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Taken: Oregonians Arrested after Pearl Harbor


The Authority for the Arrests

The Alien Enemies Act (AEA) and Executive Order (EO) 9066 differed in their scope and in the treatment of those affected. The AEA becomes operational upon declaration of war and a public proclamation by the President that, "natives, citizens, or subjects of the hostile nation" could be "apprehended, restrained, secured, and removed as alien enemies." President Roosevelt signed just such a proclamation against nationals of Japan, Germany, and Italy within the United States on December 8, 1941. EO 9066, signed by President Roosevelt on February 19, 1942, authorized the Secretary of War to "prescribe military areas ... from which any or all persons may be excluded." It did not specify a particular group or individuals, but the intended targets were all people of Japanese ancestry — either "alien enemies" or American citizens. The AEA specifically targeted Japanese nationals, while EO 9066 could exclude anyone, citizens included, from the designated area.

The Alien Enemies Act internment timeline lasted from December 1941 to 1947 — two years after the end of World War II. In all, the Army and Department of Justice interned nearly 32,000 alien nationals, of which over 17,000 were Issei or their dependents.

Based on this original

Photo of inmates held in Sante Fe, NM
uploaded by Oregon_Nikkei
Included in this photo are Masuo Yasui, Daiichi Takeoka, and others at the Sante Fe camp in 1944.  ONLC 207, gift of the Takeoka Family. More »

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