This chapter examines the forced removal and incarceration of the Nikkei. On February 19, 1942, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9066. With a stroke of his pen, and without regard for the U.S. Constitution, the president set in motion the process of forced removal and incarceration of an entire people charged with no crime. This episode was “a historical moment when the cultural, racial, and national Otherness of the Asian was most lucidly articulated, most undisputed, and most resolutely dealt with by the American citizenry and state.” The executive order gave the Western Defense Commander, Lieutenant General John L. DeWitt, the power to exclude from designated “military areas” “any or all persons.” As such, Nikkei living within DeWitt's exclusion zone were then herded into temporary detention centers, officially called “Assembly Centers,” managed by the Wartime Civilian Control Administration (WCCA), an agency of the army's Western Defense Command (WDC).
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