On This Day — President Roosevelt Orders Internment of Japanese Americans (February 19 1942) [2021]

“The truth is — as this deplorable experience proves — that constitutions and laws are not sufficient of themselves…Despite the unequivocal language of the Constitution of the United States that the writ of habeas corpus shall not be suspended, and despite the Fifth Amendment’s command that no person shall be deprived of life, liberty or property without due process of law, both of these constitutional safeguards were denied by military action under Executive Order 9066.”

Former Supreme Court Justice Tom C. Clark — “Executive Order 9066: The Internment of 110,000 Japanese Americans”

On February 19 1942, US President Roosevelt signed executive order 9066 which allowed regional military commanders to designate “military areas” from which any or all persons may be excluded. Follow us on Twitter: @INTEL_TODAY

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“We are specifically apologizing for wrongs that were committed on this floor. We are apologizing for what we have done.”

California Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon (Feb. 20 2020)

UPDATE (February 19 2021) — Better late than never. The California State Assembly has formally apologized for its role in the detention.

Two internment camps were in California: Manzanar on the eastern side of the Sierra Nevada and Tule Lake near the Oregon state line. The Tule Lake was the largest of all these camps.

The resolution, introduced by State Assemblyman Al Muratsuchi on January 28 2020, was unanimously approved by the Assembly’s judiciary committee on February 6 2020.

On February 20 2020, the Assembly unanimously passed the resolution, one day after the Day of Remembrance, which commemorates Mr. Roosevelt’s signing the internment order in 1942.

The resolution said the California Legislature “apologizes to all Americans of Japanese ancestry for its past actions in support of the unjust inclusion, removal, and incarceration of Japanese-Americans during World War II, and for its failure to support and defend the civil rights and civil liberties of Japanese-Americans during this period.”

END of UPDATE

 “Given recent national events, it is all the more important to learn from the mistakes of the past and to ensure that such an assault on freedom will never again happen to any community in the United States.”

California State Assembly (Feb. 20 2020)

This authority was used to declare that all people of Japanese ancestry were excluded from the West Coast, including all of California and parts of Oregon, Washington, and Arizona, except for those in government camps.

Of 127,000 Japanese Americans living in the continental United States at the time of the Pearl Harbor attack, 112,000 resided on the West Coast.

About 80,000 were Nisei (literal translation: “second generation”; American-born Japanese with U.S. citizenship) and Sansei (“third generation”; the children of Nisei). The rest were Issei (“first generation”) immigrants born in Japan who were ineligible for U.S. citizenship under U.S. law.

The United States Census Bureau assisted the internment efforts by spying and providing confidential neighborhood information on Japanese Americans. The Bureau denied its role for decades, but it became public in 2007.

In 1944, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of the removal by ruling against Fred Korematsu’s appeal for violating an exclusion order. The Court limited its decision to the validity of the exclusion orders, avoiding the issue of the incarceration of U.S. citizens without due process.

In 1980, under mounting pressure from the Japanese American Citizens League and redress organizations, President Jimmy Carter opened an investigation to determine whether the decision to put Japanese Americans into concentration camps had been justified by the government.

He appointed the Commission on Wartime Relocation and Internment of Civilians (CWRIC) to investigate the camps. The Commission’s report, titled Personal Justice Denied, found little evidence of Japanese disloyalty at the time and concluded that the incarceration had been the product of racism. It recommended that the government pay reparations to the internees.

In 1988, President Ronald Reagan signed into law the Civil Liberties Act of 1988 which apologized for the internment on behalf of the U.S. government and authorized a payment of $20,000 (equivalent to $42,000 in 2018) to each camp survivor.

The legislation admitted that government actions were based on “race prejudice, war hysteria, and a failure of political leadership.”

Japanese American Internment During WWII

REFERENCES

Internment of Japanese Americans — Wikipedia

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On This Day — President Roosevelt Orders Internment of Japanese Americans (February 19 1942)

On This Day — President Roosevelt Orders Internment of Japanese Americans (February 19 1942) [2020]

On This Day — President Roosevelt Orders Internment of Japanese Americans (February 19 1942) [2021]

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