The white people feared that they were going to lose their jobs to the new IMMIGRANTS. Anti-Asian sentiments soon became a major PROBLEM in California politics.- Video One
Immigrants working in a field
Japaneses migrated to the U.S. and settled mainly along the West Coast. They worked in fields, doing agricultural work, and railroads. The government stopped Japanese immigration in 1924. By late 1930's, the number of immigrants reached 120,000. They tried to become part of America by teaching their children English as their first language and sending them to pubic schools. (Video One)
Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. This caused west coast Americans to fear a Japanese invasion. It left them vulnerable and paranoid. The government started a rumor that the Japanese-Americans helped this attack, saying they spotted Japanese airplanes and submarines along the west coast. Most of the Japanese housing were attacked because they were considered a "security risk". (Video 2)
Many Japanese-Americans took up farming for the remainder of the war, but they were still not fully trusted by the government and other American citizens. Japanese-Americans voluntarily prepared to evacuate in case of emergencies. They were still investigated by the FBI if the government was suspicious of the Japanese being a spy and some of the farmers crops were inspected for poison. (Video 3)
... No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; ... -14th Amendment (Document 4)
Cons of Internment Camps
The Japanese were put in Internment camps because they were expressed as a "threat" to national security. They had to leave their lives (business, home, family members on occasion) to go to these camps. They suffered economic loses, personal humiliation, and sometimes death. In Hawaii, a third of the population was Japanese- Americans and their was no sabotage during WWII. There was also no camps established here.
Japanese-Americans were faced with prejudice, discrimination, and jealously. The citizens of California had become jealous that the Japanese-Americans had more economic success than they did. Ten camps were established for Japanese descendants only. They did not have camps for Germans or Italians that were also involved in the war.
Pros of Internment Camps
These camps help the United States reassure that the American people weren't being spied on. The Japanese-Americans were kept safe. The Americans would have probably killed Japanese citizens because the Americans were scared of them. They received food, most of the families stayed together, and they were all basically in a small town of their same race. Restitution payments were also rewarded to survivors of these camps.
Advantages of Internment Camps