Answer to Question #157155 in History for Chris

Question #157155

Which Amendment must be violated by the internment of Japanese-Americans?

Expert's answer

The internment of Japanese-Americans was a forced relocation of several Japanese-Americans to detention camps shortly after the Pearl Harbor attack conducted by Imperial Japan. The internment was in effect to an executive order issued by President Roosevelt, which he justified as a military necessity. Americans of Japanese descent were sent to assembly centers and later to permanent concentration centers while many others were incarcerated. The relocation centers were located in remote locales or many miles inland and were characterized by hardship and violence.

The internment of Japanese-Americans was a gross violation of the Fifth Amendment. The Fifth Amendment safeguards a United States citizen’s right to indictment by a grand jury before any criminal charges, right to a fair trial and a citizen should not be deprived of life, liberty or property without due process of the law among others. In 1941, the FBI had arrested several Japanese-Americans, majority of who were US citizens, without any evidence of malfeasance, frozen their assets and denied them of their personal liberty in the relocation centers. There were no charges of disloyalty by the US government against these citizens and the public concern over the Japanese-Americans’ loyalty had stemmed mainly from racial prejudice and ethnic discrimination rather than security risk. 

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