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

Full Text Newspaper ArticleSanta Cruz Sentinel-News, Morning Edition. Feb. 3, 1942. p. 1



The federal alien restricted area ruling of Attorney General Francis Biddle brought wartime reality into the heart of Santa Cruz county yesterday when all the area west of state highway No. 1 (the Coast road and Watsonville highway) south of Laguna Creek to the Carmel river was declared a restricted zone.

Thus the heart of the city of Santa Cruz was included in the restricted zone, with the Coast road running down Mission street then out Water street to Soquel avenue and out the Watsonville highway, the border of the restricted area.

Several hundred aliens will be affected by the ruling according to a survey conducted by the Sentinel-News last night.


Hardest hit will be the Italian fishing colony at the wharf and the artichoke growers up the coast, the survey revealed. According to Donald Younger, over 3500 acres of artichokes and brussels sprouts are farmed by Italian-American families in the county. Younger estimated that about half of these farmers are aliens.

Representatives of the Sprout Growers' association and local shippers did not know last night how many of the growers would be affected by the ruling, but stated that probably 75 per cent of the workers on the ranches are aliens.

However, the representatives did state that the ruling was going to work a hardship on the artichoke and sprout growers, but "It is one of those things, and will have to be worked out."

Farm Advisor Henry Washburn and Agricultural Inspector Matt Mello could not estimate the number of farms that would be affected by the ruling last night, but it was believed that it would greatly affect Santa Cruz county agriculture.


The Watsonville end of the county is sparsely populated in the restricted zone although there is a colony of Japanese farmers along the Beach road.

Unofficial estimates revealed that between 20,000 and 25,000 people of the county's 45,000 inhabitants live in the restricted zone. Of these people, about 1500 families have alien members that will have to move out. In some instances the entire family will have to move, but those will be rare cases.

According to Attorney General Biddle, the aliens must be moved out of the restricted area by February 24. Local enforcement officials stated they believed that enforcement of the alien movement will be handled by federal agents, although the local officers expressed their willingness to co-operate.

The Santa Cruz restricted area was specifically listed as:

"Santa Cruz and Monterey counties, including part of Santa Cruz and Monterey; commencing at the mouth of Laguna creek running up the creek to state highway No. 1 (coast road), then south on state highway No. 1 to the Carmel river and along the Carmel river to the Pacific ocean, then up the shore line to the point of beginning."

Included in the restricted area were Capitola, Rio del Mar, La Selva, part of Soquel, Aptos, Freedom, Palm Beach, etc.

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