Italians, Immigration, & You:
Alorah! A WWII ‘Did You Know?’

The World War II Era
Italian-American Immigrant ‘Threat’


An Executive Order is a type of ‘lawful order’ that a president can create without that ‘law-ish thing’ having to be a bill or get approved by congress first.  It’s not exactly a law, but people have to follow it anyway.

Perhaps you’ve heard of a very famous Executive Order: E.O. 9066.   That order – issued during World War II – led to America’s internment of its Japanese-American citizens during.  What is less well known about that order is the fact that it also forced over 10,000 Italian-Americans to relocate, and that it prevented an additional 600,000 Italian-Americans from being able to freely travel in the country!

The modern-day debates on immigration in America tend to focus on supporters asking for equal treatment of all people, while detractors (people against immigration) being concerned about immigration in general, but also expressing more focused concerns about people from Central America, South America, and the Middle East.

As the WWII order illustrates, immigration policies have affected all types of Americans throughout the country’ s history.  At the time of EO 9066, information from the US Census Bureau was used to target Italian-Americans within hours of the executive order being signed!  Events like that have even led to people being afraid of the census today (though they shouldn’t be – there are many new legal preventions in today’s world that would prevent that kind of abuse of census information).



1) What feelings do you have about how modern day America handles immigration?

2) A rare ‘There is a wrong answer to this question’ warning: Responding with ‘It doesn’t/hasn’t’ is 100% wrong.  So – How does America’s identity as ‘A Nation of Immigrants’ directly shaped / impacted your life?  Give at least three examples.

3) Read the original article that inspired this one (at the link below) and then explain: Why were Italian’s singled out during WWII along with the Japanese? What made them ‘a threat’?

BONUS :: A second rare ‘There is a wrong answer to this question’ warning: Responding with ‘It doesn’t / hasn’t’ is 100% wrong.  So – Explain how at least one American immigration law or policy directly shapes or impacts your life today. 

Here is an example (that you cannot copy or use):  The author of this article’s life is impacted by passport rules.  They want to travel to India, but first they need to renew their American Passport, which is pretty expensive!  

Be sure to provide full explanations for each of your answers. For more details, you can read the article this piece was sourced from here:


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