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                                                       Calendar No. 250

111th Congress                                                   Report
 1st Session                     SENATE                          111-112
_______________________________________________________________________




 COMMISSION ON WARTIME RELOCATION AND INTERNMENT OF LATIN AMERICANS OF 
                          JAPANESE DESCENT ACT

                               __________

                              R E P O R T

                                 of the

                   COMMITTEE ON HOMELAND SECURITY AND

                          GOVERNMENTAL AFFAIRS

                          UNITED STATES SENATE

                              to accompany

                                 S. 69

 TO ESTABLISH A FACT-FINDING COMMISSION TO EXTEND THE STUDY OF A PRIOR 
    COMMISSION TO INVESTIGATE AND DETERMINE FACTS AND CIRCUMSTANCES 
    SURROUNDING THE RELOCATION, INTERNMENT, AND DEPORTATION TO AXIS 
  COUNTRIES OF LATIN AMERICANS OF JAPANESE DESCENT FROM DECEMBER 1941 
 THROUGH FEBRUARY 1948, AND THE IMPACT OF THOSE ACTIONS BY THE UNITED 
 STATES, AND TO RECOMMEND APPROPRIATE REMEDIES, AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES




               December 23, 2009.--Ordered to be printed


                       U.S. GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE
                            WASHINGTON : 2009







        COMMITTEE ON HOMELAND SECURITY AND GOVERNMENTAL AFFAIRS

               JOSEPH I. LIEBERMAN, Connecticut, Chairman
CARL LEVIN, Michigan                 SUSAN M. COLLINS, Maine
DANIEL K. AKAKA, Hawaii              TOM COBURN, Oklahoma
THOMAS R. CARPER, Delaware           JOHN McCAIN, Arizona
MARK L. PRYOR, Arkansas              GEORGE V. VOINOVICH, Ohio
MARY L. LANDRIEU, Louisiana          JOHN ENSIGN, Nevada
CLAIRE McCASKILL, Missouri           LINDSEY GRAHAM, South Carolina
JON TESTER, Montana                  ROBERT F. BENNETT, Utah
ROLAND W. BURRIS, Illinois
PAUL G. KIRK, JR., Massachusetts

                  Michael L. Alexander, Staff Director
                     Kevin J. Landy, Chief Counsel
               Kristine V. Lam, Professional Staff Member
     Brandon L. Milhorn, Minority Staff Director and Chief Counsel
        Amanda Wood, Minority Director for Governmental Affairs
                  Trina Driessnack Tyrer, Chief Clerk




                                                       Calendar No. 250
111th Congress                                                   Report
                                 SENATE
 1st Session                                                    111-112

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



 
 COMMISSION ON WARTIME RELOCATION AND INTERNMENT OF LATIN AMERICANS OF 
                          JAPANESE DESCENT ACT

                                _______
                                

               December 23, 2009.--Ordered to be printed

                                _______
                                

Mr. Lieberman, from the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental 
                    Affairs, submitted the following

                              R E P O R T

                          [To accompany S. 69]

    The Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental 
Affairs, to which was referred the bill (S. 69) to establish a 
fact-finding Commission to extend the study of a prior 
Commission to investigate and determine facts and circumstances 
surrounding the relocation, internment, and deportation to Axis 
countries of Latin Americans of Japanese descent from December 
1941 through February 1948, and the impact of those actions by 
the United States, and to recommend appropriate remedies, and 
for other purposes, having considered the same, reports 
favorably thereon without amendment and recommends that the 
bill do pass.

                                CONTENTS

                                                                   Page
  I. Purpose and Summary..............................................1
 II. Background.......................................................2
III. Legislative History..............................................3
 IV. Section by Section Summary of the Bill...........................3
  V. Regulatory Impact and Evaluation.................................5
 VI. Congressional Budget Office Cost Estimate........................6
VII. Changes in Existing Law..........................................7

                         I. PURPOSE AND SUMMARY

    The Commission on Wartime Relocation and Internment of 
Latin Americans of Japanese Descent Act (S. 69) would create a 
fact finding commission to (1) investigate U.S. relocation, 
internment, and deportation of Latin Americans of Japanese 
descent held in U.S. custody from December 1941 through 
February 1948; and (2) recommend appropriate remedies to 
Congress based on preliminary findings by an earlier Commission 
and any new evidence that the Commission may consider.

                II. BACKGROUND AND NEED FOR LEGISLATION

    In 1982, the Commission on Wartime Relocation and 
Internment of Civilians (hereinafter ``WRIC'') reported on the 
internment of Japanese-Americans during World War II, which 
took place pursuant to President Franklin D. Roosevelt's 
Executive Order 9066.\1\ The report of the WRIC led to a formal 
apology by President Reagan and successful enactment of a bill 
for reparations. Near the end of its work, the WRIC discovered, 
but did not fully investigate, the U.S. government's 
involvement in relocating, interning, and using Latin Americans 
of Japanese descent for prisoner exchanges.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \1\Congress established the Commission on Wartime Relocation and 
Internment of Civilians in P.L. 96-317, which was signed into law on 
July 31, 1980. The Commission issued its report, ``Personal Justice 
Denied: Report of the Commission on Wartime Relocation and Internment 
of Civilians (hereinafter ``WRIC Report''), in December 1982.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Documents in the National Archives reflect that from 1941 
to 1948, the U.S. government initiated a program that brought 
approximately 2,300 persons of Japanese ancestry into the U.S. 
from 13 Latin American countries. The relocation and internment 
of Japanese Latin Americans was motivated by a desire to 
increase the number of persons who could potentially be 
exchanged for U.S. civilians and military personnel in Japanese 
custody.\2\ Many of these Japanese Latin Americans were used in 
prisoner exchanges and were sent to Japan, a country which some 
of the deportees had never even visited. Those who were not 
used in prisoner exchanges were held as late as 1948; after 
that, they were considered illegal entrants by the U.S. 
government and many were deported to their country of origin.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \2\Acting Secretary of State Breckinridge Long wrote in a 
memorandum to the U.S. Ambassador to Peru, R. Henry Norweb, that ``an 
eventual deficiency of Japanese to be exchanged may develop.'' 
Memorandum from Acting Secretary of State Breckenridge Long to U.S. 
Ambassador to Peru, R. Henry Norweb, Oct. 22, 1943.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Commissions are regularly mandated by Congress as a 
necessary and legitimate tool to aid Congress in exercising its 
policy making powers. The WRIC acknowledged that its work was 
in some sense incomplete. In its final report in 1982 it 
observed that ``historical documents concerning the ethnic 
Japanese in Latin America are, of course, housed in distant 
archives, and the Commission has not researched that body of 
material.''\3\ Nonetheless it concluded that ``an examination 
of the extraordinary program of interning aliens from Latin 
America in the United States [would complete] the account of 
federal actions to detain and intern civilians . . . of 
Japanese ancestry.''\4\ This Committee believes that further 
work remains to be done to establish a full record of this 
tragic episode. S. 69 authorizes that work by continuing the 
earlier study authorized by Congress. It also establishes that 
Congress will retain the discretion to enact any 
recommendations proposed by the new findings and work of the 
Commission.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \3\Appendix I: Latin Americans. WRIC Report, page 314.
    \4\Ibid., at page 305.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

                        III. LEGISLATIVE HISTORY

    The Commission on Wartime Relocation and Internment of 
Latin Americans of Japanese Descent Act was first introduced by 
Senator Inouye in the 109th Congress as S. 2296. Senator Inouye 
introduced the bill again as S. 381 in the 110th Congress on 
January 24, 2007. The Committee subsequently ordered the bill 
favorably reported, without amendment, by voice vote on June 
13, 2007. The bill was reported on September 11, 2008 with a 
written report (110-452) and was placed on the Senate 
Legislative Calendar. No further action was taken on this bill 
during the 110th Congress.
    On January 6, 2009, Senator Inouye again introduced the 
Commission on Wartime Relocation and Internment of Latin 
Americans of Japanese Descent Act (S. 69) with Senators Akaka, 
Carper, Lieberman, and Murkowski as original co-sponsors. The 
bill was subsequently co-sponsored by Senators Leahy, Bennett, 
and Feinstein. Representative Xavier Becerra introduced an 
identical measure, H.R. 42, on January 6, 2009. On February 11, 
2009 the Committee ordered S. 69 to be reported favorably 
without amendment by voice vote. Senators present were: 
Lieberman, Levin, Carper, McCaskill, Burris, Bennet, Collins, 
McCain, and Voinovich.

               IV. SECTION-BY-SECTION SUMMARY OF THE BILL

Section 1. Short title

Section 2. Findings and purpose

    Section 2(a) summarizes the findings of the original 
Commission on Wartime Relocation and Internment of Civilians: 
that the U.S. government financed relocation to the United 
States and internment of approximately 2,300 Latin Americans of 
Japanese descent for the purpose of exchanging the Japanese 
Latin Americans for U.S. citizens held by Axis countries.
    Section 2(b) states that the purpose of the Act is to 
establish a fact-finding commission to extend the study of the 
Commission on Wartime Relocation and Internment of Civilians to 
investigate and determine facts and circumstances surrounding 
the relocation, internment, and deportation to Axis countries 
of Latin Americans of Japanese descent from December 1941 
through February 1948, and the impact of those actions by the 
United States, and to recommend appropriate remedies, if any, 
based on preliminary findings by the original Commission based 
upon new evidence and discoveries.

Section 3. Establishment of the Commission

    Section 3(a) establishes the Commission on Wartime 
Relocation and Internment of Latin Americans of Japanese 
descent (hereinafter ``the Commission'').
    Section 3(b) sets out the composition of the Commission. It 
provides that the 9-member Commission shall be composed of 
three members appointed by the President, three members 
appointed by the Speaker of the House of Representatives in 
consultation with the House majority leader and House minority 
leader, and three members appointed by the President pro 
tempore of the Senate, in consultation with the Senate majority 
and Senate minority leader.
    Under Section 3(c), members of the Commission are appointed 
for the life of the Commission. Section 3(c) further provides 
that a vacancy will not affect the Commission's powers, but 
shall be filled in the same manner as the original appointment 
was made.
    Under Section 3(d), the President must call the first 
meeting of the Commission no later than the later of either (1) 
60 days after the date of enactment of this Act, or (2) 30 days 
after the date of enactment of legislation making 
appropriations to carry out this Act. After the first meeting, 
the Commission shall meet at the call of the Chairperson.
    Section 3(e) provides that five members of the Commission 
are required to constitute a quorum, though fewer than five 
members may hold hearings.
    Section 3(f) provides that the Commission will elect a 
Chairperson and Vice Chairperson from its members to serve for 
the life of the Commission.

Section 4. Duties of the Commission

    Section 4(a) sets out the general duties of the Commission, 
which include investigating the circumstances surrounding the 
United States' relocation, internment, and deportation to Axis 
countries of Latin Americans of Japanese descent from December 
1941 through February 1948, and the impact of those actions by 
the United States. The Commission will also recommend 
appropriate remedies, if any, based on preliminary findings by 
the WRIC and new discoveries by the Commission.
    Section 4(b) requires the Commission to submit a written 
report to Congress no later than one year after the date of the 
Commission's first meeting. This report will contain findings 
resulting from the investigation and the Commission's 
recommendations, if any.

Section 5. Powers of the Commission

    Section 5(a) allows the Commission, or at the Commission's 
direction, any subcommittee or member of the Commission, to 
hold public hearings, take testimony and receive evidence. The 
section also authorizes the Commission to require, by subpoena 
or otherwise, the attendance and testimony of witnesses and the 
production of documents and other materials.
    Section 5(b) describes the process for issuing and 
enforcing subpoenas. If a person fails to obey a subpoena 
issued by a Commission, a United States district court may 
issue an order compelling compliance, and may punish failure to 
obey as a contempt of that court.
    Section 5(c) applies 28 U.S.C. Sec. 1821 to witnesses 
requested or subpoenaed to appear at any Commission hearings. 
The per diem and mileage allowances for witnesses will be paid 
from funds available to pay the expenses of the Commission.
    Section 5(d) requires all executive branch entities to 
comply fully with any requests for information from the 
Commission.
    Under Section 5(e), the Commission may use the United 
States Postal Service in the same manner and under the same 
condition as other agencies and departments of the Federal 
Government.

Section 6. Personnel and administrative provisions

    Under Section 6(a), each member of the Commission who is 
not an officer or employee of the Federal Government shall be 
compensated at a rate equal to the daily equivalent of the 
annual rate of pay prescribed for level IV of the Executive 
Schedule for each day (including travel time) the member is 
performing the duties of the Commission. Those members of the 
Commission who are officers or employees of the Federal 
Government shall serve without compensation in addition to 
their services as officers or employees of the United States.
    Section 6(b) allows members of the Commission travel 
expenses, including per diem, while away from their homes or 
regular places of business while performing services for the 
Commission.
    Section 6(c) sets personnel and administrative provisions 
regarding the hiring of staff. The Chairperson of the 
Commission may appoint and terminate personnel as necessary to 
enable the Commission to perform its duties. The Chairperson 
also has the authority to fix the compensation for personnel, 
which may not exceed the rate payable for level V of the 
Executive Schedule.
    Under Section 6(d), any employee of the Federal Government 
may be detailed to the Commission without reimbursement, and 
such detail shall be without interruption or loss of civil 
service status or privilege.
    Section 6(e) allows the Chairperson of the Commission to 
procure temporary and intermittent services at rates for 
individuals that do not exceed the daily equivalent of the 
annual rate of basic pay prescribed for level V of the 
Executive Schedule.
    Section 6(f) allows the Commission to enter into agreements 
to procure necessary financial and administrative services, 
supplies, property, and other activities necessary to enable 
the Commission to perform its duties.

Section 7. Termination

    Section 7 provides that the Commission shall terminate 90 
days after the date on which the Commission submits its report 
to Congress.

Section 8. Authorization of appropriations

    Section 8 authorizes to be appropriated such sums as may be 
necessary to carry out this Act. Appropriated sums would remain 
available, without fiscal year limitation, until expended.

                  V. REGULATORY IMPACT AND EVALUATION

    Pursuant to the requirements of paragraph 11(b) of rule 
XXVI of the Standing Rules of the Senate, the Committee has 
considered the regulatory impact of this bill. The 
Congressional Budget Office states that the bill contains no 
intergovernmental or private-sector mandates as defined in the 
Unfunded Mandate Reform Act and would impose no costs on state, 
local, or tribal governments, or private entities. The 
enactment of this legislation will not have significant 
regulatory impact.

             VI. CONGRESSIONAL BUDGET OFFICE COST ESTIMATE

    The Committee sets forth, with respect to the bill, S. 69, 
the following estimate and comparison prepared by the Director 
of the Congressional Budget Office under section 402 of the 
Congressional Budget Act of 1974:

                                                 February 13, 2009.
Hon. Joseph I. Lieberman,
Chairman, Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, U.S. 
        Senate, Washington, DC.
    Dear Mr. Chairman: The Congressional Budget Office has 
prepared the enclosed cost estimate for S. 69, the Commission 
on Wartime Relocation and Internment of Latin Americans of 
Japanese Descent Act.
    If you wish further details on this estimate, we will be 
pleased to provide them. The CBO staff contact is Matthew 
Pickford.
            Sincerely,
                                      Douglas W. Elmendorf,
                                                          Director.
    Enclosure.

S. 69--Commission on Wartime Relocation and Internment of Latin 
        Americans of Japanese Descent Act

    S. 69 would establish a commission to investigate and 
determine the facts and circumstances surrounding the 
relocation, internment, and deportation from the United States 
of Latin Americans of Japanese descent from December 1941 to 
February 1948.
    Under S. 69, nine commission members--three appointed by 
the President, three appointed by the Speaker of the House of 
Representatives, and three appointed by the President pro 
tempore of the Senate--would have one year to report to the 
Congress on its findings, recommendations, and possible 
remedies. Commission members who are not federal employees 
would be compensated for their service. In addition, all 
commission members would be reimbursed for travel expenses. The 
commission would be authorized to hire staff or use personnel 
detailed from other federal agencies and would terminate 90 
days after submitting its final report.
    Based on the costs of similar commissions, CBO estimates 
that the commission would spend about $500,000 over the 2009-
2010 period, subject to appropriation of the necessary amounts. 
Enacting the bill would not affect direct spending or revenues. 
The legislation would not authorize any payment of restitution; 
such authority would require a separate act of the Congress.
    S. 69 would impose both intergovernmental and private-
sector mandates as defined in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act 
(UMRA) because the commission would have the authority to 
subpoena information. State, local, and tribal governments as 
well as private-sector entities, if subpoenaed by the 
commission, would be required to provide testimony, documents, 
or other evidence. CBO expects that the commission would likely 
exercise this authority sparingly and that the costs to comply 
with subpoenas would not be significant. Thus, we estimate that 
the costs to those governments and private-sector entities 
would be small and well below the annual thresholds established 
in UMRA ($69 million for intergovernmental mandates and $139 
million for private-sector mandates in 2009, adjusted annually 
for inflation). Furthermore, S. 69 would direct the commission 
to pay a per diem and mileage allowance to any witness who 
appears before the commission.
    The CBO staff contacts for this estimate are Matthew 
Pickford (for federal costs), Elizabeth Cove Deslisle (for 
state and local impact), and Marin Randall (for the private-
sector impact). This estimate was approved by Theresa Gullo, 
Deputy Assistant Director for Budget Analysis.

                      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. 69, as ordered reported.