[TIMELINE] Immigrants Forced to Register (August 28, 1940)
- Immigrants are forced to register
Aug. 28, 1940: To comply with the Alien Registration Act, Los
Angeles begins to register its estimated 125,000 foreign-born
residents at its processing headquarters in San Pedro.
"By late afternoon, more than 500 aliens had registered, given the
government the required information about themselves and been
fingerprinted in compliance with the law," The Times reported. "They
ranged from Mexicans, Japanese and Chinese to Poles, Finns, Germans,
English and Canadians. Many of them had lived in the United States
for years, some as long as 20 years."
Against the backdrop of war in Europe, the new law required all
foreign-born residents over 14 to state their occupation, political
beliefs and personal status, the newspaper said. It also forbade
anyone from advocating the overthrow of the government. A fine of
$1,000 and six months imprisonment was the penalty for failure to