Santa Cruz County History - Executive Order 9066 and the Residents of Santa Cruz County



Lifting of Restrictions on Italians and Germans
by Rechs Ann Pedersen

After the Japanese and Japanese-Americans were evacuated from Military Area no. 1, the order for Italian and German aliens to evacuate was dropped. Other restrictions were progressively lifted for all Italian and German aliens. (Italian and German aliens who had a close relative in the U.S. military were already exempted from exclusion orders and, for Italian aliens, curfew regulations.)

No banned areas for Italian and German aliens

In Santa Cruz County, the evacuation of the Japanese and Japanese Americans was completed by April 30, 1942. A month later, June 30th, General DeWitt revoked the orders that banned Italian and German aliens from certain areas in the Western states.

June 30, 1942:

S.C. ALIEN ORDER IS CLEARED
...All Italian and German aliens, previously by federal order prohibited from an area including most of the city and all immediate coast territory inside the Coast road and Watsonville highway, may return to that once-banned section -- subject to curfew and other restrictions. (Santa Cruz Sentinel-News. [E] June 30, 1942 p.1Full-Text)

BIDDLE SAYS ITALIANS NOT ENEMY
..effective October 19 Italian aliens would no longer be classed as alien enemies, because, he [Attorney General Francis Biddle] said, 'from that time on the exoneration which they have so well earned will be granted them.' (Santa Cruz Sentinel-News, [M] October 13, 1942. p.1Full-Text)

Six days later, the travel and curfew restrictions on Italian aliens were removed by Lt-General DeWitt, with this warning:

October 19, 1942:

The Army emphasized that the new order did not change the status of German or Japanese aliens, or persons of Japanese ancestry, and also pointed out the necessity of "continued vigilance and exclusion of individuals dangerous to the military security of the coastal front." (Watsonville Register-Pajaronian. October 19, 1942. p.1)

A few weeks later, the regulation forbidding Italians to fish was changed by President Roosevelt. The amended regulations classified Italians as "aliens" rather than "enemy aliens." This meant that they could go fishing-- but with the stipulation that fifty percent of the crew be United States citizens.

November 3, 1942:

Santa Cruz municipal wharf spokesman declared that there are some 14 Italian nationals in the fishing colony. These men have been land bound since December 7. They own 16 lampara launches, or about one-fourth of the total number of boats engaged in pre-war fishing operations.

The clause in the amendment signed by the president [on Nov. 2] requiring "50 per cent of the crew of each vessel to be of American citizenship" will particularly hurt the Santa Cruz men inasmuch as they operate small one man launches. This might prove necessary for them to carry an "American citizen passenger" with them out on the high seas. (Santa Cruz Sentinel-News. [M] November 3, 1942. p. 1)

Lifting restrictions on German aliens

In December 1942, curfew and travel restrictions were lifted for German aliens in the eight western states. The reason given by Lt-General DeWitt was,

"The need for the curfew no longer exists as other security measures have been provided." (Santa Cruz Sentinel-News. [E] December 12, 1942. p. 5)


Additional Information:

Copyright 2001 Santa Cruz Public Libraries


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internment camps, Japanese Americans, racism

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