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

Full Text Newspaper ArticleWatsonville Register-Pajaronian. March 5, 1942. p. 5

WHAT OTHER EDITORS SAY: Fair Treatment For Japanese

by Christian Science Monitor

Only the possibility of serious harm to the nation could justify the compulsory uprooting of the thousands of American-born Japanese who are to be removed by the army from Pacific coast areas in which sabotage or aid to the enemy might be disastrous. The possibility did exist, and the presidential order for removal was imperatively needed. This is the opinion of calm thinkers who have the utmost regard for the civil rights of citizens.

"Unprecedented" is one of the terms of criticism voiced by the American Civil Liberties union. But unprecedented also is the residence in a vital combat zone of many thousands of American born individuals who are claimed as citizens by the country of their parents.

Few governments would have waited as long as the United States in trying to find a fair method of dealing with a section of the population so many of whom are open to suspicion as to their loyalty. For several weeks officials and ordinary citizens alike have sought a remedy that would preserve every peacetime right of every citizen and respect the undoubted fiction that the Japanese-American community on the Pacific coast was 100 per cent loyal.

Such a solution simply was not in the realm of possibilities. The presidential order, giving the army authority to evacuate all aliens or citizens deemed of doubtful trustworthiness in an emergency, is the only workable plan put forward.

Now that the order has been given, it should be made effective in the shortest possible time. Japanese-Americans and Japanese aliens too, should be moved to inland points where they can best prove their loyalty to the United States by following the calling in which so many of them are proficient, agriculture. Thus they may help fill a national need and at the same time be self-supporting.

At the war's end, those Japanese-Americans, or even their alien parents, who have clear records on the books of our war department, will have won higher standing as Americans than they have been able to attain under the burden of dual citizenship which the Japanese government has forced upon them.

Their acceptance of the present inconvenience and of the tasks assigned to them will be the best evidence of loyalty. Kindly, generous treatment of them in their new status and cooperation at all points with the army in its problem will similarly give evidence of the loyalty of Americans in general to free and honorable traditions.

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