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

Full Text Newspaper ArticleWatsonville Register-Pajaronian. Jan. 19, 1945. p. 4


SAN JOSE (Special) - Because of some misunderstanding in regard to Congressman John Z. (Jack) Anderson's attitude regarding Japanese evacuees, the representative from this district has issued the following statement to clarify his stand on the matter:

"As a member of the California congressional delegation I have consistently opposed the return of the Japanese-Americans to the Pacific coast while the war against Japan in the Pacific is in progress. I was one of those who as early as Dec. 8, 1941, advocated the immediate removal of all persons of Japanese descent from restricted and prohibited areas in California, Oregon and Washington.

"The evacuation was accomplished in the spring of 1943 under a military order and for military security. The methods employed and reasons therefor have been upheld by a decision of the United States supreme court. Neither the original order nor the recent decision of the war department to rescind that order are matters that come within the jurisdiction of congress.

"There are two primary reasons why I have consistently opposed the lifting of the exclusion order and the return of Japanese-Americans at this time. First, of course, is the question of security for citizens of Pacific coast states while the Pacific war continues, and second is the safety of the Japanese-Americans themselves. Now things are different, the war department says that the emergency no longer exists, and the supreme court has ruled that these people can no longer be kept from their homes, but as a member of congress I am in a position to know just how bitterly the war department's decision is resented in certain localities in the district I represent. It is my fervent hope that no racial difficulties will occur in view of the fact that serious repercussions might ensue in the Far East.

"We must not forget that the Japanese government is holding thousands of American citizens as interned civilians and prisoners of war. We must exert every effort to insure the fact that no action is taken by us that would in any way endanger their lives and welfare.

"We are living under a constitutional form of government and as a representative in congress I have taken an oath to uphold and defend the constitution of the United States. I am sure that all other citizens will join with me in guaranteeing to all returning citizens of Japanese descent their full rights and privileges under our constitution. No matter what personal feelings we may have we cannot and must not abrogate that great document which preserves our freedom and our civil rights."

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