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'Star Trek' actor held in Arkansas internment camp as child says he has 'no words' after learning of possible detainment center

by Emma Pettit | June 22, 2018 at 12:18 p.m.
George Takei poses for a portrait at The Collective and Gibson Lounge Powered by CEG, during the Sundance Film Festival, on Saturday, Jan. 18, 2014 in Park City, Utah.

George Takei said on Twitter he has “no words” after learning a immigrant detainment center for unaccompanied children could be erected on land near the Arkansas internment camp where he was imprisoned as a child.

Takei, the famous actor, director and activist who played Sulu on the original Star Trek series, tweeted a KUAR story on Thursday and wrote that he “just heard that they are considering a detainment center for immigrant children just two miles from where I spent my childhood behind barbed wire in a camp in Rohwer, Arkansas. I have no words.”

The Rohwer interment camp in Desha County imprisoned around 16,000 Japanese Americans during World War II, including Takei, who has been an outspoken advocate for immigrant rights. An estimated 110,000 to 120,000 Japanese Americans were locked up in 10 camps across the country.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services visited an unused federal property in Kelso to assess its viability to house unaccompanied children detained after crossing the Southern U.S. border, the federal agency said in a statement.

Federal officials also conducted a preliminary site visit at the Little Rock Air Force Base on Thursday. The health and human services department will decide if either site will be used to house those children, the statement said.

A spokesman for the base declined to release more information.

The Pentagon reportedly said it will make space on military bases for as many as 20,000 unaccompanied children who were detained after crossing the border between the United States and Mexico.


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