Japanese-American Interment Camps -Cody RUtherford-


After the devastating attack upon Pearl Harbor, the Pacific naval unit of America was greatly diminished. Because of this, the west coast was greatly exposed to attack. Ports and port cities usually had some form of Japanese-American communities, leading to the risk of invasion of the west coast by land and the ocean. (Video 2)
Even though Japanese-Americans live in America and might have been born in America, their racial affinity is still tied to Japan, and therefore leaves them subject to indecision when facing the side that they will take during the war. (Document 1) This was a well-supported opinion in certain Areas of the U.S. An example is Portland, Oregon; the citizens of Portland urged interment camps for Japanese-Americans based on the fear of internal sabotage and espionage of the American effort against Japan. (Document 3)


The Japanese-Americans within the western region of America actually supported the United States government in the action of war against Japan. Japanese-Americans were prepared to leave the west coast in order to appease other Americans. Most formally declared their loyalty to America and volunteered to assist. Japanese-Americans were stunned and appalled the actions of Japan. (Video 3) (Document 2) Even after all the support and effort of this race, people still did not trust them and took away their civil rights as citizens of the United States after the passing of Executive Order 9066.
The most controversial aspect of the executive order passed by FDR, was the fact that the rights and privileges of Japanese-Americans, who were born or naturalized into citizenship, were taken away. This is a direct constitutional violation of the Fourteenth Amendment. (Document 4) Since it was an action passed by the executive, some individuals say that the executive order does not violate the amendment in that it says, "No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens... nor... deprive any person of life, liberty, or property..." However, it was morally and ethically wrong in its own nature.

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