Civil Service Retirement Credit for Japanese Americans Interned During World War II Statement on Signing H.R. 9471 Into Law.
I am very happy to sign H.R. 9471, a bill which represents one more Government effort to redress inequities that occurred during World War II.
Three and a half decades ago, our Government overreacted to the attack on Pearl Harbor and evacuated and interned approximately 110,000 Japanese Americans who lived in our Western States.
Even at the time this action seemed shameful and indefensible to many of us. The loyalty and devotion of our Japanese American citizens—despite this Government action—has been proven many times over. Most of the internees were American citizens, and many subsequently gave their lives in defense of this country.
While we cannot undo or erase the hardships and indignities suffered by these loyal Americans, we can, in some small measure, compensate them.
Three laws have been enacted for this purpose since the end of World War II. Public Laws 82-545 and 86-782 granted special benefits for civil service pay and retirement purposes to Japanese Americans who met certain criteria and were employed by the Federal Government on July 15, 1952. The third law, Public Law 92-603, granted social security credits for privately employed adults who were confined in World War II internment camps.
All three of these laws were designed as partial compensation to working-age Japanese American internees, but they do not help those who entered Federal service after mid-1952. These Federal employees generally do not qualify for social security benefits.
H.R. 9471 will cover that group by granting civil service retirement credit for periods of confinement after age 18 in World War II internment camps to any Japanese American who later entered Federal service.
This bill represents years of unceasing effort by many Members of Congress who wished to redress the injustices suffered by this unique group of American citizens. I am pleased to have the opportunity to share in that effort today.
Note: As enacted, H.R. 9471 is Public Law 95-382, approved September 22.
Jimmy Carter, Civil Service Retirement Credit for Japanese Americans Interned During World War II Statement on Signing H.R. 9471 Into Law. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/243299