BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    





           ----------------------------------------------------------- 
          |SENATE COMMITTEE ON RULES        |2009-10 Regular          |
          |                                 |Session                  |
           ----------------------------------------------------------- 
          SENATOR DARRELL STEINBERG , CHAIRMAN

                                                     Fiscal:  No
          Hearing: June 23, 2010
                                                     Urgency:  No

          BILL NO:  SCR 95
          AUTHOR:  Simitian
          AMENDED:  6/17/10

           SUBJECT  :  World War II:  Italian Americans

           SOURCE  :  Author

           DIGEST  :  This resolution sets forth the Legislature's formal  
          acknowledgement that the treatment of Italian Americans during  
          World War II represented a fundamental injustice against Italian  
          Americans, its deepest regrets of these acts, and its  
          reaffirmation of a commitment to preserving the rights of all  
          people and celebrating their contributions. 

           ANALYSIS  :  

          Within hours of the declaration of war on Japan on December 7,  
          1941, President Roosevelt issued Proclamation 2525, aimed at  
          aliens with roots in that nation.  All natives, citizens,  
          denizens, or subjects of Japan fourteen years of age or over who  
          were in the United States and not naturalized had become enemy  
          aliens, subject to all regulations concerning such individuals,  
          including the immediate apprehension of those determined  
          dangerous by the Attorney General or Secretary of War.  The  
          following day, December 8, 1941, two more proclamations,  
          Proclamations 2526 and 2527, were issued to cover German and  
          Italian aliens.

          The Federal Bureau of Investigation began arresting aliens on  
          lists developed by Federal Bureau of Investigation and the War  
          Department prior to December 7, including permanent resident  
          aliens of Italian descent on the evening of December 7.  Prior  
          to these proclamations, the President implemented, "The Alien  
          Enemy Act of 1798" which granted broad powers to deal with enemy  

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          aliens during wartime.  Under the Act, as amended during World  
          War I, the President can limit the activities of every enemy  
          alien by imposing travel and curfew restrictions and also  
          deprive aliens from access to and the possession of firearms,  
          cameras, and radios.  On January 14, 1942, the President issued  
          supplemental restrictions requiring these individuals to apply  
          for, to acquire and to carry at all times certificates of  
          identification.  On February 19, 1942, the President signed  
          Executive Order 9066, giving the Secretary of War and military  
          commander to whom he delegated authority, the power to exclude  
          any and all persons, both citizens and aliens, from designated  
          "military areas" to ensure security against sabotage and  
          espionage.  It authorized the Secretary of War to take any other  
          steps deemed appropriate to enforce compliance with the  
          restrictions applicable to each military area.  Public Law  
          77-503 was enacted which provided criminal penalties for  
          violations of the military proclamations issued pursuant to  
          Executive Order 9066.  It has been estimated that about 600,000  
          Italian born immigrants were restricted during the war.  Ten  
          thousand on the West Coast were forced to leave their homes and  
          prohibited from entering coastal zones and more than 50,000 were  
          subjected to curfews.  In recognition of the fact that Italian  
          immigrants and citizens were loyal to the United States, the  
          enemy restrictions were lifted for those of Italian ancestry on  
          October 12, 1942.

          In November of 2000, the "Wartime Violation of Italian American  
          Civil Liberties Act" was enacted.  This law, in part directed  
          the U.S. Attorney General, to conduct a comprehensive review of  
          the treatment by the U.S. Government of Italian Americans during  
          World War II, and to report on the findings within a year.  The  
          Attorney General submitted the report, "A review of the  
          Restrictions on Persons of Italian Ancestry During World War  
          II," to the U.S. Congress on November 7, 2001, and the House  
          Judiciary Committee released it to the public on November 27,  
          2001.  The report, covering the period September 1, 1939, to  
          December 31, 1945, describes the authority under which the  
          United States undertook enforcement of wartime restrictions on  
          Italian Americans and detailed these restrictions.  In addition,  
          the report provided 11 lists, most of which included the names  
          of those most directly affected by the war time restrictions.   
          The lists include:

          1. The names of 74 persons of Italian ancestry, taken into  
             custody in the initial roundup following the attack on Pearl  

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             Harbor and prior to the United States declaration of war  
             against Italy. 

          2. The names of 1,881 other persons of Italian ancestry who were  
             taken into custody. 

          3. The names and location of 418 persons of Italian ancestry who  
             were interned. 

          4. The names of 47 persons of Italian ancestry ordered to move  
             from designated areas under the Individual Exclusion Program,  
             and an additional 12 who appeared before the Individual  
             Exclusion Board.

          5. The names of 56 persons of Italian ancestry not subject to  
             individual exclusion orders who were ordered to temporarily  
             be moved from designated areas. 

          6. The names of 442 persons of Italian ancestry for curfew,  
             contraband, or other violations.

          7. A list of 33 ports from which fishermen of Italian ancestry  
             were restricted. 

          8. The names of 315 fishermen of Italian ancestry who were  
             prevented from fishing in prohibited zones. 

          9. The names of two person of Italian ancestry whose boats were  
             confiscated.

          10.A list of 12 railroad workers of Italian ancestry prevented  
             from working in prohibited zones, of which only four are  
             named.

          11.A list of six wartime time restrictions on person of Italian  
             ancestry resulting specifically from Executive Order 9066. 

          The findings of the report stated "The impact of the wartime  
          experience was devastating to Italian American communities in  
          the United States, and the effects are still being felt.  A  
          deliberate policy kept these measures from the public during  
          war.  Even 50 years later much information is still classified,  
          the full story remains unknown to the public, and it has never  
          been acknowledged in any official capacity by the United States  
          Government."

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           California's recognition of Italian Americans
           
          The California Legislative over the years have passed  
          resolutions commending Italian Americans.  HR 84 (Cortese), of  
          1996, created the "California Italian-American Task Force" which  
          is an advisory body to the Assembly on Italian American  
          concerns, was created to document the achievements and  
          contributions of Italian-Americans throughout California's  
          history and development.  It had a sunset date of September 20,  
          1999, and through the passage of HR 14 (Mazzoni) was made  
          permanent.  Legislation has also been introduced in the past to  
          encourage the schools to incorporate into their curriculum the  
          history of the restrictions placed on Italian Americans during  
          the war.  In addition, the California State Capitol Rotunda has  
          had the exhibit "Una Storia Segreta - The Secret Story"  
          displayed several times.


           Prior Legislation  

          SCR 24 (Roberti), Resolution Chapter 82, Statutes of 1993,  
          designated October as Italian-American History Month. 

          ACR 127 (Cortese), Resolution Chapter 117, Statutes of 1994  
          welcomed the exhibit "Una Storia Segreta - The Secret Story" to  
          the State Capitol, recognized the events of 1942 which impacted  
          Italian Americans, encouraged the inclusion of the Italian  
          American experience in the public schools and Universities in  
          California, study the feasibility of establishing an Italian  
          American Museum, and encouraged the creation of a task force.

          HR 84 (Cortese) of 1995, created the Italian-American Task Force  
          as an advisory body to the State Assembly until September 1999.

          ACR 183 (Torlakson) Resolution Chapter 183, Statutes of 1998,  
          which designated the second week of October of every year as  
          Italian-American Wartime Remembrance Week" and recognized the  
          exhibit of "Una Stori Segeta" being displayed in the Capitol in  
          1998.

          HR 14 (Mazzoni) of 1999, extended indefinitely the California  
          Italian-American Task Force.

          AB 390 (Canciamilla), 2005-06 Session, provided that the State  

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          Board of Education, at the next revision of curriculum  
          frameworks in social science to include the role and  
          contribution of Italian American to the economic, political, and  
          social development of California and the United States.  This  
          bill died on the Assembly Floor.

          ACR 185 (Portantino), Resolution Chapter 125, Statutes of 2008,  
          designated the month of October as Italian American Heritage  
          Month and encouraged public schools to highlight Italian  
          American achievements and contributions to the culture of  
          California, and to take steps to promote the inclusion of the  
          achievements and contributions of Italian Americans to U.S. and  
          California history in elementary and secondary textbooks during  
          the revision process for those textbooks.

          AB 1863 (Portantino), 2007-08 Session, expressed the  
          encouragement of the Legislature for schools to include the role  
          and contribution of Italian Americans to the economic, political  
          and social development of California and the U.S. in the  
          instruction of social science; and encouraged the State School  
          Board of Education to include the role and contribution of  
          Italian Americans to the economic, political, and social  
          development of California and the U.S. in the social science  
          curriculum frameworks at the next revision of those frameworks.   
          It was vroted by the Governor with the following message:   
          "While I respect the author's intent to recognize the role of  
          Italian Americans in California and the United States history, I  
          have consistently vetoed legislation that has attempted to  
          include specific details or events into areas of instruction.   
          The State Board of Education adopted content standards that are  
          developed by a diverse group of experts and are intentionally  
          broad in order to allow coverage of various events,  
          developments, and issues.  I continue to believe that the State  
          should establish rigorous academic standard and frameworks, but  
          refrain from being overly prescriptive in specific school  
          curriculum."

          ACR 89 (Galgiani), Resolution Chapter 113, Statutes of 2009,  
          designated the month of October 2009, and every October  
          thereafter, as Italian American Heritage Month.  It encourages  
          public schools to highlight and include Italian American  
          achievements and contributions to the culture of California and  
          to take steps to promote the inclusion of the role and  
          contributions of Italian Americans to the culture and history of  
          California and the United States in elementary and secondary  

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          social science textbooks during the revision process for those  
          textbooks.

           SUPPORT:   (Verified on 06/22/10)

          Chet Campanella (individual)
          Italian Heritage Commission

           OPPOSITION:  (Verified on 06/22/10)

          None received.

          SENATE RULES COMMITTEE:  Sandy Wood/651-4153
          
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