Friday, November 28, 2008

Property Loss

Between 1860 and 1940, about 275,000 Japanese immigrated to Hawaii and the mainland of America. They were barred from United States citizenship and were therefore, barred from land ownership. Although many times unwelcome, Japanese immigrants persisted and succeeded. The Japanese American people contributed greatly to the West Coast economy. They owned businesses, farms, and homes. All were held in the names of their children who were automatically US citizens and because of that able to own property.
The Japanese Americans were forced into internment camps on very short notice. Because all of the Japanese Americans were forced to go, most of ones friends were also being interned. This means that the Japanese were left with no one to care for his or her belongings. They had no time to make arrangements for themselves. Because of this, mortgages went unpaid and they were foreclosed upon. People who owned businesses companies went under. Farmers had crops that were left in the field and they lost money. People who knew people staying in California left sometimes-left property entrusted. Some of these people ended up being untrustworthy, dishonest and unreliable.
When the Japanese Americans were forced out of their homes they were also forced to sell businesses and homes at an extremely fast rate. Because they were forced to move so quickly they incurred an enormous loss. The total dollar value of property loss has been estimated at around $1.3 billion. The net income losses are estimated at around $2.7 billion. That is a great amount of money that became a financial burden on many of the interned.

In the Congress and Civil Liberties Act the Congress attempted to appropriately compensate those who were affected. Amongst other things the government tried to make restitution to those individuals who were interned. Although money was paid, the damages were already done.
The property loss was very extreme in the internment of the Japanese. It was hard for people to recover and some never did. If you imagine being sent to a camp with only days to attempt to figure out what would become of your belongings, homes, businesses and farms you can begin to understand what a horribly injustice this was.

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