When the United States entered World War II, following the Attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, Japanese immigrants and their descendants, including those born in the United States, and therefore citizens by birth, were placed in a very awkward situation.The immigrants were resident aliens in the United States, a country at war with their country of birth. (612, Bizzell) Amongst the hysteria following the U.S. entry into World War II, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9066 on February 19, 1942.
This order authorized the War Department to prescribe military areas from which any group of people could be excluded.This served as the legal basis for the evacuation and internment of the evacuation and internment of over 110,000 Japanese immigrants and Japanese Americans from the West Coast.Most were forced to sell their homes and businesses and suffered huge losses, including schooling and careers that were completely disrupted. Civil Rights and Civil Liberties are two things that were stripped from the Japanese Americans during the internment.
The American Heritage Dictionary defines Civil Rights as; Rights belonging to an individual by virtue of citizenship especially, the rights to due process, equal protection of the laws and freedom from discrimination.
And Civil Liberties as fundamental individual rights such as freedom of speech, religion protected by legal guarantee. Denial of due process to Japanese Americans was the central civil rights violation in their experience with internment. Due process refers to a course of legal proceedings carried out regularly and in accordance with established rules and principles.
As stated in the fourteenth amendment “no person shall be deprived of life, liberty, or property without due process of law”.
“If a man feeds off a fellow man he should be treated as a mad dog and be dealt the same fate” This is practically the idea our nation went by to avenge Pearl Harbor which was totally unacceptable. On the night of December 6th 1941 no more than 1000 planes were on their way to Pearl Harbor and unfortunately the United States was attacked. That is no excuse for taking more than 120,000 Americans and putting them into internment camps. Our Nations leaders feared its own citizens and decided to lock them up. The morning after the attack on Pearl Harbor most Japanese citizens never even heard of Pearl Harbor and yet all were held responsible for the attack (Wataksuki , Pg 9).
The Japanese people were in disarray and confusion about what really happened and what was going to happen to them. Most Japanese Americans tried getting their families together just in case the worst case scenario happened, and it did. As soon as most Japanese Americans really knew what happened, a majority of these citizensburnt or threw a way any items that represented Japan; Flags, letters, priceless kimonos, and even fine antique china. Almost a week after the incident FBI agents started questioning families and taking relatives away. Any individuals that did any off shore fishing or anything that dealt with any Asian country were thefirst to be taken to interrogation, and eventual Internment.
The families eventually knew that the internment was coming so many tried to prepare for its harshness. When the Japanese tried selling their valuables and of course they received a small fraction of what the object was really worth.Other Japanese Americans decided to store their objects instead of selling them, which was to no avail, Most were ransacked or taken away by the government. Eventually the land the Japanese owned was sold so cheap that it was near one-tenth of its original price (“Home”).