Japanese-American Internment By 1941, Japanese Americans formed a small, fairly prosperous and self-segregated portion of the population, and were concentrated primarily on the West Coast. After Japan's attack on Pearl Harbor, Americans perceived this group of immigrants and citizens as spies for the Japanese government, linked by blood and therefore sympathetic to an enemy of the United States . Military commanders successfully convinced President Roosevelt that Japanese Americans residing in California, Oregon, Washington, and Nevada posed a significant threat to national security. The solution to the problem, they suggested, was relocation and, if necessary, containment. Under the authority of President Roosevelt's Executive Order 9066 , roughly 110,000 people of Japanese descent— Issei , or first-generation Japanese immigrants, as well as Nisei , children of Issei born in the United States—were forced to leave their homes, businesses,
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