National Park System.

The Amache National Historic Site Act bill text can be viewed here.

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