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Executive Order 9066

Executive Order 9066

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Executive Order 9066

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  1. Executive Order 9066 • On February 19, 1942, The President issued Executive Order 9066 giving authority to military commanders to establish special zones in territory threatened by enemy attack. The order invested the military commanders with the power to decide who could come, go or remain the special military areas. On May 9 1942 ordered the exclusion of all persons of Japanese ancestry from the entire Pacific coastal region.

  2. The Internment of Japanese Americans • For Internment: • “It is fact the Japanese navy has been investigating reconnoitering the Pacific Coast…It is a fact that communication takes place between the enemy at sea and enemy agents on land. The Pacific Coast is officially a combat zone: some part of it may at any moment be a battlefield. Nobody's constitutional rights include the right to reside and do business on a battlefield.” • Walter Lippmann, American columnist February 1942

  3. Against Internment • “Racial discrimination in any form and in any degree has no justifiable part whatever in our democratic way of life…All residents of this nation are kin in some way by blood or culture to a foreign land. Yet they are primarily and necessarily a part of the United States {and are} …entitled to all rights and freedoms guaranteed by the Constitution” • Supreme Court Justice Frank Murphy 1944

  4. Was the United States Government Justified in Interning Japanese-Americans in 1942?

  5. Arguments Supporting the Government's Action: • The United States was suddenly attacked by Japan. • These people’s presence on the West Coast was a “Clear and Present Danger” to the nation’s security. • The President as Commander and Chief has the Constitutional power and responsibility to defend the nation. • Citizens may not have all their civil liberties in wartime.

  6. Presidents in the past have used extraordinary powers. • Lincoln Jailed the Maryland legislature to prevent it from voting on secession during the Civil War. • Lincoln suspended the writ of habeas corpus

  7. It was generally believed that Japan’s attack on Pearl Harbor was made possible with help of ethnic Japanese. • It is not useful to judge the events of that time with the knowledge we have today.

  8. Arguments Against Internment • The evacuation of the Nisei was motivated by racial prejudice. • No evidence was ever uncovered that these citizens were involved in espionage as a group. • Executive order 9066 took away the citizenship of an entire group of people. • German and Italian Americans were not relocated. • These people were denied due process guaranteed by the 14th Amendment.