The Civil Liberties Act of 1988 (Pub.L. 100–383, title I, August 10, 1988, 102 Stat. 904, 50a U.S.C. § 1989b et seq.) is a United States federal law that granted reparations to Japanese Americans who had been interned by the United States government during World War II. The act was sponsored by California‘s Democratic Congressman Norman Mineta, an internee as a child, and Wyoming‘s Republican Senator Alan K. Simpson, who first met Mineta while visiting an internment camp. The third co-sponsor was California Senator Pete Wilson. The bill was supported by the majority of Democrats in Congress, while the majority of Republicans voted against it. The act was signed into law by President Ronald Reagan.
The act granted each surviving internee about US $20,000 in compensation (or, $40,000 after inflation-adjustment in 2016 dollars), with payments beginning in 1990. The legislation stated that government actions were based on “race prejudice, war hysteria, and a failure of political leadership” as opposed to legitimate security reasons. A total of 82,219 received redress checks.
Because the law was restricted to American citizens or legal permanent residents, the ethnic Japanese that had been taken from their homes in Latin America (mostly from Peru) were not covered in the reparations, regardless of whether they remained in the United States, returned to Latin America or were deported to Japan after the war. In 1996, Carmen Mochizuki filed a class-action lawsuit, and won a settlement of around $5,000 per person to those eligible from what was left of the funds from the CLA. 145 of those affected were able to receive the $5,000 settlement before the funds ran out. In 1999, funds were approved for the attorney general to pay out to the rest of the claimants.
Japanese Americans Incarceration Camps
- Gila River Relocation Camp
- Granada Relocation Center NHL Nomination – nps.gov
- Haiku Internment Camp
- Heart Mountain Relocation Center NHL Nomination – nps.gov
- Honouliuli National Monument (U.S. National Park Service)
- Jerome Relocation Camp
- Kalaheo Internment Camp
- Kilauea Detention Center
- Manzanar National Historic Site (U.S. National Park Service)
- Minidoka National Historic Site (U.S. National Park Service)
- Poston War Relocation Center
- Sand Island Internment Camp
- Rohwer Relocation Camp
- Topaz Central Utah Relocation Center – Site NHL Nomination
- Tule Lake Unit (U.S. National Park Service) – nps.gov
US Minorities Civil Rights Timeline 1863-1963 (ProPresObama.org Civil Rights Timelines ™)
US Minorities Civil Rights Timeline 1964-2016 (ProPresObama.org Civil Rights Timelines ™)