There is at least one comforting thought about this travesty of history: it’s highly unlikely to happen today, thanks to the internet. Back in February, 1942, beloved President Franklin D. got a pass when he signed Executive Order 9066¬†which initially authorized the Secretary of War (at least they called it War rather than Defense) to denote certain areas in the US as “military zones” and clearing the way for the incarceration of 120,000 Americans of Japanese descent for the rest of the war.

On April 1st, 1942 California announced the order for the arrest and deportation of thousands of Japanese living in California to concentration camps – then called internment camps – located in Idaho. They were forcibly removed from their homes and, taking only whatever they could carry, they were herded onto trains and shipped to Idaho. When the war was over, they were allowed to return, only to discover that everything that they owned: cars, houses, businesses and other property, now belonged to someone else.

The executive order was rescinded by President Gerald Ford in 1976. In 1982 the apologized and sent $20,000 checks to whoever they could find who had been incarcerated as reparations.

It gets worse: it wasn’t just Japanese who were targeted, but Italians and Germans as well. This from Wiki:

Americans of Italian and German ancestry were also targeted by these restrictions, including internment. 11,000 people of German ancestry were interned, as were 3,000 people of Italian ancestry, along with some Jewish refugees. The Jewish refugees who were interned came from Germany, and the U.S. government didn’t differentiate between ethnic Jews and ethnic Germans (Jewish was defined as religious practice). Some of the internees of European descent were interned only briefly, and others were held for several years beyond the end of the war.

Like the Japanese internees, these smaller groups had American-born citizens in their numbers, especially among the children.

Let’s consider that last sentence: they were American citizens, with guaranteed to them under the Bill of Rights, including the Fourth Amendment¬†which, just so we know, provides:

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

Except, of course, when a declares otherwise, using the war (and no internet) as a cover.

 

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