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


Full Text Newspaper ArticleSanta Cruz Sentinel-News, Evening Edition. Feb. 3, 1942. p. 8

ENEMY ALIENS: 'MOTHER' DEFENDS THEM

Young children in alien Italian families facing removal from the federal-designated restricted area in Santa Cruz are frightened, adults are bewildered and worried, the fishing industry at the wharf will be hard hit and boys are holding up enlisting for navy service because of the threat to the breadwinner of the families.

Mrs. Mary Carniglia, "mother" of the Italian colony at the wharf, painted such a picture of the hardships wrought upon affected families by designation of all of Santa Cruz west of the coast and Watsonville highways as an area from which Italian, German and Japanese aliens will be removed.

"The kids are asking their parents, 'What are they going to do to you?' The smaller children can't understand.

HURTS

"The adult Italians have so much faith in the government they say it's all just paper talk. 'If it will help the nation, we'll do that. But we came here across the many miles of ocean because we could see happiness in store for us. We've done the best we knew.'"

Many of those who came from Italy have never gone back unless members of their family were dying, Mrs. Carniglia said; some have never corresponded back there.

"Their coming here has given them a taste of paradise, something they're proud of. Back home the women went barefoot and worked in the fields. Here the women are well dressed and not required to do heavy work.

"It hurts. My people have lived here in the same two houses for three generations and I'm going into the fourth generation. I'm a citizen, but my husband, Marco, is not.

"I think it will be worked out. I have faith. We have the most tender-hearted government and I know it will give our people good treatment. If it doesn't give them the privilege of consideration, then I think something should be done."

"The fishing industry will be hard hit here. Many of the boys have gone into service; others are holding back now because if the fathers have to go, who will keep the families?"

Mrs. Carniglia said she held out hope to the people affected by the order that the government would cull the list to see whether or not they would have to leave.

"It looks to me," she said, "that while they are given the opportunity to register as many aliens up to Feb. 15, there is another nine days before the evacuation date."

ALL HIT

All of the Italian aliens of the fishing colony have their homes in the restricted area, according to Mrs. Carniglia, counting off one each on Laurel, Myrtle, Pacific, Bay alley, Bay street, and Monterey and two each on West Cliff drive, National, Lighthouse avenue and Gharkey.

She told of two retired fishermen who have been here over 40 years, a fisherman who has been unable to work for 18 years because of illness, a widow of 30 years who has two handicapped children to care for, the mother of one of the prominent fishermen, 70 years old, who never leaves her home but spends all her time making nets. All of these must go under the order as it stands.

"But it's not the moving that is the big problem," Mrs. Carniglia said; "it's the boats and equipment. Some have up to $8000 invested in the fishing industry."

"My people are proud to be in America. They say if the government can show disloyalty, then they should be punished. I wouldn't fight for them if I thought they weren't loyal. But I know they are."

Copyrighted by the Santa Cruz Sentinel-News, Evening Edition. Reproduced by permission.