What were the lasting impacts of the Japanese internment camps?
I'm currently doing a project for history and I've chosen to focus on the Japanese internment camps. From what I understand, the Japanese internment camps were whitewashed and given a half a page in history textbooks, but nothing more than that. Yes, I know, compensation was given, but it was a mere $20,000 to each individual, some even losing their homes. I guess what I'm asking is, what happened as a result of the camps to ensure something like this would never happen again? Were there laws put in place? I'd just like to know if these camps actually changed American history.
Another quick question. What happened to their homes? I see many articles saying they were forced to sell their homes and businesses, but what if they weren't able to? Were they simply taken and sold off by the government?
I appreciate any and all help that you can provide me with. Thank you!
- staisilLv 76 years agoFavorite Answer
A number of significant legal decisions arose out of Japanese American internment, relating to the powers of the government to detain citizens in wartime. Among the cases which reached the Supreme Court were Yasui v. United States (1943), Hirabayashi v. United States (1943), ex parte Endo (1944) and Korematsu v. United States (1944). In Yashui and Hirabayashi the court upheld the constitutionality of curfews based on Japanese ancestry; in Korematsu the court upheld the constitutionality of the exclusion order. In Endo, the court accepted a petition for a writ of habeas corpus and ruled that the WRA had no authority to subject a citizen whose loyalty was acknowledged to its procedures.
Korematsu's conviction (as well as the Hirabayashi and Yasui convictions) were overturned in a series of coram nobis cases in the early 1980s. In the coram nobis cases, federal district and appellate courts ruled that newly uncovered evidence revealed the existence of a manifest injustice which—had it been known at the time—would likely have changed the Supreme Court's decisions in the Yasui, Hirabayashi, and Korematsu cases. These new court decisions rested on a series of documents recovered from the National Archives showing that the government had withheld important and relevant information from the Supreme Court regarding the Army's alteration of evidence (namely, the report by General DeWitt justifying the internment program), including destroying documents in an effort to hide the fact that alterations had been made. The coram nobis cases overturned the convictions in all three original cases, and are regarded as one of the impetuses for the 1988 Civil Liberties Act.
It is important to note, however, that the coram nobis cases only nullified the factual underpinnings of the 1944 Korematsu case and its brethren. The legal conclusions in Korematsu -- i.e. its expansive interpretation of government powers in wartime -- were not overturned. In light of this fact, a number of legal scholars have expressed the opinion that the original Korematsu and Hirabayashi decisions have taken on an added relevance in the context of the War on terror.
In the aftermath of the attacks of September 11, 2001, polls have found a third or more of the US public willing to intern Arab Americans in the way in which Japanese Americans were interned during World War II. The United States has instituted Special Registration, requiring annual photographing, fingerprinting, and interviewing of all men (except permanent residents of the US) from any of twenty-five countries, most of them predominantly Muslim, as well as monitoring of their movements within the US and restrictions of their right to travel. Many people are concerned that Arabs or Muslims in the US could be subjected to internment in the future, given the significant public support for such a practice and the enactment of legislation similar to the Alien Registration Act of 1940.
- Guru HankLv 76 years ago
The Japanese population of the US have been able to plead victimhood ever since world war 2.
This is crazy, because if they had been in the UK instead of the USA they really would have had something to complain about. We stuck all our troublesome Italians on ships and sent them to Canada, with the result that a lot of them got torpedoed and drowned. There were and are no particular plans to apologise for any actions taken at the time.
- tuffyLv 76 years ago
This was clearly a violation of there constitutional rights. Their homes, businesses and bank accounts were seized by the US. government.