February 21, 1942

Can Remove Aliens or Citizens
WASHINGTON, D.C.—President Roosevelt yesterday issued an executive order—released today—authorizing the war department to create restricted military zones throughout the nation and to remove “…any and all persons…” from these zones or prevent them from entering. The authorization allows the military to remove citizen or alien, but the true intent of the measure is generally accepted to be targeting Japanese and those of Japanese descent living on the West Coast. Approximately 39,000 Japanese aliens and 60,000 second-generation Japanese along with 52,000 Italian aliens and 19,000 German aliens live in California. The order stated, in part, “…successful prosecution of the war required every possible protection against espionage and against sabotage to national defense material, national defense premises, and national defense utilities.” Attorney General Francis Biddle stated explicitly that this is not marital law. Secretary of War Henry L. Stimson was authorized to supply individuals removed or excluded from these areas with transportation, accommodation, food, and shelter as necessary.

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