WWII Incarceration

World War II Incarceration: Dec. 1944

In Korematsu v. United States, the U.S. Supreme Court rules against Fred Korematsu, upholding the constitutionality of the forced removal of Japanese Americans from their homes. 

War Department lifts orders excluding Japanese Americans from the west coast, effective January 2, 1945.

World War II Incarceration: August 1945

U.S. drops an atomic bomb on Hiroshima. Three days later, the U.S. uses an atomic weapon on Nagasaki. On August 14, Japan surrenders.

World War II Incarceration: Sept. 1945

Justice Department announces its intention to deport Tule Lake renunciants.

World War II Incarceration: Nov. 1945

Group of Tule Lake renunciants file a mass habeas corpus petition, Abo v. Clark, to prevent deportation. They file another suit to reinstate their U.S. citizenship.

World War II Incarceration: Jan. 1946

Justice Department beings holding “mitigation hearings” for renunciants.  Those who can prove that they were under duress at the time of their renunciations are freed.

World War II Incarceration: March 1946

Tule Lake camp closes.  One thousand renunciants whose mitigation hearings have not taken place are transferred to a Justice Department camp at Crystal City, Texas.

World War II Incarceration: June 1947

A U.S. District Judge orders all remaining renunciants freed and cancels their deportation. Government appeals.

World War II Incarceration: 1948

President Harry Truman signs the Japanese Evacuation Claims Act providing limited compensation for property losses suffered by former incarcerees.

World War II Incarceration: 1950

Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals rules that although the government allowed repressive conditions at Tule Lake that contributed to the renunciations, the government must be given the opportunity to prove that specific individuals would have renounced their citizenship regardless of the intimidation and violence in the camp.  Faced with the prospect of thousands of trials, the Justice Department creates a process allowing a renunciant to file an affidavit explaining the reasons for renunciation.  If nothing in the government’s files contradicted the affidavit, the renunciant will reg

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