DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR
For Immediate Release
Friday, September 8, 1944
Cleared and Issued Through Facilities of the Office of War Information
More than 400 Japanese Americans leave relocation centers on indefinite leave each week to work and live in widely scattered American towns, cities and rural communities, Dillon S. Myer, Director of the War Relocation Authority, reported today to Acting Secretary of the Interior Abe Fortas.
The figure for the four-week period ending August 26 was 1,717, bringing the total number of relocated persons to 30,572, the WRA compilation showed. About 60,100 evacuees remain in the eight relocation centers, including most of the older persons and the very young children.
"One of the most heartening developments in recent weeks," Mr. Myer said, "is the growing number of Japanese Americans who are invited by American communities to share their work opportunities. These community invitations usually are extended through WRA relocation officers, assigned in principal cities to the job of helping the evacuees make their adjustment to new surroundings.
"Approximately three-fourths of the August total left the centers in response to these community invitations. The remainder were those who left to join family members already relocated and those who left to accept specific job offers."
In addition to the 30,572 persons permanently relocated, 5,233 are outside the centers on seasonal leave, working in activities such as canning, beet thinning and harvesting. Some of these workers will return to the centers. Others will apply for and receive permanent leave status.
The authority directs its major energies into this relocation process.
"Our number one job," Mr. Myer said, "is relocating evacuees outside the centers, off the Government liability sheet in communities where they can resume normal lives and make a direct contribution to victory."
WRA makes a thorough security check of each evacuee before authorizing his departure from the center, Mr. Myer said.
The number of indefinite leaves granted during the August period from each of the centers follows: Central Utah (Utah) 150, Colorado River (Ariz.) 325, Gila River (Ariz.) 298, Granada (Colo.) 200, Heart Mountain (Wyo.) 180, Manzanar (Calif.) 70, Minidoka (Idaho) 155, Rohwer (Ark.) 339.
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