Japanese Internment

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Japanese Internment
During World War II in February of 1942 President Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9066, demanding that all Japanese-Americans be relocated to internment camps (www.ushistory.org). The federal government gave many different reasons as to why the internment of American citizens of Japanese descent during World War II was justifiable. Although their reasons may seem valid considering the circumstances of World War II, they were not. The internment was an unjustifiable violation of the civil rights and constitutional rights of tens of thousands of Japanese-Americans.

President Roosevelt along with the federal government gave several reasons for the justification of the internment of so many Japanese-Americans. They believed it was the mission of the Western Defense Command and Fourth Army to defend the Pacific Coast against sea, land, or air attacks. They also wanted to protect the local establishment and communications that were vital to the National Defense for which local civilian authorities cannot provide adequate defense (Document 2). Military officials feared an invasion of the West Coast and felt as if they had to take certain precautions (Document 4). Furthermore, the federal government believed that along the Pacific Coast were over 112,000 potential enemies of Japanese descent and that “the very fact that no sabotage has taken place to date is a disturbing and confirming indication that such action will be taken” (Document 2). Also, Roosevelt believed that to have success in the war we needed to protect against spies and against sabotage to the national defense material, premises, and utilities (Document 3). Moreover, the government gave the reason that we were dealing with nothing more than just an exclusion order (Document 4).

Although the reasoning of the President and the federal government may seem valid, many civil and constitutional rights were violated with Executive Order 9066. Habeas corpus was a right given...