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                                                       Calendar No. 135
110th Congress                                                   Report
                                 SENATE
 1st Session                                                     110-62

======================================================================



 
                  WARTIME TREATMENT STUDY ACT OF 2007

                                _______
                                

                  May 4, 2007.--Ordered to be printed

                                _______
                                

Mr. Leahy, from the Committee on the Judiciary, submitted the following

                              R E P O R T

                         [To accompany S. 621]

      [Including cost estimate of the Congressional Budget Office]

    The Committee on the Judiciary, to which was referred the 
bill (S. 621), to establish commissions to review the facts and 
circumstances surrounding injustices suffered by European 
Americans, European Latin Americans, and Jewish refugees during 
World War II, having considered the same, reports favorably 
thereon and recommends that the bill do pass.

                                CONTENTS

                                                                   Page
  I. Purpose of the Wartime Treatment Study Act of 2007...............1
 II. History of the Bill and Committee Consideration..................3
III. Section-by-Section Summary of the Bill...........................4
 IV. Cost Estimate....................................................6
  V. Regulatory Impact Evaluation.....................................7
 VI. Conclusion.......................................................7
VII. Changes in Existing Law..........................................8

         I. PURPOSE OF THE WARTIME TREATMENT STUDY ACT OF 2007

    The Wartime Treatment Study Act of 2007 would create two 
fact-finding commissions to supplement the work done in the 
1980s by the Commission on Wartime Relocation and Internment of 
Civilians, which studied the treatment of Japanese Americans 
during World War II. The Act would create one commission to 
review the U.S. Government's treatment of German Americans, 
Italian Americans, and European Latin Americans during World 
War II, and another commission to review the U.S. Government's 
treatment of Jewish refugees fleeing Nazi persecution during 
World War II.
    The victory of America and its allies in the Second World 
War was a triumph for freedom, justice, and human rights. But, 
at the same time that many brave Americans fought for freedom 
in Europe and the Pacific, the U.S. Government was curtailing 
the freedom of a number of people at home.
    Many Americans are aware that during World War II, under 
the authority of Executive Order 9066 and the Alien Enemies 
Act, the U.S. Government forced more than 100,000 ethnic 
Japanese from their homes and ultimately into relocation and 
internment camps. Through the work of the Commission on Wartime 
Relocation and Internment of Civilians, created by Congress in 
1980, this shameful event finally received the official 
acknowledgement and condemnation it deserved. Under the Civil 
Liberties Act of 1988, people of Japanese ancestry who were 
subjected to relocation or internment later received an apology 
and reparations on behalf of the people of the United States.
    The Wartime Treatment Study Act will ensure that the U.S. 
Government also acknowledges the mistreatment experienced 
during World War II by many German Americans, Italian 
Americans, and European Latin Americans, as well as Jewish 
refugees fleeing Nazi persecution. The Wartime Treatment Study 
Act would create two independent, fact-finding commissions to 
review this unfortunate history.
    One commission would review the treatment by the U.S. 
Government of German Americans, Italian Americans, and other 
European Americans, as well as European Latin Americans, during 
World War II. Most Americans are unaware that, as was the case 
with many ethnic Japanese, approximately 11,000 ethnic Germans, 
3,200 ethnic Italians, and scores of Bulgarians, Hungarians, 
Romanians or other European Americans and European Latin 
Americans were taken from their homes and placed in internment 
camps during World War II. Following Pearl Harbor, the U.S. 
Government pursuant to the Alien Enemies Act deemed 
approximately 600,000 Italian-born and 300,000 German-born 
United States resident aliens as ``enemy aliens,'' restricting 
their travel and personal property rights and requiring them to 
carry certificates of identification. Extensive prohibited 
zones were established where ``enemy aliens'' were forbidden or 
their movements were restricted. Thousands of European 
Americans, including American-born children, ultimately ended 
up behind barbed wire and under armed guard in detention 
facilities and internment camps, such as the camps operated by 
the Department of Justice at Crystal City, Texas; Seagoville, 
Texas; Kenedy, Texas; Missoula, Montana; and Bismarck, North 
Dakota. The last European American internees, held at Ellis 
Island, were not released until 1948.
    In addition, pursuant to a policy coordinated with 18 Latin 
American countries, more than 4,000 German Latin Americans, 
including German and Austrian Jews, and more than 200 Italian 
Latin Americans were arrested, transferred to the U.S. and 
interned. Thousands, including in some instances American-born 
children, were later deported to hostile, war-torn European 
Axis nations in exchange for Americans and Latin Americans held 
there.
    These policies were devastating to the German and Italian 
communities, individuals and families, and the effects are 
still being experienced. The Wartime Treatment Study Act of 
2007 will enable Americans to learn about this history and 
explore why the U.S. Government violated these individuals' 
basic rights based on their nationality or ethnicity.
    A second commission created by this bill would review the 
treatment by the U.S. Government of Jewish refugees, like those 
aboard the German vessel the St. Louis, who were fleeing Nazi 
persecution and genocide. Prior to and during World War II, the 
United States restricted the entry of Jewish refugees who were 
fleeing persecution or genocide and sought safety in the United 
States. During the 1930s and 1940s, U.S. Government policies 
affected the number of Jewish refugees, particularly those from 
Germany and Austria, who could gain admittance to the United 
States. The commission would review these facts, including how 
U.S. immigration policies failed to provide adequate safe 
harbor to Jewish refugees fleeing the persecution of Nazi 
Germany.
    The injustices to European Americans, European Latin 
Americans, and Jewish refugees occurred more than 50 years ago. 
Enactment of the Wartime Treatment Study Act of 2007 is 
urgently needed. If Congress further delays enactment, the 
people who were affected by these policies will no longer be 
here to tell their stories. As Senator Feingold said in his 
February 15, 2007, floor statement upon introduction of S. 621, 
``If we wait, the people who were affected will no longer be 
here to know that Congress has at last recognized their 
sacrifice and resolved to learn from the mistakes of the 
past.'' There has been a measure of justice for Japanese 
Americans who were denied their liberty and property during 
World War II. Our country benefited greatly from analyzing the 
Japanese American experience. So, too, will it benefit from 
understanding the European American and European Latin American 
experience. The Wartime Treatment Study Act would complete the 
accounting of this period in our nation's history and provide a 
long overdue measure of justice to European Americans and 
European Latin Americans who also lost their freedoms.

          II. HISTORY OF THE BILL AND COMMITTEE CONSIDERATION

    The Wartime Treatment Study Act of 2007, S. 621, is a 
bipartisan measure introduced on February 15, 2007, by Senator 
Feingold, Senator Grassley, Senator Kennedy, Senator Lieberman 
and Senator Inouye. Senator Cardin and Senator Wyden also 
joined the bill as cosponsors. Representative Robert Wexler 
introduced an identical measure, H.R. 1185, on February 16, 
2007, in the House of Representatives.
    The bill was listed on the Judiciary Committee's agenda for 
the first time on March 22, 2007. On April 12, 2007, the 
Committee ordered S. 621 to be reported favorably, without 
amendment, by voice vote.
    The Wartime Treatment Study Act of 2007 builds on measures 
that were reported favorably from the Judiciary Committee in 
the 107th, 108th and 109th Congresses. In the 107th Congress, 
Senator Feingold, Senator Grassley and Senator Kennedy 
introduced S. 1356, the Wartime Treatment of European Americans 
and Refugees Study Act, on August 3, 2001. On March 14, 2002, 
the Judiciary Committee reported by voice vote an amended 
version of the bill. Significant changes included establishing 
two 7-member commissions rather than one 11-member commission, 
and changing the name to the Wartime Treatment Study Act. No 
further action was taken in that Congress.
    In the 108th Congress, Senator Feingold, Senator Grassley, 
Senator Kennedy and Senator Lieberman reintroduced the Wartime 
Treatment Study Act as S. 1691 on October 1, 2003. It was 
reported favorably by the Judiciary Committee on October 16, 
2003. In January 2004, on the Senate floor Senator Feingold 
sought unanimous consent that the measure be taken up and 
passed by the Senate, but an objection was raised.
    In the 109th Congress, Senator Feingold, Senator Grassley, 
Senator Kennedy, Senator Lieberman, Senator Corzine, and 
Senator Wyden reintroduced the bill as S. 1354 on June 30, 
2005. It was reported favorably without amendment by the 
Judiciary Committee on November 17, 2005. No further action was 
taken.

              III. SECTION-BY-SECTION SUMMARY OF THE BILL

    Section 1 contains the short title of the Wartime Treatment 
Study Act of 2007.
    Section 2 contains the following findings:
    (1) During World War II, the United States Government 
deemed as ``enemy aliens'' more than 600,000 Italian-born and 
300,000 German-born United States resident aliens and their 
families and required them to carry Certificates of 
Identification and limited their travel and personal property 
rights. At that time, these groups were the two largest 
foreign-born groups in the United States.
    (2) During World War II, the United States Government 
arrested, interned, or otherwise detained thousands of European 
Americans, some remaining in custody for years after cessation 
of World War II hostilities, and repatriated, exchanged, or 
deported European Americans, including American-born children, 
to European Axis nations, many to be exchanged for Americans 
held in those nations.
    (3) Pursuant to a policy coordinated by the United States 
with Latin American nations, many European Latin Americans, 
including German and Austrian Jews, were arrested, brought to 
the United States, and interned. Many were later expatriated, 
repatriated, or deported to European Axis nations during World 
War II, many to be exchanged for Americans and Latin Americans 
held in those nations.
    (4) Millions of European Americans served in the armed 
forces and thousands sacrificed their lives in defense of the 
United States.
    (5) The wartime policies of the United States Government 
were devastating to the Italian American and German American 
communities, individuals, and their families. The detrimental 
effects are still being experienced.
    (6) Prior to and during World War II, the United States 
restricted the entry of Jewish refugees who were fleeing 
persecution or genocide and sought safety in the United States. 
During the 1930s and 1940s, the quota system, immigration 
regulations, visa requirements, and the time required to 
process visa applications affected the number of Jewish 
refugees, particularly those from Germany and Austria, who 
could gain admittance to the United States.
    (7) The United States Government should conduct an 
independent review to fully assess and acknowledge these 
actions. Congress has previously reviewed the United States 
Government's wartime treatment of Japanese Americans through 
the Commission on Wartime Relocation and Internment of 
Civilians. An independent review of the treatment of German 
Americans and Italian Americans and of Jewish refugees fleeing 
persecution and genocide has not yet been undertaken.
    (8) Time is of the essence for the establishment of 
commissions, because of the increasing danger of destruction 
and loss of relevant documents, the advanced age of potential 
witnesses and, most importantly, the advanced age of those 
affected by the United States Government's policies. Many who 
suffered have already passed away and will never know of this 
effort.
    Section 3 defines the key terms of the legislation. It 
specifies that ``during World War II'' covers the time period 
between September 1, 1939, and December 31, 1948. It defines 
``European Americans'' to include U.S. citizens and resident 
aliens of European ancestry; ``Italian Americans'' to include 
U.S. citizens and resident aliens of Italian ancestry; ``German 
Americans'' to include U.S. citizens and resident aliens of 
German ancestry; and ``European Latin Americans'' to include 
persons of European ancestry residing in Central America, South 
America or the Caribbean during World War II.

Title I--Commission on Wartime Treatment of European Americans

    Section 101 establishes the Commission on Wartime Treatment 
of European Americans. It provides that the 7-member Commission 
be composed of three members appointed by the President, two by 
the Speaker of the House in consultation with the minority 
leader, and two by the majority leader of the Senate in 
consultation with the minority leader. The provision 
contemplates that the appointing authorities will work together 
to ensure that the Commission includes two members representing 
the interests of Italian Americans and two members representing 
the interests of German Americans.
    Section 102 sets out the duties of the Commission, which 
include a comprehensive review of the U.S. Government's 
treatment of European Americans and European Latin Americans 
during World War II, and the compilation of a list of the 
detention and internment facilities where they were held, and 
those who died and were born in those facilities. This review 
also will include an assessment of the underlying rationale for 
the U.S. Government's actions and recommendations for how civil 
liberties can be protected during wartime in the future. 
Section 102 also requires the Commission to submit a written 
report of its findings and recommendations to Congress no later 
than 18 months after the date of the Commission's first 
meeting.
    Section 103 sets out the powers of the Commission. The 
Commission may hold hearings at times and locations of its 
choosing, and request the testimony of witnesses and the 
production of books, records, correspondence, memorandum, 
papers, and documents. If the Commission has difficulty 
securing such testimony or production, it may ask the Attorney 
General to invoke the aid of an appropriate federal court to 
require such testimony or production. In addition, the 
legislation requires that all executive branch entities comply 
fully with any requests for information from the Commission.
    Section 104 contains administrative provisions regarding 
the hiring of staff, consultants and details; procuring 
supplies, services and property; and entering into contracts.
    Section 105 authorizes $600,000 in appropriations for the 
Commission to carry out its duties.
    Section 106 sunsets the Commission 60 days after it submits 
the report to Congress required by Section 102.

Title II--Commission on Wartime Treatment of Jewish Refugees

    Section 201 establishes the Commission on Wartime Treatment 
of Jewish Refugees. It provides that the 7-member Commission be 
composed of three members appointed by the President, two by 
the Speaker of the House in consultation with the minority 
leader, and two by the majority leader of the Senate in 
consultation with the minority leader. The provision 
contemplates that the appointing authorities will work together 
to ensure that the Commission includes two members representing 
the interests of Jewish refugees.
    Section 202 sets out the duties of the Commission, which 
include a comprehensive review of the U.S. Government's 
treatment of Jewish and other refugees fleeing Nazi persecution 
or genocide during World War II, and an assessment of the 
underlying rationale for the U.S. Government's actions and 
recommendations for how people fleeing persecution or genocide 
in the future can better obtain refuge in the United States. 
Section 102 also requires the Commission to submit a written 
report of its findings and recommendations to Congress no later 
than 18 months after the date of the Commission's first 
meeting.
    Section 203 sets out the powers of the Commission. The 
Commission may hold hearings at times and locations of its 
choosing, and request the testimony of witnesses and the 
production of books, records, correspondence, memorandum, 
papers, and documents. If the Commission has difficulty 
securing such testimony or production, it may ask the Attorney 
General to invoke the aid of an appropriate federal court to 
require such testimony or production. In addition, the 
legislation requires that all executive branch entities comply 
fully with any requests for information from the Commission.
    Section 204 contains administrative provisions regarding 
the hiring of staff, consultants and details; procuring 
supplies, services and property; and entering into contracts.
    Section 205 authorizes $600,000 in appropriations for the 
Commission to carry out its duties.
    Section 206 sunsets the Commission 60 days after it submits 
the report to Congress required by Section 202.

                           IV. COST ESTIMATE

    The Committee sets forth, with respect to the bill, S. 621, 
the following estimate and comparison prepared by the Director 
of the Congressional Budget Office under section 402 of the 
Congressional Budget Act of 1974:

                                                    April 19, 2007.
Hon. Patrick J. Leahy,
Chairman, Committee on the Judiciary,
U.S. Senate, Washington, DC.
    Dear Mr. Chairman: The Congressional Budget Office has 
prepared the enclosed cost estimate for S. 621, the Wartime 
Treatment Study Act.
    If you wish further details on this estimate, we will be 
pleased to provide them. The CBO staff contact is Matthew 
Pickford.
        Sincerely,
                                                   Peter R. Orszag.
    Enclosure.

S. 621--Wartime Treatment Study Act

    S. 621 would establish two commissions, the Commission on 
Wartime Treatment of European Americans and the Commission on 
Wartime Treatment of Jewish Refugees. The first commission 
would review the conduct of the United States government during 
World War II towards European Americans and European Latin 
Americans. The second commission would focus on the 
government's treatment of Jewish refugees during World War II.
    Each commission, consisting of seven members, would have 18 
months to report on its findings and recommendations. Members 
would serve without pay, but would be reimbursed for travel 
expenses. In addition, the commissions could hire staff or use 
personnel from other agencies. Each commission would terminate 
60 days after submitting its final report. To fund the costs of 
the commissions, the bill would authorize the appropriation of 
$1.2 million ($600,000 per commission).
    Assuming the appropriation of the authorized amounts, CBO 
estimates that implementing S. 621 would cost $1.2 million over 
the 2008-2009 period. Enacting the bill would not affect direct 
spending or revenues. The legislation does not authorize any 
payment of restitution; such authority would require a separate 
act of Congress.
    S. 621 contains no intergovernmental or private-sector 
mandates as defined in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act and 
would not affect the budgets of state, local, or tribal 
governments.
    The CBO staff contact for this estimate is Matthew 
Pickford. This estimate was approved by Peter H. Fontaine, 
Deputy Assistant Director for Budget Analysis.

                    V. REGULATORY IMPACT EVALUATION

    In compliance with rule XXVI of the Standing Rules of the 
Senate, the Committee finds that no significant regulatory 
impact will result from the enactment of S. 621.

                             VI. CONCLUSION

    Passage and enactment of the Wartime Treatment Study Act of 
2007, S. 621, is long overdue. This bipartisan legislation will 
allow for a fuller accounting of this tragic chapter in our 
Nation's history.

                      VII. CHANGES IN EXISTING LAW

    Pursuant to paragraph 12 of rule XXVI of the Standing Rules 
of the Senate, the Committee finds no changes in existing law 
made by S. 621, as ordered reported.