Japanese Internment Camps: Unlawful Containment of U.S. Citizens

1388 Words6 Pages
During WWII Germany was not the only country that was holding their citizens without justifiable cause. Pearl Harbor on O’ahu in Hawaii was attacked by Japanese warplanes on December 7th, 1941 causing a chain reaction that would destroy thousands more lives as the war developed within the United States. The unexpected attack led many Americans to fear that there would be another surprise attack. Leaders pressured President Roosevelt to do something about the Japanese who were living in the United States at the time. Roosevelt reacted with two executive orders to handle the prospective problem. Executive order 9066 was authorized on February 19th, 1942, giving military personnel the right to organize military supervised camps for the relocation of Japanese Americans. A month later the Executive Order 9102, authorized on March 18th, 1942, started the relocation of Japanese Americans to internment camps. Soon after the order was signed, 10 relocation camps were opened and Japanese Americans were quickly relocated. Military officials were concerned about the loyalty of Americans who were of Japanese descendants considering them to be security risks. These concerns would later be proven, in 1983, to be based more on racial bias and fear than on actual risk. The leader of the internment program, Lieutenant General John L. Dewitt, testified before congress that “A Jap’s a Jap – it makes no difference whether he is an American citizen or not.” Life in the interment camps was hard; internees were only allowed to bring a few of their possessions making it hard to adjust to their new life with nothing of their own. They were only given 48 hours to leave their homes and prepare to be ripped from everything they had ever known. Many were taken... ... middle of paper ... ...ews/2001968747_jacitizen30m.html>. "U.S. Approves End to Internment of Japanese Americans." History.com. A&E Television Networks, n.d. Web. 18 May 2014. . "War Relocation Camps in Arizona 1942-1946." War Relocation Camps in Arizona 1942-1946. N.p., n.d. Web. 18 May 2014. . Weber, Mark. "INSTITUTE FOR HISTORICAL REVIEW." The Japanese Camps in California. N.p., n.d. Web. 18 May 2014. . Woolley, John T., and Gerhard Peters. "Franklin D. Roosevelt: Executive Order 9102 Establishing the War Relocation Authority." Franklin D. Roosevelt: Executive Order 9102 Establishing the War Relocation Authority. The American Presidency Project, 18 Mar. 1942. Web. 18 May 2014.
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