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Interned Japanese Residents on World War II

Many were fired from their jobs or evicted from their residences. Grocery stores and other firms refused to sell them goods. In California, the State Personnel Board voted unanimously to bar from future civil service positions all descendants of nationals from countries with whom the U.S. was at war, and while this technically included Germans and Italians, it was applied only against the Nisei (Thomas and Nishimoto 6-7).

Executive Order 9066 set in motion a series of events. Lieutenant General DeWitt was named the military commander of the Western Defense Command and placed in charge of executing Executive Order 9066, and he issued a Public Proclamation naming the western halves of California, Oregon, and Washington, and the southern portion of Arizona as military areas from which certain persons or classes of persons might be excluded. President Roosevelt then signed Executive Order 9102, which established the War Relocation Authority to help those people evacuated under Executive Order 9066, meaning to assure an orderly evacuation of designated persons from the restricted military areas. The new agency was given wide discretion in deciding the fate of the Japanese Americans forced to leave their homes, and Congress passed Public Law 77-503 making it a crime to violate a military order:

During this time, although the West Coast was declared a theater of war, martial law was never declared and habeas corpus was not suspended. The civil court system was in full operation throughout the war, and anyone charged with espionage or sabotage could have been properly tried. Yet the federal government proceeded with its plans for a mass evacuation and incarceration of American citizens and resident aliens, based solely on race, without any individual review (Hatamiya 15).

The issues raised by special laws directed at Japanese and Japanese-Americans during the war were litigated at the time, though the civil rights of these Ame...

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