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

Full Text Newspaper ArticleSanta Cruz Sentinel-News, Evening Edition. March 31, 1942. p. 1


Deadline On Illegal Goods Near

A quiet exodus by voluntary evacuees up to Sunday midnight's deadline leaves only twenty families of Japanese aliens and Japanese-Americans in the northern section of the county to await compulsory evacuation under army orders.

That figure was reported Tuesday by Earl Lawton, local director of U. S. employment services, clearing house cog for a part of the evacuation machinery.

As the midnight deadline neared on Japanese-American possession of contraband articles, it became evident that the Nipponese of American citizenship are availing themselves of the privilege of either selling, giving away, or storing the articles prohibited to them by the government.


Lawton, who set up facilities to receive such goods if the Japanese cared to deposit them in his office, reported Tuesday that none had been turned in there. The same situation held at the sheriff's and city police offices.

When possession of weapons, cameras and other contraband was ruled illegal for enemy aliens of Japanese, German, and Italian nationality after outbreak of the war, the aliens were required to turn over their possession to local law enforcement officers. Such articles were transferred to government control.

Three destinations figured in the voluntary evacuation, according to Lawton.

Japanese-American children of alien residents earlier moved from the coast prohibited area rejoined their parents in localities in the San Joaquin valley, around Stockton, Fresno and other cities.


Others also moved to sites in that valley to establish new homes and another group crossed the Sierras to settle as far east as Colorado. That state marked the most easterly progress, Lawton said.

There has been no indication when Japanese citizens still remaining in the county will be moved out under army orders. With voluntary evacuation canceled, they must remain in their present homes until that order comes, subject meanwhile to curfew restrictions.

The second evacuation order came Tuesday from the western defense command, now in control of enemy aliens in the coast states, involving nearly 3000 aliens and their American-born children in the vital Los Angeles harbor area.

Tuesday's order was a forerunner of others to come when facilities have been prepared to care for the evacuees, which will eventually draw Santa Cruz county's to camps.

Lawton described the Japanese aliens and citizen alike as "very philosophical and quite calm" in acceptance of the army edict.

"The tragedy of broken families is the most serious aspect of the situation," he said.

Pressure at present falls on Japanese. Evacuation of German and Italian aliens from the entire county will come later, subject to certain exemptions announced by the western defense command Sunday.

The army moved today to protect the vital Los Angeles harbor area against possible sabotage by ordering the evacuation of nearly 3000 Japanese aliens and their American born children.

It was the second evacuation ordered by the western defense command since it was given control of enemy aliens in the Pacific coast states by order of President Roosevelt.

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