Japanese Internment Of Japanese Americans

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Japanese internment was the outcome of Executive Order 9066 in 1942. It unjustly relocated and interned Japanese Americans of all ages due to racial ancestry. This travesty lasted three years and affected over 110,000 Japanese Americans living throughout the United States. The roots of this racial prejudice can be traced back to the 1800s. Prejudice against Asian American citizens began with Chinese laborers immigrating to America in the 1860s to find work. They were the primary source of labor for the construction of the Central Pacific Railroad. Despite their contributions to American society they were ostracized and discriminated against. Overcrowding in Japan sent many men and families in search of job opportunities to the West Coast shortly after the arrival of the Chinese. West Coast states and cities began to pass discrimination laws against foreign-born Japanese American immigrants. Schools were built that segregated children with Asian descent from those of white decent. The pinnacle of these laws was the Alien Restriction Act. This law, passed in 1924, prevented recent Asian immigrants from citizenship and land ownership. This law however did not bar European immigrants. Japanese Americans formed their own small communities and kept to themselves. As such a small minority – only about 120,000 people – they had little to no political power. None the less, they worked hard and progressed in their communities ("America at War: The Internment of Japanese Americans"). By the 1940s prejudice against Asian-American citizens, especially Japanese-Americans, was high. Many of the first generation Japanese American immigrants, or Issei, planned to return to Japan once they made their fortune. However this dream w... ... middle of paper ... ... that had occurred thirty seven years prior in 1945. The reports came back in favor of the Japanese American community and proved that the WRA’s actions were unjust. Seven years later, in 1988, Congress set up a fund of $1.25 billion as compensation to surviving internment victims. Each survivor was granted $20,000 as well as an official apology (Anonymous). Through the entire process there was not a single arrest, conviction, or documented case proving treason or the aiding of Japanese military against a Japanese American. The Federal government held over 110,000 Japanese Americans in internment camps without any sustainable proof of their involvement in the bombing of Pearl Harbor. The belated apology and $20,000 compensation check does not make up for the trauma and racial discrimination the Japanese American survivors faced in the 1940s and years afterward.

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