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How were Japanese Americans compensated for internment?

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Right after the war, no one was compensated. Those who had once owned land, (and it was only the children of the Japanese immigrants who could own property since their parents were denied access to American citizenship,) if families didn't sell their properties before the evacuation or during the war to pay taxes and storage fees, and if families were lucky enough to have good friends to watch over their property, squatters claimed right to their land and the law did little to protect the Japanese-Americans from these illegal gains.

Years later,The Japanese-American Claims Act law passed by Congress and signed by President Harry S. Truman on July 2, 1948. The law authorized the settlement of property loss claims by people of Japanese descent who were removed from the Pacific Coast area during World War II. According to a Senate Report about the act, "The question of whether the evacuation of the Japanese people from the West Coast was justified is now moot. The government did move these people, bodily, the resulting loss was great, and the principles of justice and responsible government require that there should be compensation for such losses." The Congress over time appropriated $38 million to settle 23,000 claims for damages totaling $131 million. The final claim was adjudicated in 1965. This is only a fraction of the estimated loss for the Japanese-Americans at $500 million, along with their positions in the truck-garden, floral, and fishing industries.



In 1953, those whose American citizenship had been revoked were reestablished. Also that year, all Asian immigrants were finally allowed American citizenship despite the many decades they had already been living in the U.S. In 1988, President Regan gave a public apology, but it wasn't until 1992 when President George Bush Sr. issued $20,000 checks to the survivors. Compensation came fifty years later, after everyone had reestablished their lives, but not every accepted the checks out of anger and silent protests; others gave it to family members and charities.
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