Forced Evacuations

April 30, 1942

Report Outline
Enemy Aliens and the American War Effort
Evacuations from Pacific Coast Area
Plans for Resettlement of Evacuees
Special Focus

Enemy Aliens and the American War Effort

Arrest of Dangerous Axis Citizens by F.B.I.

The american declarations of war against Germany, Italy and Japan put over one million citizens of those powers living in the United States in a class known as enemy aliens. The Federal Bureau of Investigation began, immediately after Congress had acted, to arrest and intern those Axis citizens whose activities were considered dangerous to the public safety or to the success of the country's war effort. During the first two months of American participation in the war some 1,300 Japanese, about 1,100 Italians, and close to 800 Germans were taken into custody and placed under detention at Fort Missoula, Montana, and at Fort Lincoln, North Dakota.

For several weeks following the war declarations, the American public showed no great concern over the presence in the United States of large numbers of enemy aliens, but publication of the Roberts Report on the disaster at Pearl Harbor, January 24, brought a quick upsurge of feeling against Japanese residents of the Pacific Coast states.

Call for Total Evacuation on Pacific Coast

Attorney General Biddle announced, January 29, the creation of certain limited military areas in California, Oregon and Washington. All enemy aliens were to be evacuated from the designated areas within two or three weeks. The Attorney General's orders were criticised on the Pacific Coast as falling far short of meeting the requirements of the situation. The West Coast delegation in Congress recommended to the President, February 13, “the immediate evacuation of all persons of Japanese lineage and all others, aliens and citizens alike, whose presence shall be deemed dangerous or inimical to the defense of the United States, from all strategic areas.”

ISSUE TRACKER for Related Reports
United States During World War II
Mar. 13, 1945  The Nation's Health
Aug. 14, 1943  Quality Labeling
Aug. 06, 1943  Voting in 1944
Jul. 27, 1943  Civilian Production in a War Economy
Mar. 08, 1943  Labor Turnover and Absenteeism
Nov. 06, 1942  War Contracts and Profit Limitation
Oct. 10, 1942  Control of Manpower
Aug. 14, 1942  Soldiers and Politics
Jul. 16, 1942  Reduction of Non-War Government Spending
Jul. 08, 1942  Education for War Needs
Jun. 20, 1942  Roll Calls in 1942 Campaign
Jun. 12, 1942  War Shipping and Shipbuilding
Apr. 30, 1942  Forced Evacuations
Apr. 21, 1942  Politics in Wartime
Apr. 14, 1942  Agricultural Import Shortages
Feb. 10, 1942  Disease in Wartime
Jan. 12, 1942  Wartime Rationing
Jun. 19, 1941  Sabotage
Dec. 13, 1940  Shipping and the War
Oct. 24, 1940  Price Control in Wartime
Jul. 20, 1940  Labor in Wartime
Oct. 05, 1937  Alien Political Agitation in the United States
Civil Rights and Civil Liberty Issues
U.S. at War: World War II
War and Conflict
World War II