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people, indispensable to the enjoyment of the rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness,” it was not until the passage of the Act of March 2, 1907, that the government recognized the right of American citizens to expatriate themselves in accordance with the theory which this government had invariably applied to foreigners wishing to become citizens of the United States. This Act provides that a citizen of the United States loses his citizenship by becoming a citizen or subject of a foreign country, and that he also loses his citizenship by taking an oath of allegiance to a foreign country, whether in so doing he does or does not acquire the nationality of the country to which he takes the oath.
The naturalization and the citizenship Acts, adequate enough for the piping times of peace, have proven defective in time of war, or rather the exigencies of the war have required provisions springing out of the newer and unforeseen conditions. Therefore an Act amendatory of both was passed by the Congress, and approved by the President May 9, 1918. The fundamental purpose of this Act is to enable noncitizens, whether born in American territory, such as the Philippines or Porto Rico, or aliens in the ordinary sense of the word, to become citizens of the United States with or without a declaration of intention, if they are serving the country in the crisis through which it is passing, either in the land or naval forces of the United States; and further to enable citizens of the United States who had before our declaration of war against the Imperial German Government expatriated themselves by taking the oath of service and serving in the armies of the countries now at war with the enemies of the United States, to resume citizenship upon terms which would seem not to penalize them for what must today be considered a patriotic, as it was then a praiseworthy act.
While the Act in question is too long to print in its entirety, and difficult to analyze in that its provisions are stated in summary terms, it is nevertheless desirable to quote in this connection the first part of the first seven subdivisions added to the Naturalization Act of June 29, 1906, which reads as follows:
Any native born Filipino of the age of twenty-one years and upward who has declared his intention to become a citizen of the United States and who has enlisted or may hereafter enlist in the United States Navy or Marine Corps or the Naval Auxiliary Service, and who, after service of not less than three years, may be honorably discharged therefrom, or who may receive an ordinary discharge with recom
mendation for reënlistment; or any alien, or any Porto Rican not a citizen of the United States, of the age of twenty-one years and upward, who has enlisted or entered or may hereafter enlist in or enter the armies of the United States, either the Regular or the Volunteer Forces, or the National Army, the National Guard or Naval Militia of any State, Territory, or the District of Columbia, or the State militia in Federal service, or in the United States Navy or Marine Corps, or in the United States Coast Guard, or who has served for three years on board of any vessel of the United States Government, or for three years on board of merchant or fishing vessels of the United States of more than twenty tons burden, and while still in the service on a reënlistment or reappointment, or within six months after an honorable discharge or separation therefrom, or while on furlough to the Army Reserve or Regular Army Reserve after honorable service, may, on presentation of the required declaration of intention petition for naturalization without proof of the required five years' residence within the United States if upon examination by the representative of the Bureau of Naturalization, in accordance with the requirements of this subdivision it is shown that such residence can not be established.
It will be observed that these classes of persons have already declared their intention to become citizens, and because of service to the government their naturalization is facilitated by removing from them the burden of proving a residence of five years within the United States.
The next part of this section deals with the cases of aliens who have not declared their intention to become citizens, as well as with certain classes of declarants who are considered entitled to citizenship because of the services which they have rendered the government. The first portion of this part of the section is thus worded:
Any alien serving in the military or naval service of the United States during the time this country is engaged in the present war may file his petition for naturalization without making the preliminary declaration of intention and without proof of the required five years' residence within the United States; any alien declarant who has served in the United States Army or Navy, or the Philippine Constabulary, and has been honorably discharged therefrom, and has been accepted for service in either the military or naval service of the United States on the condition that he becomes a citizen of the United States, may file his petition for naturalization upon proof of continuous residence within the United States for the three years immediately preceding his petition, by two witnesses, citizens of the United States, and in these cases only residence in the Philippine Islands and the Panama Canal Zone by aliens may be considered residence within the United States, and the place of such military service shall be construed as the place of residence required to be established for purposes of naturalization; and any alien, or any person owing permanent allegiance to the United States embraced within this subdivision, may file his petition for naturalization in the most convenient court without proof of residence within its jurisdiction, notwithstanding the limitation upon the jurisdiction of the courts specified in section three of the Act of June twenty-ninth, nineteen hundred and six,
provided he appears with his two witnesses before the appropriate representative of the Bureau of Naturalization and passes the preliminary examination hereby required before filing his petition for naturalization in the office of the clerk of the court, and in each case the record of this examination shall be offered in evidence by the representative of the government from the Bureau of Naturalization and made a part of the record at the original and any subsequent hearings; and, except as otherwise herein provided, the honorable discharge certificate of such alien, or person owing permanent allegiance to the United States, or the certificate of service showing good conduct, signed by a duly authorized officer, or by the masters of said vessels, shall be deemed prima facie evidence to satisfy all of the requirements of residence within the United States and within the State, Territory, or the District of Columbia, and good moral character required by law, when supported by the affidavits of two witnesses, citizens of the United States, identifying the applicant as the person named in the certificate or honorable discharge, and in those cases only where the alien is actually in the military or naval service of the United States, the certificate of arrival shall not be filed with the petition for naturalization in the manner prescribed; and any petition for naturalization filed under the provisions of this subdivision may be heard immediately, notwithstanding the law prohibits the hearing of a petition for naturalization during thirty days preceding any election in the jurisdiction of the court.
It will be noted in this connection that in addition to the repeal of the requirement of the declaration of intention, the requirement of residence is either modified or omitted, and the period of time required by the former Act eliminated.
But it may happen that an alien meeting the other requirements of the amending Act is not in a position to present himself in person before the clerk of the court, and to take the oath of allegiance in open court, according to the provisions of the original Act. Therefore, the last portion of this section provides that:
Any alien, who, at the time of the passage of this Act, is in the military service of the United States, who may not be within the jurisdiction of any court authorized to naturalize aliens, may file his petition for naturalization without appearing in person in the office of the clerk of the court and shall not be required to take the prescribed oath of allegiance in open court. The petition shall be verified by the affidavits of at least two credible witnesses who are citizens of the United States, and who shall prove in their affidavits the portion of the residence that they have personally known the applicant to have resided within the United States. The time of military service may be established by the affidavits of at least two other citizens of the United States, which, together with the oath of allegiance, may be taken in accordance with the terms of section seventeen hundred and fifty of the Revised Statutes of the United States after notice from and under regulations of the Bureau of Naturalization.
The eighth section added to the Act deals with seamen, providing briefly that such an alien, after the declaration of intention and three years' service upon a merchant or fishing vessel of the United States, shall be deemed a citizen of the United States for the purpose of serving on board any such merchant or fishing vessel of the United States, and that he shall "for all purposes of protection as an American citizen, be deemed such after the filing of his declaration to become such citizen."
The ninth of the new sections is very interesting and important, showing that candidates for citizenship are to be trained in the duties, as well as in the rights thereof, and text-books provided for them.
The tenth of the new sections is an attempt to regularize the status of persons qualified for citizenship on July 1, 1914, who, without a declaration of intention, erroneously exercised the rights, privileges, and duties of citizenship, by permitting them to be naturalized without making the preliminary declaration of intention upon satisfactory proof thereof.
The eleventh of the additional sections is very interesting, instructive, showing the faith of this country in the right even of an alien enemy to determine his nationality. The first part of this section dealing with this question is thus worded:
No alien who is a native, citizen, subject, or denizen of any country, State, or sovereignty with which the United States is at war shall be admitted to become a citizen of the United States unless he made his declaration of intention not less than two nor more than seven years prior to the existence of the state of war, or was at that time entitled to become a citizen of the United States, without making a declaration of intention, or unless his petition for naturalization shall then be pending and is otherwise entitled to admission, notwithstanding he shall be an alien enemy at the time and in the manner prescribed by the laws passed upon that subject.
It is recognized that the proceedings in such a case should be carefully supervised, and that every reasonable precaution should be taken in order to prevent an abuse of what can not be regarded as other than a very great and exceptional provision. Therefore, the hearing is to be had only after a notice of ninety days, given by the clerk of the court in which it is to take place, to the commissioner or deputy commissioner of naturalization, to be present, and the final hearing to be held in open court can take place only “after such notice to the representative of the Government from the Bureau of Naturalization, whose objection shall cause the petition to be continued from time to time for so long as the Government may require.” The experimental
nature of this proceeding is recognized and sought to be safeguarded by allowing “the apprehension and removal, agreeably to law, of any alien enemy at any time previous to the actual naturalization of such alien.” Recognizing that there might be aliens not included within the previous enumeration who are loyal and deserving of citizenship, the President is authorized by the last proviso of this section to exempt an alien enemy from the category of alien enemy upon an investigation and report by the Department of Justice fully establishing his loyalty.
The twelfth of the new sections deals with a situation appealing very strongly to our sense of justice by prescribing an appropriate method to enable those of our fellow countrymen who took service against our enemy before our country itself felt justified in going to war with the Imperial German Government, to resume citizenship.
The second section of an Act in reference to the expatriation of citizens and their protection abroad, approved March 2, 1907, provided that "Any American citizen shall be deemed to have expatriated himself when he has been naturalized in any foreign State in conformity with its laws, or when he has taken an oath of allegiance to any foreign State.”
The purpose of this section was twofold. First, to allow our citizens to obtain foreign nationality, and to recognize the new status thus created; second, to recognize a loss of American citizenship by those of our countrymen who should take an oath of allegiance to a foreign state without acquiring the nationality of or citizenship in that country. According to either of these provisions, American citizens who had taken service in the armies of Great Britain and France would seem to have renounced their American citizenship. To enable them to regain what they had sacrificed, an Act was passed and approved on October 5, 1917, defining their status. This Act apparently considered defective, in that it required the person desiring to repatriate himself to have been discharged from foreign service, and required of him evidence and formalities with which he might find it difficult to comply. Therefore this Act was repealed, and in lieu thereof the following substituted which constitutes the twelfth of the new sections:
That any person who, while a citizen of the United States and during the ex. isting war in Europe, entered the military or naval service of any country at war with a country with which the United States is now at war, who shall be deemed to have lost his citizenship by reason of any oath or obligation taken by him for the purpose of entering
such service, may resume his citizenship by taking the oath