Page images
PDF
EPUB

April 11, 1899 ; ” but the Department was of opinion that, instead of enlarging the terms of the circular, " it would be more prudent to take up and decide in each individual case whether the person is entitled to protection.” (Mr. Hay, Sec. of State, to Sec. of War, Dec. 28, 1900, 250 MS. Dom. Let. 13.)

An inquiry having been made in May, 1900, as to what steps, if any, could be taken by a citizen and resident of Venezuela to preserve the original or the Cuban nationality of a child, a native of Cuba, whom he had adopted eight years previously, the Department of State replied that the question would be “ one for the determination of the Cuban authorities when a definitive government shall be established in Cuba."

Mr. Hay, Sec. of State, to M:. Loomis, min. to Venezuela, June 8, 1900,

For. Rel. 1900, 954.
The capture of Charleston, S. C., by the British forces in May, 1780, did

not permanently change the allegiance or the national character of
the inhabitants. (Shanks v. Dupont, 3 Pet. 242.)

In reply to an inquiry whether in case of “ trouble” in Caracas Cubans might hoist the United States flag for protection, the Department of State said: “ Flag should only be shown by citizens. You may notify authorities of any menaced Cuban property and use good offices for them."

Mr. Adee, Acting Sec. of State, to Mr. Russell, chargé at Caracas, tel.,

Sept. 19, 1899, For. Rel. 1899, 796.

Benito Llaveria y Pascual was born in Havana, Cuba, June 24, 1875, his parents being natives of the province of Tarragona. In 1895 he went to Barcelona, Spain, where his father had resided for three years. .

In March, 1898, he was conscripted. He applied for exemption, on the ground that he and his father were only temporarily residing in Barcelona. This application was denied; and it was held, besides, that he had incurred certain penalties by his failure previously to be enrolled on first becoming liable to service. He failed, however, to report, and on April 1, 1898, returned to Havana. In June, 1899, he returned to Spain, bearing a Cuban passport issued by the United States military authorities and a certificate of identity and residence issued by the municipal authorities of Havana; and with these papers he was registered in the United States consulategeneral at Barcelona as a Cuban citizen. In January, 1901, he was again drawn for duty, and his petition for exemption was rejected, the military authorities holding that, even assuming that he had lost his Spanish nationality, he was obliged to fulfill the obligation of service previously incurred. This conclusion appearing to be in accordance with the Spanish law, it was accepted by the United States.

Mr. Hay, Sec. of State, to Mr. Storer, min. to Spain, April 8 and June 4,

1901, For. Rel. 1901, 469, 470. In the instruction of April 8, Mr. Hay said: “If, under the Spanish law,

Mr. Llaveria was liable to military service when he was enrolled in March, 1898, the Department is inclined to think that the Spanish view is correct. A subsequent change of nationality would not operate to discharge the obligation. You may examine this question. The Department's circular of May 2, 1899, only authorizes our diplomatic and consular oflicers to exercise good offices for the protection of 'native inhabitants of ('uba temporarily residing abroad.' The consul at Barcelona has protested against the action of the Spanish authorities in this case. The Department will therefore take no further action on it until it shall have received a report from you

on the point above referred to." (For. Rel. 1901, 469.) Mr. Storer having reported that the conclusion of the military author

ities appeared to be in conformity with the Spanish law, Mr. Hay, in his instruction of June 4, said: “You state that you have reached the conclusion that Mr. Benito Llaveria Pascual was by Spanish law domiciled in Barcelona at the time of his enrollment for the army in 1898; that he was of proper age to be enrolled, and that his failure to present himself for such purpose places him entirely under the penal sections cited by the commission. You add that you have advised the United States consul-general at Barcelona of your conclusions.

In reply I have to say that the Department approves your action." (For. Rel. 1901, 470.)

Congress having declared by resolution that the people of the island of Cuba “ are and of right ought to be free and independent," and the status of the island in this regard 'not having been changed by the treaty with Spain of December 10, 1898, a citizen of Cuba is a citizen of a foreign state, within the act of Congress of 1887 giving the circuit court of the United States jurisdiction of controversies “between citizens of a State and foreign states, citizens, or subjects."

Betancourt 1. Mutual Reserve Fund Life Association, 101 Fed. Rep. 305.

[blocks in formation]

Beginning with the act of March 26, 1790, 1 Stat. 103, Congress, in the exercise of its power to establish an uniform rule of naturalization, has passed various statutes for the admission of aliens to citizenship of the United States. References to these statutes are given below. Recommendations for their amendment have from time to time been made. See, in this relation, the report of Messrs. Purdy, Hunt, and Campbell to the President, under Executive order of March 1, 1905, on the subject of naturalization and needed amendments of the law. (H. Doc. 46, 59 Cong. 1 sess.)

Naturalization has also been regulated to some extent by treaty. The United States has concluded treaties on the subject with the following countries: North German Union, Feb. 22, 1868; Bavaria, May 26, 1868; Baden, July 19, 1868; Hesse, Aug. 1, 1868; Belgium, Nov. 16, 1868; Sweden and Norway, May 26, 1869; Great Britain, May 13, 1870; Austria-Hungary, Sept. 20, 1870; Ecuador, May 6, 1872; Denmark, July 20, 1872; Hayti, March 22, 1902.

Although a fraudulent certificate of naturalization may be taken up by a diplomatic representative of the United States and sent to the Department of State, yet “the record of the court in which the fraudulent naturalization occurred remains, and duplicate certificates are readily obtainable ... I earnestly recommend further legislation to punish fraudulent naturalization and to secure the ready cancellation of the record of every naturalization made in fraud.”

President Grant, annual message, Dec. 7, 1874, For. Rel. 1874, xi.
The revision of the naturalization laws, especially so as to prevent frauds,

is strongly recommended by President Roosevelt in his annual mes

sage of Dec. 6, 1904. See, also, his special message of Dec. 5, 1905, transmitting to Congress

the report of the Commission on Naturalization (Messrs. Purdy, Ilunt, and Campbell) of Nov. 8, 1905, with drafts of bills on the subject. (H. Doc. 46, 59 Cong. 1 sess.)

" The numbers of persons of foreign birth seeking a home in the United States, the ease and facility with which the honest emigrant may after the lapse of a reasonable time become possessed of all the privileges of citizenship of the United States, and the frequent occasions which induce such adopted citizens to return to the country of their birth, render the subject of naturalization and the safeguards which experience has proved necessary for the protection of the honest naturalized citizen of paramount importance. The very simplicity in the requirements of law on this question affords opportunity for fraud, and the want of uniformity in the proceedings and records of the various courts, and in the forms of the certificates of naturalization issued, affords a constant source of difficulty.

“ I suggest no additional requirements to the acquisition of citizenship beyond those now existing, but I invite the earnest attention of Congress to the necessity and wisdom of some provisions regarding uniformity in the records and certificates, and providing against the frauds which frequently take place, and for the vacating of a record of naturalization obtained in fraud.

“ These provisions are needed in aid and for the protection of the honest citizen of foreign birth, and for the want of which he is made to suffer not in frequently. The United States has insisted upon the right of expatriation, and has obtained after a long struggle an admission of the principle contended for by acquiescence therein on the part of many foreign powers and by the conclusion of treaties on that subject. It is, however, but justice to the government to which such naturalized citizens have formerly owed allegiance, as well as to the United States, that certain fixed and definite rules should be adopted governing such cases and providing how expatriation may be accomplished.

“ While emigrants in large numbers become citizens of the United States, it is also true that persons, both native-born and naturalized, once citizens of the United States, either by formal acts or as the effect of a series of facts and circumstances, abandon their citizenship and cease to be entitled to the protection of the United States, but continue on convenient occasions to assert a claim to protection in the absence of provisions on these questions."

President Grant, annual message, Dec. 5, 1876, For. Rel. 1876, ix.

“Our existing naturalization laws also need revision. Those sections relating to persons residing within the limits of the United States in 1795 and 1798 have now only a historical interest. Section 2172, recognizing the citizenship of the children of naturalized parents, is ambiguous in its terms and partly obsolete. There are special provisions of law favoring the naturalization of those who serve in the Army or in merchant vessels, while no similar privileges are granted those who serve in the Navy or the Marine Corps.

“An uniform rule of naturalization, such as the Constitution contemplates, should, among other things, clearly define the status of persons born within the United States subject to a foreign power section 1992) and of minor children of fathers who have declared their intention to become citizens but have failed to perfect their naturalization. It might be wise to provide for a central bureau of registry, wherein should be filed authenticated transcripts of every record of naturalization in the several Federal and State courts, and to make provision also for the vacation or cancellation of such record in cases where fraud had been practiced upon the court by the applicant himself or where he had renounced or forfeited his acquired citizenship. A just and uniform law in this respect would strengthen the hands of the Government in protecting its citizens abroad, and would pave the way for the conclusion of treaties of naturalization with foreign countries.”

President Arthur, annual message, Dec. 1, 1884, For. Rel. 1884, x.

66

The inadequacy of existing legislation touching citizenship and naturalization demands your consideration. While recognizing the right of expatriation, no statutory provision exists providing means for renouncing citizenship by an American citizen, native-born or naturalized, nor for terminating and vacating an improper acquisition of citizenship. Even a fraudulent decree of naturalization cannot now be canceled. The privilege and franchise of American citizenship should be granted with care, and extended to those only who intend in good faith to assume its duties and responsibilities when attaining its privileges and benefits; it should be withheld from those who merely go through the forms of naturalization with the intent of escaping the duties of their original allegiance without taking upon themselves those of their new status, or who may acquire the rights of American citizenship for no other than a hostile purpose towards their original governments. These evils have had many flagrant illustrations. I regard with favor the suggestion put forth by one of my predecessors, that provision be made for a central bureau of record of the decrees of naturalization granted by the various courts throughout the United States now invested with that power.”

President Cleveland, annual message, Dec. 8, 1885, For. Rel. 1885, xv.
“I renew the recommendation of my last annual message, that existing

legislation concerning citizenship and naturalization be revised. We
have treaties with many states providing for the renunciation of
citizenship by naturalized aliens, but no statute is found to give
effect to such engagements, nor any which provides a needed central
bureau for the registration of naturalized citizens." (President
Cleveland, annual message, Dec. 6, 1886, For. Rel. 1886, xi.)

“With the rapid increase of immigration to our shores and the facilities of modern travel, abuses of the generous privileges afforded by our naturalization laws call for their careful revision.

“ The easy and unguarded manner in which certificates of American citizenship can now be obtained has induced a class, unfortunately large, to avail themselves of the opportunity to become absolved from allegiance to their native land and yet by a foreign residence to escape any just duty and contribution of service to the country of their proposed adoption. Thus, while evading the duties of citizenship to the United States they may make prompt claim for its national protection and demand its intervention in their behalf. International complications of a serious nature arise, and the correspondence of the State Department discloses the great number and complexity of the questions which have been raised.

“Our laws regulating the issue of passports should be carefully revised, and the institution of a central bureau of registration at the capital is again strongly recommended. By this means full particulars of each case of naturalization in the United States would be secured and properly indexed and recorded, and thus many cases of spurious citizenship would be detected and unjust responsibilities would be avoided."

« PreviousContinue »