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Franklin D. Roosevelt: Message to the Senate on the <B><font color='#cc3300'>Segregation</font></B> Program of the War Relocation Authority.
Franklin D. Roosevelt
104 - Message to the Senate on the Segregation Program of the War Relocation Authority.
September 14, 1943
Public Papers and Addresses of Franklin D. Roosevelt
Franklin D. Roosevelt<br>1943
Franklin D. Roosevelt
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The President of the Senate:

On July 6, 1943, the Senate considered and agreed to Senate Resolution 166.

The Resolution relates to the program for relocating persons of Japanese ancestry evacuated from west coast military areas, and asks that the President issue an Executive Order to accomplish two things—(1) to direct the War Relocation Authority to segregate the disloyal persons, and the persons whose loyalty is questionable, from those whose loyalty to the United States has been established, and (2) to direct the appropriate agency of the Government to issue a full and complete authoritative statement on conditions in relocation centers and plans for future operations.

I find that the War Relocation Authority has already undertaken a program of segregation. That program is now under way. The first train movements began in early September.

In response to the Resolution I asked the Director of the Office of War Mobilization to issue a full and complete authoritative public statement on conditions in relocation centers and plans for future operations. A short preliminary statement on this subject was issued on July 17, 1943. A full and complete statement is being made public today. Copies of these statements are transmitted with this message.

Thus, both of the steps called for in Senate Resolution 166 have already been taken, and it appears that issuance of a further Executive Order is not necessary for accomplishment of these purposes.

The segregation program of the War Relocation Authority provides for transferring to a single center, the Tule Lake Center in northeastern California, those persons of Japanese ancestry residing in relocation centers who have indicated that their loyalties lie with Japan. All persons among the evacuees who have expressed a wish to return to Japan for permanent residence have been included among the segregants, along with those among the citizen evacuees who have answered in the negative, or have refused to answer, a direct question as to their willingness to declare their loyalty to the United States and to renounce any allegiance to any foreign Government. In addition, those evacuees who are found, after investigation and hearing, to be ineligible to secure indefinite leave from a relocation center, under the leave regulations of the War Relocation Authority, are to be included among the segregants.

While the precise number of segregants is not established at this time because a number of leave clearance investigations have not yet been completed, it is established that the disloyal persons among the evacuees constitute but a small minority, and that the great majority of evacuees are loyal to the democratic institutions of the United States.

Arrangements are being completed for the adequate guarding and supervision of the segregated evacuees. They will be adequately fed and housed and their treatment will in all respects be fair and humane; they will not, however, be eligible to leave the Tule Lake Center while the war with Japan continues or so long as the military situation requires their residence there. An appeals procedure to allow for the correction of mistakes made in determining who shall be segregated has been established so that the entire procedure may be fair and equitable.

With the segregation of the disloyal evacuees in a separate center, the War Relocation Authority proposes now to redouble its efforts to accomplish the relocation into normal homes and jobs in communities throughout the United States, but outside the evacuated areas, of those Americans of Japanese ancestry whose loyalty to this country has remained unshaken through the hardships of the evacuation which military necessity made unavoidable. We shall restore to the loyal evacuees the right to return to the evacuated areas as soon as the military situation will make such restoration feasible.

Americans of Japanese ancestry, like those of many other ancestries, have shown that they can, and want to, accept our institutions and work loyally with the rest of us, making their own valuable contribution to the national wealth and well-being. In vindication of the very ideals for which we are fighting this war it is important to us to maintain a high standard of fair, considerate, and equal treatment for the people of this minority as of all other minorities.


Citation: Franklin D. Roosevelt: "Message to the Senate on the Segregation Program of the War Relocation Authority.," September 14, 1943. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project. http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/ws/?pid=16314.
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