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

Full Text Newspaper ArticleWatsonville Register-Pajaronian. Sept. 14, 1943. p. 1


Washington (UP) - President Roosevelt reported to the Senate Tuesday that the War Relocation Authority has started a program to segregate disloyal persons of Japanese ancestry from pro-Americans among the 110,000 persons who were evacuated from their west coast homes after Pearl Harbor.

The report on operations of the Relocation Authority was prepared by War Mobilization Director James F. Byrnes and officials of the Authority. The report was submitted in response to a Senate resolution calling for the segregation program and "a full and complete authoritative statement" on conditions in the 10 relocation centers in California, Idaho, Utah, Arizona, Colorado, Wyoming and Arkansas.

In his letter of transmittal, Mr. Roosevelt said the segregation program began this month with the transfer to a center at Tule Lake in northeastern California of some persons of Japanese origin "who have indicated that their loyalties lie with Japan."

"It is established," Mr. Roosevelt said, "that the disloyal persons among the evacuees constitute but a small minority, and that the great majority...are loyal to the democratic institutions of the United States."

Under plans of the Authority, Americans of Japanese ancestry who are loyal to this country will be permitted to work in "normal homes and jobs" everywhere except in the evacuated areas.

"We shall restore to the loyal evacuees the right to return to the evacuated areas as soon as the military situation will make such restoration feasible," the President said.

"In vindication of the very ideals for which we are fighting this war it is important to us to maintain a high standard of fair, considerate and equal treatment for the people of this minority as of all other minorities."

The report said the first group to be segregated would be about 6300 evacuees who have applied for repatriation or expatriation to Japan. This group will be added to with the completion of a number of loyalty investigations still in progress.

The present population of the 10 relocation centers was put at about 95,000. Two-thirds of these are American citizens by virtue of birth in this country.

About 10,000 evacuees, including 900 college students, are out of the centers now on indefinite leave, filling jobs and maintaining homes after investigation proved their loyalty to this country.

The report questioned the constitutionality of interning American citizens who have not been charged with disloyalty or subversiveness and pointed out that detention in a relocation center is not "a permanent part of the evacuation process."

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