The united states should not be detaining citizens in wartime

In waging the war on terrorism, one of the many challenges facing the United States is to avoid the civil liberties mistakes of the past. The nation's founders, well aware of the tension between security and freedom, were concerned that Americans would be tempted to curtail civil liberties in times of war. Induring the debates over the framing of the Constitution, Alexander Hamilton predicted that when faced with war or other threats, America would "resort for repose and security to institutions which have a tendency to destroy their civil and political rights. To be more safe, they, at length, become willing to run the risk of being less free.

The united states should not be detaining citizens in wartime

Visit Website On December 7,just hours after the bombing of Pearl Harbor, the FBI rounded-up 1, Japanese community and religious leaders, arresting them without evidence and freezing their assets.

In January, the arrestees were transferred to facilities in MontanaNew Mexico and North Dakotamany unable to inform their families and most remaining for the duration of the war. Concurrently, the FBI searched the private homes of thousands of Japanese residents on the West Coast, seizing items considered contraband.

In a panic, some politicians called for their mass incarceration.

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Japanese-owned fishing boats were impounded. Some Japanese residents were arrested and 1, people—one percent of the Japanese population in Hawaii—were sent to camps on the U. DeWitt, leader of the Western Defense Command, believed that the civilian population needed to be taken control of to prevent a repeat of Pearl Harbor.

The united states should not be detaining citizens in wartime

To argue his case, DeWitt prepared a report filled with known falsehoods, such as examples of sabotage that were later revealed to be the result of cattle damaging power lines. His original plan included Italians and Germans, though the idea of rounding-up European-descent Americans was not as popular.

At Congressional hearings in Februarya majority of the testimonies, including those from California Governor Culbert L. Biddle pleaded with the president that mass evacuation of citizens was not required, preferring smaller, more targeted security measures.

Regardless, Roosevelt signed the order. Inland state citizens were not keen for new Japanese residents, and they were met with racist resistance. Ten state governors voiced opposition, fearing the Japanese might never leave, and demanded they be locked up if the states were forced to accept them.


A civilian organization called the War Relocation Authority was set up in March to administer the plan, with Milton S. Eisenhower, from the Department of Agriculture, to lead it. Eisenhower only lasted until Juneresigning in protest over what he characterized as incarcerating innocent citizens.

People had six days notice to dispose of their belongings other than what they could carry. Japanese Americans reported to centers near their homes. From there they were transported to a relocation center where they might live for months before transfer to a permanent wartime residence.

BRIA 21 1 b Detaining U.S. Citizens as Enemy Combatants - Constitutional Rights Foundation

These centers were located in remote areas, often reconfigured fairgrounds and racetracks featuring buildings not meant for human habitation, like horse stalls or cow sheds, that had been converted for that purpose.

The Santa Anita Assembly Center, just several miles northeast of Los Angeles, was a de-facto city with 18, interred, 8, of whom lived in stables.

Food shortages and substandard sanitation were prevalent in these facilities. Jobs ranged from doctors to teachers to laborers and mechanics. A couple of assembly centers were the sites of camouflage net factories, which provided work.

There were opportunities for farm work during a labor shortage, and over 1, internees were sent to other states to do seasonal farm work.Roosevelt's order affected , people of Japanese descent, two-thirds of whom were native-born citizens of the United States.

Japanese Internment Camps - HISTORY

The Issei were the first generation of Japanese in this country; the Nisei were the second generation, numbering 70, American citizens at the time of internment.

It did not, in Souter’s opinion, authorize detaining citizens as enemy combatants. Although Souter argued that AUMF did not give the president authority to detain citizens without charges, the opinion of the court ruled otherwise.

The united states should not be detaining citizens in wartime

ment of the United States is detaining him, an American citizen on American soil, with the explanation that he was citizens fiexcept pursuant to an Act of Congress,fl is that the statute does not even apply to military wartime deten-tions, being beyond the sphere of domestic criminal law.

We therefore favor legislation that would clarify that military detention in counterterrorism under the AUMF is not available with respect to any persons–whether United States citizens or aliens. The internment of Japanese Americans in the United States of America during World War II was the forced relocation and incarceration in concentration camps in the western interior of the country of between , and , people of Japanese ancestry, most of whom lived on the Pacific coast.

The United States urged North Korea to free detained American citizens Monday after the communist nation said it will deal with the detainees according to wartime law in protest of Washington's.

BRIA 21 1 b Detaining U.S. Citizens as Enemy Combatants - Constitutional Rights Foundation