Japanese Relocation in WWII

In December of 1941 following the attack on Pearl Harbor, the United States went into a state of panic and war preparation. Among the panic, Americans began to feat that there were Japanese spies among the population of Japanese-Americans. Loyalty was a strong custom in Japan, and many feared that this loyalty would turn Japanese-Americans against the United States. The government became concerned with national defense as the war with Japan began, so General J. L. De Witt, the head of the western defense command, urged Congress to relocate thousands of Japanese Americans living in California to detention camps. He was not concerned with whether or not the person is an American citizen, just that they were of Japanese decent. De Witt wanted to move those of Japanese decent because the Western Coast was close to the Pacific Ocean, where most battles would be fought with the Japanese.
The relocation of 120,000 Japanese to detention camps directly violated the Constitution in many ways, although the Supreme Court never ruled that this removal was unconstitutional. Many historians and political analysts, however, believe that direct rights were violated (1). Article XIV. Section 1 of the Constitution declares that, "No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws." (2) This right was directly violated when the Japanese-Americans were taken to the relocation camps without due process of law. Article IV of the Constitution protects the people from unreasonable searches and seizures. A warrant describing the place to be searched and the persons or things to be seized is needed to raid a home. No such warrant existed when the 120,000 people were seized from there homes. (1,2)Furthe…


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