The relocation of Japanese-Americans into internment camps during World War II was one of the most flagrant violations of civil liberty in American history. The Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor (an American army base in Hawaii) in December 7, 1941. Shortly after the attack, the United States declared war on Japan and entered World War II. Not long after, President Roosevelt signed an executive order that allowed the military to force people of Japanese ancestry into internment camps.
The camps were made because people became paranoid that Japanese-Americans would help Japan against the United States after the Pearl Harbor attack. However, this fear was not founded on any hard evidence. There were also many American farmers who competed against Japanese labor. The people were put in the camps based only on their race. They had not done anything wrong.
It is estimated that around 120,000 Japanese-Americans were sent to ten camps spread out around the Western United States. Entire families were rounded up and sent to the camps. Around a third of the people in the camps were school-aged children. Around 12,000 Germans and Italians were also sent to internment camps in the United States.
The interment finally ended in January of 1945. After being freed, the internees were given $25 and a train ticket home. Many of these families had been in the camps for over two years and had lost their homes, farms, and other property while they were in the camps. They had to rebuild their lives.
In 1988, the U.S. government apologized for the internment camps. President Ronald Reagan signed a law that gave each of the survivors $20,000 in reparations. He also sent each survivor a signed apology.