The United States entered World War II in December 1941 after the Japanese bombing of Pearl Harbor. President Franklin Roosevelt issued Executive Order 9066 on February 19, 1942, authorizing evacuation of persons of Japanese descent. On March 17, 1942, the Committee on Military Affairs issued House Report No. 1906, recommending the passage of H.R. 6758, which gave teeth to the executive order by creating a “penalty for violation of restrictions or orders.”
The report states: “The necessity for this legislation arose from the fact that the safe conduct of the war requires the fullest possible protection against either espionage or sabotage to the national defense material, national defense premises, and national defense utilities. In order to provide such protection it has been deemed advisable to remove certain aliens as well as citizens from areas in which war production is located and where military activities are being conducted.” The bill became Public Law 77-503 on March 21, 1942, signaling the beginning of the relocation and internment of Japanese American residents of western states and the territory of Hawaii. Close to 120,000 individuals of Japanese descent, American citizens and Japanese citizens legally residing in the United States, were interned before the relocation order was rescinded in 1944.