click to enlarge
enlarge image
Border Patrolman searching baggage
Border Patrolman searching baggage

Original caption: "Border Patrolmen, under the direction of the Department of Justice, inspect the baggage of women going to Crystal City, Texas internment camp. 3-20-46."
"Crystal City [administered by the Justice Department] became known as the "family camp" where Issei "enemy aliens" and their families were interned during World War II. With a peak population of over 4,000 -- including German and Italian internees as well as Japanese Americans -- Crystal City was one of the largest of the internment camps.
Within days of the attack on Pearl Harbor, the FBI and other authorities rounded up some 3,000 issei in both Hawaii and on the mainland who were judged to be security risks. For the most part, those picked up were the men who were the leaders of the Japanese American community -- Buddhist priests, Japanese-language school teachers, Japanese Association officials, etc. -- whose only crime was their perceived influence in the community. They were eventually taken to mainland camps administered by the Justice Department where most spent the duration of the war. In November 1942, the Justice Department decided to build a "family camp" to house the men whose families opted to join them in their internment. This camp became Crystal City, built on what had been a housing camp for migrant agricultural laborers in Zavala County in southern Texas....
For the most part Crystal City residents left the camps after the conclusion of the war to go to Japan or to return to their prewar homes in Hawaii or on the West Coast."
Japanese American History

Crystal City, known as the "family camp," closed in December 1947.
Courtesy of National Archives
March 20, 1946