Tag Archives: Rounding Up U S Citizens

PRESIDENTIAL EXECUTIVE ORDERS AND INTERNMENT OF UNITED STATES CITIZENS

Yesterday was an important day in history, on February 19, 1942, President Franklin D. Roosevelt issued an Executive Order No. 9066.  This Executive Order came at the insistence of several members of his Joint Chiefs of Staff and his personal advisors, Roosevelt issued this order that required U.S. citizens from Italy, Germany and Japan must register with the Department of Justice and receive a Certificate of Identification for Aliens of Enemy Nationalities. One of the conditions of this Executive Order permitted their arrest, detention and interment.

President Roosevelt had called the Japanese surprise attack on Pearl Harbor a dastardly deed, but as I have written earlier, Roosevelt knew the attack was coming and he also knew that Japan’s ultimate plan was to put ground troops in Hawaii, then attack both the Panama Canal and the west coast of the United States. Roosevelt and his advisers were afraid that the Japanese citizens were more loyal to their homeland than the United States. Some speculated these United States citizens could be either spies or spotters for bombing or the landing of troops.

Within a month, the United States began rounding up Japanese American citizens who lived in western States. This included first generation and second generation Japanese. During Congressional Committee hearings, Department of Justice representatives raised constitutional and ethical objections to the proposal, the elected officials were concerned about how this was perceived by their electorate. So the U.S. Army was assigned the task to carry out the round up those considered a potential threat.

The West Coast was divided into military zones, a total of ten sites, six in western states and one in Arkansas.  The U.S. Army would soon incarcerate almost 70,000 Japanese American citizens. No charges were made against them nor were any grounds made for their potential appeal. An additional 50,000 non-U.S. citizens were also taken into custody. Some of the Japanese Americans challenged these orders but the Supreme Court upheld the U.S. Government and their actions.Silhouette fedora

During the early part of the 20th Century, many Japanese migrated to Hawaii, while others still went to the west coast of the United States (predominately California) to work as contract labors in the agriculture business. A segment of the Japanese emigrants were opposed to the United States diplomatic positions on Japan’s aggressive Asian War. Many resented United States laws and policies that prevented or inhibited the Japanese from competing on equal terms with the American farmer. However, most had assimilated and were on the side of the United States. Still many Americans resented the Japanese for a variety of reasons including their agricultural success. Their hard work and techniques soon yielded magnificent results, they controlled less than four percent of California’s fertile farms but their yield exceeded ten percent of California’s farm resources.

I am curious what my readers think of this Presidential Executive Order and incarnating of U. S. citizens without due process.