||On February 19, 1942, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9066, authorizing the mass incarceration of some 110,000 Japanese Americans and aliens from the West Coast, southern Arizona, and Hawaii. About two-thirds of those interned were American citizens; most of the others were longtime residents of the United States prohibited from becoming naturalized because of their "race." Mainstream interpretations assert that the internment was a hasty decision made in the racist hysteria that erupted after Japan's December 7, 1941, attack on Pearl Harbor. This perception maintains that the public's long-held animosity toward Japanese in America, exacerbated by war hysteria, influenced West Coast pressure groups, media, and military and political leaders to implore federal officials in Washington for the mass incarceration, and the federal government eventually succumbed. This paper addresses questions, raised by primary research, that challenge this interpretation. If the impetus for the internment came from West Coast grassroots after Pearl Harbor, then why had federal officials considered this option long before December 7, 1941? If the impetus stemmed from a regional effort to rid the West Coast of people of Japanese descent, why did the federal government effect the internment of Japanese not only on the West Coast, but from throughout the Western Hemisphere?