United States Executive Order 9066 was a United States presidential executive order signed and issued during World War II by U.S. President Franklin Delano Roosevelt on February 19, 1942 authorizing the Secretary of War to prescribe certain areas as military zones. Eventually, EO 9066 cleared the way for the relocation of Japanese Americans to internment camps.
Pre World War 2
Between 1861 and 1940, approximately 275,000 Japanese immigrated to Hawaii and the mainland of the United States the majority arriving between 1898 and 1924. Japanese controlled less than 4 percent of California’s farmland in 1940, but they produced more than 10 percent of the total value of the state’s farm resources. Envy over economic success combined with distrust over cultural separateness and long standing anti-Asian racism turned into a disaster when the Empire of Japan Attacked Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. Lobbyist in the United States gain American support and pressured Congress and the President to remove persons of Japanese descent from the west coast.
The order authorized the Secretary of War and U.S. armed forces commanders to declare areas of the United States as military areas "from which any or all persons may be excluded," although it did not name any nationality or ethnic group. It was eventually applied to one-third of the land area of the U.S. (mostly in the West) and was used against those with "Foreign Enemy Ancestry" — Japanese.
The order led to the internment of Japanese Americans or AJAs (Americans of Japanese Ancestry); some 120,000 ethnic Japanese people were held in internment camps for the duration of the war. Of the Japanese interned, 62% were Nisei (American-born, second-generation Japanese American and therefore American citizens) or Sansei (third-generation Japanese American, also American citizens) and the rest were Issei (Japanese immigrants and resident aliens, first-generation Japanese American).
Japanese Americans were by far the most widely affected group, as all persons with Japanese ancestry were removed from the West Coast and southern Arizona. As then California Attorney General Earl Warren put it, "When we are dealing with the Caucasian race we have methods that will test the loyalty of them. But when we deal with the Japanese, we are on an entirely different field." In Hawaii, where there were 140,000 Americans of Japanese Ancestry (constituting 37% of the population), only selected individuals of heightened perceived risk were interned.
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