immigrant detention, Fourth Amendment, jurisprudence, precedential law, Japanese internment cases, civil detentions, national security


One of the darkest periods in modern United States history is reoccurring with mixed public approval. During World War II, the United States government enacted executive orders creating a curfew, proscribing living areas, and forcing the exclusion and detention of all Japanese descendants from the West Coast. The United States justified these grievous freedom and equality violations through an increased need for national security “because we [were] at war with [Japan].” However, this perceived increased need for national security came from a fraudulent assessment showing any Japanese-American could be planning espionage or sabotage of the United States. After the war, the case constitutionalizing these detentions, Korematsu v. United States, became a black mark in United States’ jurisprudential history, yet it has still not been completely overturned. Despite this black mark, the United States is again subjecting people to unwarranted detention based on alienage, race, and national origin. By using only alienage, race, and national origin to detain individuals and families in camps and correctional facilities, the modern immigration detention scheme mirrors that of Japanese internment.