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Statement of Administration Policy: H.R. 442 - Civil Liberties Act of 1987

September 10, 1987


(Foley (D) Washington and 166 others)

The administration opposes H.R. 442, and the President's senior advisers will recommend that the President veto the bill, should it be presented to him.

The United States has already acknowledged the unjustified personal hardships caused by the internment program undertaken as part of our national defense effort during World War II. In enacting the American-Japanese Evacuation Claims Act in 1948, Congress established a comprehensive and reasonable program of restitution for injuries brought upon persons of Japanese ancestry who were interned. Further payments — especially those authorized by section 7 of H.R. 442, which would be in excess of $1 billion — are not warranted.

H.R. 442 is also objectionable because it would inappropriately permit persons of Japanese ancestry who requested repatriation or expatriation to Japan during the internment period to receive compensation. Other objectionable provisions of H.R. 442 include:

— section 4, concerning pardons for certain criminal convictions, because the Federal Government has already offered to vacate the convictions of persons of Japanese ancestry who violated wartime restrictions; and

— section 5, concerning agency review of applications for restitution for damages resulting from discriminatory acts during the internment period, because it is vaguely worded and its effect is uncertain.


(Not to be Distributed Outside Executive Office of the President)

Ronald Reagan, Statement of Administration Policy: H.R. 442 - Civil Liberties Act of 1987 Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project