|Boy Scout Troop at Crystal City, Texas Internment Camp|
Japanese, Germans and Italians, both foreign nationals and foreign-born American citizens considered potential threats, were rousted from their homes in the U.S. and in Latin American nations friendly to the U.S. and were then shipped to internment camps.
As many as seven camps may have been in Texas where historians are working to gather stories from some of the thousands who were confined and to preserve the few visible signs of the camps.
"What we're trying to do is show the impact Texas had with these confinement sites and the program in general," said William McWhorter, coordinator for the History Programs Division of the Texas Historical Commission. "There's been much written about Japanese-American relocation, and Germans and Italians. But there really hasn't been an exploration in the state as to how Texas participated."
The state's biggest camp was at Crystal City, about 40 miles from the U.S.-Mexico border, and was specifically for families. It was the largest of the some 20 camps nationwide supervised by the old the Immigration and Naturalization Service.
Other Texas camps include Kenedy, also in South Texas that housed mainly Japanese men. Near Dallas, a former federal prison for women in Seagoville was converted to house couples without children and some Japanese language teachers. Another temporary camp was at Fort Bliss, outside El Paso, and there's evidence of temporary camps in San Antonio and in Houston. Also some documents have referenced a camp at Laredo.