Concept

War Relocation Authority

Résumé
The War Relocation Authority (WRA) was a United States government agency established to handle the internment of Japanese Americans during World War II. It also operated the Fort Ontario Emergency Refugee Shelter in Oswego, New York, which was the only refugee camp set up in the United States for refugees from Europe. The agency was created by Executive Order 9102 on March 18, 1942, by President Franklin D. Roosevelt, and was terminated June 26, 1946, by order of President Harry S. Truman. After the December 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor, President Franklin D. Roosevelt issued Executive Order 9066, authorizing military commanders to create zones from which certain persons could be excluded if they posed a threat to national security. Many people of Japanese ancestry were also suspected of espionage after the Pearl Harbor attack. Military Areas 1 and 2 were created soon after, encompassing all of California and parts of Washington, Oregon, and Arizona, and subsequent civilian exclusion orders informed Japanese Americans residing in these zones they would be scheduled for "evacuation." The executive order also applied to Alaska as well, bringing the entire United States West Coast as off-limits to Japanese nationals and Americans of Japanese descent. On March 18, 1942, the WRA was formed via Executive Order 9102, with Milton S. Eisenhower as the original director. Eisenhower was a proponent of Roosevelt's New Deal and disapproved of the idea of mass internment. Early on he had tried, unsuccessfully, to limit the internment to adult men, allowing women and children to remain free, and he pushed to keep WRA policy in line with the original idea of making the camps similar to subsistence homesteads in the rural interior of the country. This, along with proposals for helping Japanese Americans resettle in labor-starved farming communities outside the exclusion zone, was met with opposition from the governors of these interior states, who worried about security issues and claimed it was "politically infeasible," at a meeting in Salt Lake City in April 1942.
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