Today in History: FDR Issues Executive Order Creating American Concentration CampsBy: Dave Benner|Published on: Feb 19, 2020|Categories: History | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED

Today in History: FDR Issues Executive Order Creating American Concentration CampsBy: Dave Benner|Published on: Feb 19, 2020|Categories: History

On this date in 1942, Franklin Roosevelt signed the infamous executive order 9066, authorizing the War Department to establish military zones that would serve as internment camps for mostly Japanese and Italian Americans.

After the United States entered World War II, the president felt that the presence of foreign nationals could not be tolerated in time of war, and would produce seditious and rebellious behavior:

“Now, therefore, by virtue of the authority vested in me as President of the United States, and Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy, I hereby authorize and direct the Secretary of War, and the Military Commanders whom he may from time to time designate, whenever he or any designated Commander deems such action necessary or desirable, to prescribe military areas in such places and of such extent as he or the appropriate Military Commander may determine, from which any or all persons may be excluded, and with respect to which, the right of any person to enter, remain in, or leave shall be subject to whatever restrictions the Secretary of War or the appropriate Military Commander may impose in his discretion.”

Under the policy, 120,000 people were summarily rounded up and placed into captivity, separated from their families, homes, property, and livelihood for long lengths of time.

Cruelly reminiscent of anti-Jewish programs enacted by the Third Reich in Germany, Roosevelt’s decree was a clear-cut violation of the Fifth Amendment guarantee to life, liberty, and property. The order was also imposed by executive decree, bypassing Congress and appearing as the command of an all-powerful monarch.

President Roosevelt engaged in efforts to relocate citizens by issuing a secondary decree, Executive Order 9102, which specifically established the War Relocation Authority. The new federal institution was bestowed the power to forcibly seize and relocate individuals into the camps.

Refusing to reverse this heartless transgression., the federal courts gave the policy legal credence. Demonstrating the complicity of the federal judiciary in the exploit, the court ruled that Roosevelt’s actions were wholly constitutional in the 1944 case of Korematsu v. United States.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Many, particularly internment camp members from Hawaii, never got anything back, in terms of money, or lands they may have owned before their internment; it was, at worst, a cynical land and money grab, many times from Asian citizens who never did - or would have - hurt this country in any way.

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