SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) _ California lawmakers have passed a resolution acknowledging an often-overlooked group _ the thousands of Italian-Americans who were displaced, arrested and harassed during World War II.

The resolution, approved unanimously by both the Senate and the Assembly this week, expresses regret for their treatment, calling it a “fundamental injustice.”

According to the legislative analysis, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s Executive Order 9066 in 1942 designated more than 100,000 Californians as aliens. Most were of Japanese descent, but at least 10,000 Italian-Americans were forced from their homes. Others had to carry identification cards, limit their travel and obey curfews.

“The treatment during World War II of people who were unjustly considered ‘suspicious’ because of their ethnic background was a sad chapter for our state,” the resolution’s author, state Sen. Joe Simitian, said in a statement Friday. “For survivors of that experience and their descendants, I hope this resolution will provide a long-due measure of recognition and respect.”

Click to listen

Simitian, D-Palo Alto, said the resolution was suggested by one of his Italian-American constituents, Chet Campanella of San Jose, as part of his office’s annual “There Oughta Be a Law” contest. Campanella’s relatives were subjected to a curfew and searches of their home during the war, Simitian said.

The Legislature previously has passed several resolutions recognizing the contributions of Italian-Americans. Last year, lawmakers designated October as Italian American Heritage Month throughout the state.

  1. Paul Burnett says:

    There were far more Americans of German ancestry interned under Executive Order 9066 than those of Italian ancestry. Are these Germans mentioned in Simitian’s resolution?

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

Watch & Listen LIVE