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

Full Text Newspaper ArticleSanta Cruz Sentinel-News, Evening Edition. March 3, 1942. p. 1



Santa Cruz county Tuesday was included in a coastwise strip from the Canadian to the Mexican border from which eventually all Japanese, alien and citizen, will be required to move and the same evacuation will be requested for Italian and German aliens with certain exceptions.

The exceptions for the German and Italian aliens, who will not be evacuated until after work of moving out the Japanese is completed, are:

1.--Those 70 years of age or over will not be required to move "except when individually suspected."

2.--Also exempted will be the families, including parents, wives, children, sisters and brothers of Germans and Italians in the armed forces," unless such removal is required for specific reasons.


Most of the Italian families in Santa Cruz, particularly those connected with the fishing industry, have sons in the defense forces, principally the navy, and would be eligible to remain where they now reside.

The army Tuesday declared the western half of Washington, Oregon and California and the southern half of Arizona a military area from which enemy aliens and American-born Japanese will be ousted progressively to rid the Pacific coast of a potential fifth column threat.

Created in the most drastic step yet taken toward alien control, the area was designated by Lieut. Gen. John L. DeWitt, chief of the western defense command, under authority granted by President Roosevelt and the war department. It affected 140,000 enemy aliens and 70,000 American-born Japanese. Oregon and Washington have 27,000.

DeWitt emphasized the proclamation merely sets up 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.


He said immediate compulsory mass evacuation of all enemy aliens and American-born Japanese was not practicable, and that there would be no mass evacuation.

DeWitt said the entire process would 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.

3.--Prohibited zones A-1 through A-99 inclusive: Scattered through Areas 1 and 2. (Prohibited zone A-1 embraced the entire coastal district of Washington, Oregon and California and the area around the southern border of Arizona.)

4.--Restricted Zone D: The interior half of Military Area No. 1 except for such prohibited districts included in Zones A-2 to A-99 which might come within Zone B.

DeWitt's proclamation split the four states into fourths. One fourth--the coastal areas of the three Pacific coast states and the southern border of Arizona--was designated prohibited Zone A-1. The second fourth, except for certain prohibited zones within, was designated restricted Zone B. Together, these two fourths form Military Area No. 1. The third and fourth quarters of the four states form Military Area No. 2. There are to be no restrictions in Area No. 2 except for certain established prohibited zones.


After defining the zones, DeWitt gave a glimpse of the procedure which would be followed in removing or restricting enemy aliens and Japanese-Americans from their boundaries.

He announced that future proclamations affecting the area would be concerned with five classes of persons, namely:

Class1.--All persons suspected of espionage, sabotage, fifth column or other subversive activity.

Class 2.--Japanese aliens, of whom there are more than 50,000.

Class 3.--American-born Japanese, of whom there are an estimated 70,000.

Class 4.--German aliens.

Class 5.--Italian aliens.

DeWitt said persons in Class 1 were being apprehended daily by the FBI and other intelligence services. The evacuation program itself does not concern with them.

"Evacuation from military areas will be a continuing process," DeWitt 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 has been completed around the most strategic areas, a gradual program of exclusion from the remainder of Military Area No. 1 will be developed."

When that work is completed, DeWitt said, German and Italian aliens would be next in line for evacuation, with the exception of the exemptions.

"Eventually orders will be issued requiring all Japanese, including those who are American-born, to vacate all of Military Area No. 1," he said. "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."

Much of the territory in Zone A-1 and other districts already has been cleared of most of its aliens by Department of Justice action. So far 10,000 aliens, mostly Japanese, have been evacuated from homes near such strategic location as waterfronts, airports, army posts, flying fields, reservoirs, power plants, dams, lighthouses and similar installations.


DeWitt's proclamation, greatly broadening the prohibited area, said actions previously taken by the Attorney General of the United States in Dec. 7 and 8 proclamations "and instructions, rules and regulations prescribed by him relative to prohibited and restricted areas," were adopted by the army and were continued in full force and effect. He said the proclamation furthermore did not alter duty and responsibility of the Federal Bureau of Investigation with regards to investigating alleged acts of espionage and sabotage.

The general said that while military necessity is the most vital consideration in the program, "the fullest attention is being given the effect upon individual and property rights."

"The government is fully aware of the problems involved, particularly with respect to property, resettlement and relocation of the groups to be affected," he said. "Since the issuance of the executive order, all aspects of the various problems have been subjected to careful study by appropriate agencies of the federal government.

"Plans are being developed to minimize economic dislocation and the sacrifice of property rights."

Monday DeWitt announced creation of a special civilian staff headed by Tom C. Clark, federal alien coordinator, to assist the army in the economic planning made necessary by the evacuations.

Informed that governors of nine interior states were protesting any resettlement of Japanese in their areas, DeWitt said military necessity must take precedence over civilian wishes.

The proclamation and the evacuation orders which are to follow "shortly" are culmination of an alien control policy the government instituted immediately after the attack on Pearl Harbor.

F. B. I.

F. B. I. agents seized key Japanese, German and Italian leaders in nationwide raids. Then aliens were ordered to turn in cameras, shotguns, short wave radio sets, binoculars and other materials for spying or sabotage. Next all enemy nationals were ordered to register so the government could check identities and residences.

In January the policy of excluding enemy aliens from strategic areas was developed. The army and the F. B. I. cleared 147 such districts in the four western states on Feb. 15 and Feb. 24. F. B. I. agents instituted wholesale raids to seize contraband and "potentially dangerous enemy aliens" including leaders of Japanese, Italian and German labor, military and naval societies.

Thus approximately 15,000 enemy aliens were brought into custody or removed from vital areas.

DeWitt's proclamation seeks to bring all remaining enemy aliens on the coast--closest area to possible Japanese attack--under control.

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