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Review of The Two Sides Argumentation Regarding Japanese Internment Camps

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Shortly after the horrific events of Pearl Harbor on December 7th, 1941, the lives of hundreds of thousands of ethnic Japenese people, both aliens and Citizens of the United States, would be changed in some major ways. Executive Order 9066, signed two and a half months after these events, allowed the government to remove any person they deemed “undesirable” from certain military areas. This order ultimately led to the forced movement of most ethnic Japenese, who were sent to Internment Camps set up throughout the nation. Families were to leave their lifestyles and property, only carrying small suitcases filled with supplies of their past lives. The camps consisted of hastily built barracks, where each family had a room with hardly any supplies inside. This article, Japanese American Internment Preservation of National Security or Violation of Japanese Americans’ Rights?, written by Jennifer Dunham, explains the two sides that people argue about regarding internment camps: the Internment Camps were justified considering the situation, or the Internment Camps were unconstitutional and immoral.

The side that sides in favor of the internment camps argues that these measures had to be taken out of military necessity. The article explains that, “Japanese Americans still loyal to Japan could comprise a ‘fifth column’ that was sympathetic to the Japanese war effort, supporters of internment asserted. That ‘fifth column’ could sabotage key installations on the West Coast or aid Japan in an invasion, they warned.” Supporters describe how such a high risk to national security could not be ignored again. The safety of the military areas was highly important, and so advocates argue that these major events were carried out to ensure the safety of these areas. According to First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt, “There was no time to investigate families, or to adhere strictly to the American rule that a man is innocent until he is proven guilty.” Those who support the orders use this as one of the larger justifications of the Internment Camps. Advocates also argue that the Japenese living in America would have likely been involved in violent race riots due to the negative perception of ethnic Japenese during this time. The potential for Japenese people in the United States to seriously harm military installations, as well as other reasons, are some of the justifications that supporters use.

Those who oppose the use of the Internment Camps explain that the executive order targeted people purely based off of race, and unconstitutionally confined both aliens and U.S. citizens. Eugene Rostow wrote that, ‘All in all, the case of the Japanese-Americans is the worst blow our liberties have sustained in many years.’ These people were treated like criminals, even though they had no formal charges against them. Opponents say that they were enforced into all of this simply because of their race. Author Jennifer Dunham writes, “[Opponents] argued that the U.S. government should have taken the time and effort to separate the ethnic Japanese who were most likely to aid the enemy from the overwhelming majority of those who were loyal.” They explained that there were not any convictions of espionage from the interned Japanese Americans. Opponents listed many reasons against the Japanese Internment camps, diving into further detail of the unlawful and unnecessary actions that were passed by President Franklin D. Roosevelt.

Learning information regarding both sides of this argument, I am more convinced by those who oppose the Internment Camps. These Japanese Americans, many U.S. citizens, were forced to leave everything they had built up in their lives, and be forcefully relocated to barracks that provided very little for them. These innocent people were moved solely for the reason that they were the same race as the enemy. There was no proof that these people worked for the Japanese Empire, however, that did not stop the government. The Executive Order was in direct violation of the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments, yet the order was still released. These events forever changed the lives of all of the people who lived in Internment Camps. 

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Review Of The Two Sides Argumentation Regarding Japanese Internment Camps. (2021, December 16). GradesFixer. Retrieved January 28, 2022, from
“Review Of The Two Sides Argumentation Regarding Japanese Internment Camps.” GradesFixer, 16 Dec. 2021,
Review Of The Two Sides Argumentation Regarding Japanese Internment Camps. [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 28 Jan. 2022].
Review Of The Two Sides Argumentation Regarding Japanese Internment Camps [Internet]. GradesFixer. 2021 Dec 16 [cited 2022 Jan 28]. Available from:
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