World War II Incarceration: July 1944

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Ernest Besig, executive director of the ACLU of Northern California visits Tule Lake and learns that 18 citizens (out of an initial group of over 100 men) had been held without charges in the Tule Lake stockade for the previous eight months. Besig enlists Wayne Collins to secure the prisoners’ release.  Collins tells the WRA that he intends to bring habeas corpus proceedings on behalf of the prisoners, and the WRA quietly releases them from the stockade.

President Roosevelt signs legislation allowing a U.S. citizen to renounce American citizenship during a war. This triggers months of violence, intimidation, fear-mongering, and bullying by disillusioned and bitter Issei (Japanese immigrants) and Kibei (Nisei educated in Japan) to compel fearful incarcerees to renounce their citizenship. Eventually, 5,000 Tule Lake incarcerees (including minors) renounce.