Internment

Confinement of the citizen of an “enemy” country during times of war pursuant to the Alien Enemies Act. Some “enemy aliens” were interned in the U.S. until 1949, years after the end of World War II.

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Internment Camps

These camps were established by the US government to intern persons of German, Japanese and Italian ancestry pursuant to the Alien Enemies Act. They were generally operated by either the Army or the Immigration and Naturalization Service for the Department of Justice. Internment Camps

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Naturalization

The legal process by which aliens become citizens. In the U.S., they must meet eligibility requirements, file an application, submit to investigations, pass an examination and take an oath renouncing previous allegiances and upholding the U.S. Constitution. Dual citizenship was not permitted before or during World War II.

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POW / Prisoner of War

An enemy soldier captured during war. During World War II, even though “enemy aliens” were civilians and not soldiers, many were for a time kept in separate compounds in prisoner of war camps run by the U.S. Army.

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Prohibited zones

Areas designated by the Department of Justice, in cooperation with the War Department, from which all German, Italian and Japanese “enemy aliens” were banned during World War II. The mass evacuation of “enemy aliens” was authorized during World War II under the Alien Enemies Act and related Presidential Proclamations issued by FDR with respect to […]

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Relocation

Act of changing residence or place of business. During World War II, the U.S. government “relocated” US citizens and aliens of Japanese ancestry, forcing their removal and ultimate incarceration in War Relocation Authority camps pursuant to Executive Order 9066. Thousands of German, Italian and Japanese enemy aliens were also relocated from Prohibited Zones pursuant to […]

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Repatriation

Returning people to their country of birth, origin or citizenship. During WWII, thousands of Japanese, Germans and Italians were repatriated with their American-born or Latin American-born children and exchanged for U.S. and Latin American citizens held in Japan and Germany.

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Temporary Detention Facilities

Holding facilities in which persons of Japanese, German and Italian decent were held “temporarily” following arrest and until their internment orders were issued by the Attorney General or they were paroled or released. Ellis Island also served as a “temporary detention facility” for years after the cessation of hostilities during World War II housing interned alien enemies […]

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