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xv The terminology for referring to the subjects of this book follows ­ legal definitions and usage in government documents. The designation “aliens” refers to Italians residing in the United States or brought to the United States from Latin Amer­ i­ ca who had not obtained citizenship. Once the United States declared war against Italy, the aliens became, in the government ’s eyes, “alien enemies” or “­ enemy aliens,” terms of ­ legal status that I use interchangeably.1 I refer to Italians who ­ were born in Italy and obtained their citizenship in the United States as “naturalized” American citizens. To become a naturalized citizen, an Italian national, as was and is the case with any alien, would have to take an oath of allegiance and renunciation, effectively renouncing his or her former allegiance.2 The term “Italian Americans” refers to American citizens of Italian descent, inclusive of naturalized citizens and citizens by birth. Reference to “Italians” means individuals of Italian descent, regardless of citizenship status. In the early 1940s, Italians comprised approximately 14 ­ percent of all foreign-­ born individuals in the United States.3 In accordance with the Alien Registration Act of 1940, all aliens fourteen and older ­ were required to register at a U.S. post office and carry identification cards indicating their status.4 Delays in the pro­ cessing of citizenship applications ­ were a ­ factor contributing to the large number of Italian aliens, approximately 700,000, at the start of World War II.5 According to information collected by the National Council on Naturalization and Citizenship’s Committee on Administration in December 1941, aliens who submitted applications for their second papers (Form N-400) had to wait fifteen to eigh­ teen months in the New York and Boston districts and about a year in other districts before being called to file their petitions for citizenship. The average waiting time should have been about three months. Extraordinary delays also occurred between the first and final hearings.6 This study focuses on 343 men and ­ women who ­ were subjected to “selective internment” for varying lengths of time.7­ These “Italian civilian internees ,” as I refer to them throughout the book, came from three groups. The first are Italian aliens who had resided in the United States before the outbreak of World War II and who ­ were apprehended in the United States A Note on Terminology and the Subject Group xvi A Note on Terminology and the Subject Group based on reports of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) identifying them as suspect. ­ These individuals ­ were immediately detained and subsequently interned ­ after a hearing. In the second group are a few naturalized citizens categorized as ­ enemy aliens who experienced the same series of events despite being American citizens. The third group consists of forty-­ six Italian nationals who had resided in Latin Amer­ i­ ca, ­ were apprehended ­ there, and ­ were brought to internment camps in the United States pursuant to an agreement between the U.S. State Department and Latin American countries .8 Excluded from the study are the approximately 1,300 merchant sailors from luxury liners in the Panama Canal and American ports suspected of sabotaging their ships, most of whom ­ were interned beginning in March 1941 at Fort Missoula, Montana, and held through the end of the war.9 Italian nationals who had worked at the 1939–­1940 World’s Fair in New York and ­ were interned at Fort Missoula in spring 1941 are also excluded from the study.10 Although ­ these latter groups ­ were interned with some of the subjects of the study beginning in December 1941, their ­ legal status was substantially dif­fer­ ent. I determined the subject group of 343 persons by reviewing the Provost Marshal General’s files of Italian internees, identifying long-­ time residents of the United States and Latin Americans.11 I then checked the list of Italian aliens who satisfied my criteria against U.S. Army camp lists, some of which indicated each internee’s occupation, allowing me to verify that the subjects ­ were not seamen or World’s Fair employees.12 Reference to Alien Registration forms filed pursuant to the 1940 Alien Registration Act confirmed the nationality and occupations of many of the subjects.13 Demographic information on the internees and data that I compiled concerning the subjects’ internment can be found in the appendices. ...


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