What were the consequences of Japanese internment camps (after the attack at Pearl Harbor) early 1942?

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larrygates eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Japanese Americans were ordered into Internment Camps pursuant to President Franklin D. Roosevelt's Executive Order Number 9066. Of those interned, over sixty per cent were American citizens, many of whom had been born in the U.S. Those interned were primarily from the West Coast of the mainland U.S. In Hawaii, then a U.S. Territory, less than 10% of the population of Japanese ancestry were interned.

The hardship and suffering caused by the detention was staggering. Internees were prohibiting from bringing many personal items into the camps. These items were "stored" in government facilities, but quite often were stolen or destroyed. They were not allowed to leave the camps, and many died from lack of medical care. Some were actually shot when they tried to "escape." Those few who owned their own farms were forced to sell them at tremendous loss to land speculators, and those who were tenant farmers (a large percentage, as the California Alien Law prohibited them from owning real estate) lost their rights to their tenancies. The mistreatment enumerated here does not begin to address the violation of civil rights of those many who were American citizens. In a book on the subject of internment, former Supreme Court Justice Tom C. Clark wrote:

The truth is--as this deplorable experiment proves--that constitutions and laws are not sufficient in themselves. Despite the unequivocal language of the Constitution of the United States that the writ of habeas corpus shall not be suspended, and despite the Fifth Amendment's command that no person shall be deprived of life, liberty or property, both of these Constitutional safeguards were denied by military action under Executive Order 9066.   


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