H.R.2090 - Wartime Violation of Italian American Civil Liberties Act105th Congress (1997-1998)
|Sponsor:||Rep. Lazio, Rick [R-NY-2] (Introduced 06/26/1997)|
|Committees:||House - Judiciary|
|Latest Action:||06/27/1997 Sponsor introductory remarks on measure. (All Actions)|
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Text: H.R.2090 — 105th Congress (1997-1998)All Information (Except Text)
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Introduced in House (06/26/1997)
[Congressional Bills 105th Congress] [From the U.S. Government Printing Office] [H.R. 2090 Introduced in House (IH)] 105th CONGRESS 1st Session H. R. 2090 Ordering the preparation of a Government report detailing injustices suffered by Italian Americans during World War II, and a formal acknowledgment of such injustices by the President. _______________________________________________________________________ IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES June 26, 1997 Mr. Lazio of New York (for himself, Mr. Engel, Mrs. Morella, Mr. Pascrell, Mr. King, Mr. Miller of California, Ms. DeLauro, Mr. Pallone, Mrs. Kelly, Mr. Mascara, Ms. Kaptur, Mr. Ackerman, Mr. Kennedy of Rhode Island, Mr. Manton, Mrs. McCarthy of New York, and Mr. McGovern) introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on the Judiciary _______________________________________________________________________ A BILL Ordering the preparation of a Government report detailing injustices suffered by Italian Americans during World War II, and a formal acknowledgment of such injustices by the President. Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE. This Act may be cited as the ``Wartime Violation of Italian American Civil Liberties Act''. SEC. 2. FINDINGS. The Congress makes the following findings: (1) The freedom of more than 600,000 Italian-born immigrants in the United States and their families was restricted during World War II by Government measures that branded them ``enemy aliens'' and included carrying identification cards, travel restrictions, and seizure of personal property. (2) During World War II more than 10,000 Italian Americans living on the West Coast were forced to leave their homes and prohibited from entering coastal zones. More than 50,000 were subjected to curfews. (3) During World War II thousands of Italian American immigrants were arrested, and hundreds were interned in military camps. (4) Hundreds of thousands of Italian Americans performed exemplary service and thousands sacrificed their lives in defense of the United States. (5) At the time, Italians were the largest foreign-born group in the United States, and today are the fifth largest immigrant group in the United States, numbering approximately 23,000,000. (6) The impact of the wartime experience was devastating to Italian American communities in the United States, and its effects are still being felt. (7) A deliberate policy kept these measures from the public during the 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. (8) This story needs to be told in order to acknowledge that these events happened, to remember those whose lives were unjustly disrupted and whose freedoms were violated, to help repair the damage to the Italian American community, and to discourage the occurrence of similar injustices and violations of civil liberties in the future. (9) Federal agencies, including the Department of Education and the National Endowment for the Humanities, should support projects such as-- (A) conferences, seminars, and lectures to heighten awareness of this unfortunate chapter in our Nation's history; (B) the refurbishment of and payment of all expenses associated with the traveling exhibit ``Una Storia Segreta'', to be exhibited at major cultural and educational institutions throughout the United States; and (C) documentaries to allow this issue to be presented to the American public to raise their awareness. (10) An independent, volunteer advisory committee should be established comprised of representatives of Italian American organizations, historians, and other interested individuals to assist in the compilation, research, and dissemination of information concerning the treatment of Italian Americans. (11) After completion of the report required by this Act, financial support should be provided for the education of the American public through the production of a documentary film suited for public broadcast. SEC. 3. REPORT. The Inspector General of the Department of Justice shall conduct a comprehensive review of the treatment by the United States Government of Italian Americans during World War II, and within 12 months of the date of enactment of this Act shall submit to the Congress a report that documents the findings of such review. The report shall cover the period between September 1, 1939, and December 31, 1945, and shall include the following: (1) The names of all Italian Americans who were taken into custody in the initial roundup following the attack on Pearl Harbor, and prior to the United States declaration of war against Italy. (2) The names of all Italian Americans who were interned or taken into custody. (3) The locations where Italian Americans were interned. (4) The names of all Italian Americans who were ordered to move out of designated areas under the United States Army's ``Individual Exclusion Program''. (5) The names of all Italian Americans who were arrested for curfew, contraband, or other violations under the authority of Executive Order 9066. (6) Documentation of FBI raids on the homes of Italian Americans and an explanation of the authority under which each such action was taken. (7) A list of ports from which Italian American fishermen were restricted. (8) The names of Italian American fishermen who were unable to pursue their livelihoods. (9) The names of Italian Americans whose boats were confiscated. (10) A list of Italian American railroad workers who were prevented from working in prohibited zones. (11) A list of all civil liberties infringements suffered by Italian Americans during World War II, including internment, hearings without benefit of counsel, illegal searches and seizures, travel restrictions, enemy alien registration requirements, employment restrictions, confiscation of property, and forced evacuation from homes. (12) An explanation of why the civil liberties infringements occurred. (13) An explanation of why some Italian Americans were subjected to civil liberties infringements while others were not. (14) A review of the wartime restrictions on Italian Americans to determine how civil liberties can be better protected during national emergencies. SEC. 4. FORMAL ACKNOWLEDGEMENT. The President shall, on behalf of the United States Government, formally acknowledge that these events during World War II represented a fundamental injustice against Italian Americans. <all>