(a) This part shall be known and may be cited as the California Civil Liberties Public Education Act. The purpose of the California Civil Liberties Public Education Act is to sponsor public educational activities and development of educational materials to ensure that the events surrounding the exclusion, forced removal, and internment of citizens and permanent residents of Japanese ancestry will be remembered, and so that the causes and circumstances of this and similar events may be illuminated and understood.
(b) The Legislature finds and declares that the federal Commission on Wartime Relocation and Internment of Civilians (CWRIC) was established by Congress in 1980 to "review the facts and circumstances surrounding Executive Order 9066, issued in February 19, 1942, and the impact of such Executive Order on American citizens and permanent residents... and to recommend appropriate remedies." The CWRIC issued a report of its findings in 1983 with the reports "Personal Justice Denied" and "Personal Justice Denied-Part II, Recommendations." The reports were based on information gathered "through 20 days of hearings in cities across the country, particularly the West Coast, hearing testimony from more than 750 witnesses: evacuees, former government officials, public figures, interested citizens, and historians and other professionals who have studied the subjects of Commission inquiry."
(c) The lessons to be learned from the internment of Japanese-Americans during World War II are embodied in "Personal Justice Denied-Part II, Recommendations." The CWRIC concluded as follows: "In sum, Executive Order 9066 was not justified by military necessity, and the decisions that followed from it-exclusion, detention, the ending of detention and the ending of exclusion-were not founded upon military considerations. The broad historical causes that shaped these decisions were race prejudice, war hysteria, and a failure of political leadership. Widespread ignorance about Americans of Japanese descent contributed to a policy conceived in haste and executed in an atmosphere of fear and anger at Japan. A grave personal injustice was done to the American citizens and resident aliens of Japanese ancestry who, without individual review or any probative evidence against them were excluded, removed and detained by the United States during World War II."
(d) The Legislature further finds and declares that President Ronald Reagan signed into law the federal Civil Liberties Act of 1988 and declared during the signing ceremony that "This is a great day for America." In that act the Congress declared as follows:
"The Congress recognizes that, as described in the Commission on Wartime Relocation and Internment of Civilians, a grave injustice was done to both citizens and permanent residents of Japanese ancestry by the evacuation, relocation, and internment of civilians during World War II. As the Commission documents, these actions were carried out without adequate security reasons and without any acts of espionage or sabotage documented by the Commission, and were motivated largely by racial prejudice, wartime hysteria, and a failure of political leadership. The excluded individuals of Japanese ancestry suffered enormous damages, both material and intangible, and there were incalculable loses in education and job training, all of which resulted in significant human suffering for which appropriate compensation has not been made. For these fundamental violations of the basic civil liberties and constitutional rights of these individuals of Japanese ancestry, the Congress apologizes on behalf of the Nation."
(Amended by Stats. 2016, Ch. 69, Sec. 1.)