Home > 106th Congressional Bills > H.R. 2442 (ih) To provide for 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. [Introduced in House] ...

H.R. 2442 (ih) To provide for 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. [Introduced in House] ...


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        H.R.2442

                       One Hundred Sixth Congress

                                 of the

                        United States of America


                          AT THE SECOND SESSION

           Begun and held at the City of Washington on Monday,
             the twenty-fourth day of January, two thousand


                                 An Act


 
    To provide for 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 15 million.
        (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.

SEC. 3. REPORT.

    The Attorney General shall conduct a comprehensive review of the 
treatment by the United States Government of Italian Americans during 
World War II, and not later than 1 year after the date of the 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 taken into 
    custody.
        (3) The names of all Italian Americans who were interned and 
    the location where they 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 No. 9066.
        (6) Documentation of Federal Bureau of Investigation raids on 
    the homes of Italian Americans.
        (7) A list of ports from which Italian American fishermen were 
    restricted.
        (8) The names of Italian American fishermen who were prevented 
    from fishing in prohibited zones and therefore unable to pursue 
    their livelihoods.
        (9) The names of Italian Americans whose boats were 
    confiscated.
        (10) The names 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, as a result of Executive 
    Order No. 9066, 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 whether Italian Americans were subjected 
    to civil liberties infringements, as a result of Executive Order 
    No. 9066, and if so, why other Italian Americans were not.
        (13) A review of the wartime restrictions on Italian Americans 
    to determine how civil liberties can be better protected during 
    national emergencies.

SEC. 4. SENSE OF THE CONGRESS.

    It is the sense of the Congress that--
        (1) the story of the treatment of Italian Americans during 
    World War II 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;
        (2) 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'', 
        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 its awareness;
        (3) 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;
        (4) 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; and
        (5) the President should, on behalf of the United States 
    Government, formally acknowledge that these events during World War 
    II represented a fundamental injustice against Italian Americans.

                               Speaker of the House of Representatives.

                            Vice President of the United States and    
                                               President of the Senate.

Pages: 1

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