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


Full Text Newspaper ArticleWatsonville Register-Pajaronian. March 4, 1942. p. 1

2500 TO QUIT VALLEY

American-Born Included in Army Order

Twenty-five hundred Japanese, both alien and American-born, German and Italians will leave the Pajaro valley under evacuation plans announced Tuesday by the army.

No deadlines have been set, but both enemy aliens and American-born Japanese will be ousted gradually from the western half of the states of Washington, Oregon and California and the southern half of Arizona. The army Tuesday declared that district a military area.

The Pajaro valley, which contains an estimated 2500 persons of Japanese nationality or ancestry, will be one of the areas most affected by the order issued Tuesday by Lt.-Gen. John L. DeWitt, chief of the western defense command. Of the valley's population of approximately 25,000, Japanese and Japanese Americans make up about 10 per cent.

Created in the most drastic step yet taken toward enemy alien control, the area was designed by Gen. DeWitt under authority granted by President Roosevelt. It will affect 140,000 enemy aliens and 70,000 American-born Japanese. California alone has 93,000 alien and American-born Japanese.

Gen. DeWitt emphasized that the proclamation merely sets up the prohibited and restricted areas on the coast and does not represent an order for aliens and Japanese-Americans to move out. Evacuation will be ordered later, with enough time being given to avoid serious hardships to aliens.

The general advised, however, that "those Japanese and other aliens who move into the interior out of this area now will gain considerable advantage and in all probability will not again be disturbed."

Japanese, Japanese-Americans and Germans and Italians in the Pajaro valley will be affected this way by Tuesday's proclamation:

They will not be required to move at once. Eventually, under orders to be issued later, Japanese and Japanese-Americans will be required to leave the coastal area completely. Some under army permission, may be allowed to live and work in a "restricted zone" in the San Joaquin and Sacramento valleys. The rest will be required to move east of a line roughly following the foothills of the Sierra Nevada mountains.

Gen. DeWitt said immediate compulsory mass evacuation of all enemy aliens and American-born Japanese was not practicable and that there would be no mass evacuation. The entire process, he said, will be progressive and gradual, aimed at clearing the vital district but avoiding economic hardship to the extent consistent with the military urgency which impelled the action.

The proclamation set up two special areas and 101 specific zones in this pattern:

1. Military area No. 1: the western half of the three coastal states, the southern border area of California and the southern half of Arizona.
2. Military area No. 2: the parts of the four states not included in No. 1. Enemy aliens and Japanese-Americans may live there.
3. Special prohibited zones A-1 through A-99 inclusive. They include power plants and key military areas in the "restricted zone," where aliens will be barred although they may, under permit, be living in the restricted zone.

DeWitt said future proclamations affecting the area will be concerned with five classes of persons, namely:

Class 1 - Persons suspected of espionage, sabotage, fifth column or other subversive activity.
Class 2 - Japanese aliens.
Class 3 - American-born persons of Japanese lineage.
Class 4 - German aliens.
Class 5 - Italian aliens.

Persons in class 1 are already being apprehended, DeWitt said, and the evacuation program does not concern them.

"Evacuation from military areas will be a continuing process," the military commander said. "Persons in Classes 2 and 3 (alien and American-born Japanese) will be required by future orders to leave certain critical points within the military areas first. These areas will be defined and announced shortly. After exclusion (of aliens and American-born Japanese) has been completed around the most strategic areas, a gradual program of exclusion from the remainder of Military Area No. 1 (all of California except the eastern mountains) will by developed."

When the work is completed, German and Italian aliens will be next in line for evacuation. Germans and Italians over 70 years of age will not have to move unless suspected of enemy activity, the general said. Families of Germans and Italians in the American armed forces also will be exempted unless suspected, the general said.

Boundaries of the prohibited military zone and the restricted zone will be defined in maps to be published in this newspaper within the next few days. In the Monterey Bay area, the prohibited zone extends back from the coast to points east of San Jose, Gilroy, Hollister and Tres Pinos. In other parts of the state the boundary line runs east of Willits, Santa Rosa, Vallejo, San Luis Obispo, Santa Paula, Burbank, Los Angeles, Santa Ana, Escondido, and north of El Centro and Holtville in the Imperial valley. The restricted zone, in which aliens may be permitted under special authorization, includes most of the rest of the state's populated area except for the extreme eastern strip of the San Joaquin and Sacramento valleys.

Enemy aliens and American-born Japanese will be required to register changes of address under a procedure yet to be announced.

Copyrighted by the Watsonville Register-Pajaronian. Reproduced by permission.