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Japanese American Evacuation Cases

History, Supreme Court Challenges, The Movement To Redress Victims, Further Readings

In the midst of WORLD WAR II (WWII), from 1942 to 1944, the U.S. Army evacuated Japanese Americans living on the West Coast from their homes and transferred them to makeshift detention camps. The army insisted that it was a "military necessity" to evacuate both citizens and noncitizens of Japanese ancestry, and its actions were supported by President FRANKLIN D. ROOSEVELT and the U.S. Congress. Those who were evacuated suffered tremendous losses, being forced to sell their homes and belongings on very short notice and to live in crowded and unsanitary conditions. A few Japanese Americans challenged the constitutionality of the evacuation orders, but the Supreme Court at first ruled against them. In the years since the end of WWII, the U.S. government has acknowledged the injustice suffered by the Japanese American evacuees, and it has made several efforts to redress their losses.

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