Decision to Evacuate

President Roosevelt relied heavily upon the recommendations of Henry L. Stimson, the Secretary of War when he implemented Executive Order 9066. Henry L. Stimson relied upon Lieutenant General John L. DeWitt, Commanding General of the Western Defense Command with responsibility for West Coast security. The justification for the evacuation was military necessity. General DeWitt's February 1942 recommendation presented the following rationale for the exclusion:

In the war in which we are now engaged racial affinities are not severed by migration. The Japanese race is an enemy race and while many second and third generation Japanese born on United State soil, possessed of United States citizenship, have become "Americanized," the racial strains are undiluted. To conclude otherwise is to expect that children born of white parents on Japanese soil sever all racial affinity and become loyal Japanese subjects, ready to fight and, if necessary, to die for Japan in a war against the nation of their parents. That Japan is allied with Germany and Italy in this struggle is not ground for assuming that any Japanese, barred from assimilation by convention as he is, though born and raised in the United States, will not turn against this nation when the final test of loyalty comes. It, therefore, follows that along the vital Pacific Coast over 112,000 potential enemies, of Japanese extraction, are at large today. There are indications that these were organized and ready for concerted action at a favorable opportunity. The very fact that no sabotage has taken place to date is a disturbing and confirming indication that such action will be taken (quoted in Commission of War Relocation and Internment of Civilians 1997: 6).

It is obvious based upon this statement made by General DeWitt that he determined the loyalty of the Japanese based upon race and not credible rationale. Loyalty to the United States is based upon individual choice and is not determined by ties to an ancestral country. "In the case of German Americans, the First World War demonstrated that race did not determine loyalty, and no negative assumption was made with regard to citizens of German or Italian descent during the Second World War" (Commission of War Relocation and Internment of Civilians 1997: 7). None of the accusations such as signaling form shore to enemy submarines, dangers to the ethnic Japanese from vigilantes, concentration of ethnic Japanese around or near military sensitive areas have ever been substantiated by evidence.

Maps, Proclamations, and Various Legislation:


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