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“ The United States, while claiming for aliens within its jurisdiction, and freely conceding to its citizens in other jurisdictions, the right of expatriation, has always maintained that the transfer of allegiance must be by a distinctly voluntary act, and that the loss of citizenship cannot be imposed as a penalty nor a new national status forced as a favor by one government upon a citizen of another.
“ Not only is this believed to be the generally recognized rule of international law, but it is pertinent to notice that it was accepted and acted upon by the mixed commission under the convention of July 4, 1868, between the United States and Mexico. The first umpire of that commission, Dr. Francis Lieber, held, and the commissioners subsequently followed his decision, that a law of Mexico declaring every purchaser of land in that country a Mexican citizen unless he expressed a desire not to become so, did not operate to change, against their will, the national status of citizens of the United States who had purchased land in Mexico, but who had omitted in so doing to disclaim an intention to transfer their allegiance.
“ The notice in question is not interpreted by the Department as an admission by the legation of the defensibleness, on generally accepted principles of international intercourse, of legislative decrees changing the national status of foreigners without their consent. Americans are notified that, unless they do certain things, they will be considered by the Mexican Government as Mexican citizens.' This, it is to be observed, does not assert or imply that the legation acceded to the Mexican position. But in order to avoid any question of this kind hereafter you will take occasion to make known to the Mexican Government that this Department does not regard the publication of the notice above referred to as admitting the doctrine of involuntary change of allegiance, or that the same can be held conclusive upon our citizens; and that this Government is constrained to withhold its assent from that doctrine, as embodied in Article I., Chapter V., of the law referred to."
Mr. Bayard, Sec. of State, to Mr. Manning, min. to Mexico, Nov. 20, 1896.
For. Rel. 1886, 723. The views set forth in the foregoing instruction were duly communicated
to the Mexican Government. (Mr. Manning, Am, min., to Mr. Maris
(al, min. of for, aff., Nov. 30, 1886, For. Rel. 1887, 672.) The Mexican Government declined to discuss “the right which Mexico
has to issue laws that emanate directly from the provisions of its constitution, unless some practical case arises to give occasion to such debate.” (Mr. Mariscal to Mr. Manning, Dec. 1, 1886, For. Rel., 1887,
678.) See, also, Mr. Manning to Mr. Bayard, Dec. 11, 1886, and Mr. Bayard to
Mr. Manning, Jan. 18, 1887, For. Rel. 1887, 681, 681. By an act of the Mexican Congress of May 30, 1887, the time designated
in Art. I., Chap. V., of the law of May 28, 1886, for making the decla
ration with regard to nationality, was extended for eight months. (Mr. Manning to Mr. Bayard, April 15 and June 7, 1887, For. Rel.
1887, 712, 731.) Mr. Bayard, while expressing appreciation of the disposition shown by the
Mexican Government to afford to all who desired to do so an opportunity to make the prescribed regulation, still expressed “ dissent from the position that foreigners who have purchased land or had children born to them in Mexico may, from time to time, by a municipal statute, be deprived of their nationality unless they take some affirmative step to preserve it." (Mr. Bayard to Mr. Manning, April 27, 1887 ; Mr. Manning to Mr. Mariscal, June 7, 1887, For. Rel. 1887, 717,
732–733.) See, in the same sense, Mr. Bayard, Sec. of State, to Mr. Whitehouse,
chargé, Nov. 14, 1888, MS. Inst. Mexico XXII, 300.
In 1895, the Mexican Government declined to extradite Chester W. Rowe, a fugitive from the justice of the United States, on the ground that he had acquired Mexican nationality by the purchase of real estate. Circumstances indicated that Rowe had sought Mexican nationality in this manner after he had taken refuge in Mexico, with a view to secure protection against the demand for his extradition. On this ground the United States raised the question whether his naturalization was valid, and expressed a desire that this question should be judicially determined. The Mexican Government disclaimed the power to institute judicial proceedings on its own motion for this purpose, but stated that the Mexican courts would be prepared to pass upon the question if the United States should institute proceedings. In the course of the diplomatic discussions, the Department of State of the United States said: “It is not within the province or intent of this Department to find fault with the laws of Mexico, nor to deny the effect attributed to them by Mr. Mariscal in this case.”
Mr. Olney, Sec. of State, to Mr. Ransom, min. to Mexico, Dec. 13, 1895,
For. Rel. 1895, II. 1008.
foreigners, by acquiring real estate in the Republic, are invested with
February 19, 1890, Mr. Blaine, in an instruction to the minister of
the United States at Rio de Janeiro, stated that atDiscussion with
tention had been attracted to a decree of the provi
sional government of December 15, 1889, the first article of which declared that all foreigners who were residing in Brazil on November 15, 1889, the date of the advent of the Republic, would be considered as Brazilian citizens, unless within six months from the publication of the decree they should make a declaration to the contrary before the proper authorities of the municipalities in which they respectively were domiciled; while, by the second article of the decree, it was declared that all foreigners who should thereafter reside in the country for ten years should be considered as Brazilian citizens, unless they made the declaration provided for in the first article. Mr. Blaine stated that the principle of the decree was not entirely novel, but that it was not known to have been accepted by foreign governments when brought to their attention. In this relation he referred to the Mexican law of 1886 and to the representations made by the United States with regard to it. To hold that the mere residence of an individual in a foreign country was conclusive evidence of his desire and intention to become one of its citizens would, declared Mr. Blaine, involve an assumption of a most violent character. In a matter of such vital importance as that of citizenship it was, he said, necessary to preserve fundamental principles, and especially was this so in the case of commercial nations into whose territory foreigners came to reside for purposes of lawful enterprise, wholly disconnected from any desire to participate in political affairs. It was scarcely compatible with this beneficial state of intercourse to attribute to such persons political aspirations and compel them to make a disclaimer in order to preserve their nationality. For these reasons the United States was unable, said Mr. Blaine, to concede that the decree in question might have the effect of denationalizing citizens of the United States residing in Brazil.
In consequence of communications made at Washington, the legation at Rio de Janeiro was directed not to present the foregoing instructions to the Brazilian Government till further advised.
In a circular of May 23, 1890, the Brazilian ministry of foreign affairs stated that the provisional government had no intention of imposing Brazilian citizenship on the foreigners to whom the decree eferred, but that to some governments, and especially to the French Republic, it had seemed that this was the case. The French Government had therefore asked (1) what would be the opinion of the provisional government if a Frenchman should insist that, as he had not made the necessary declaration before the 15th of June, he did not cease to be a French citizen, and (2) what would the provisional government think of the case of a Frenchman who, after taking advantage of the decree, should return to France and seek the assistance of the Brazilian legation to protect him against a charge of desertion. The ministry of foreign affairs said it had answered the first question by stating that the decree was intended to admit into the Brazilian communion all who desired to enter it without any constraint, and that if a Frenchman who had not taken advantage of the privileges allowed by the decree insisted on not being naturalized, his protest would be respected. To the second inquiry, the ministry of foreign affairs replied that the Brazilian legation would not protest against the decision of the French Government in the case mentioned. The ministry of foreign affairs also stated that by a decree of May 15, 1890, the Government allowed the declaration to be made, not only before the municipal chambers, but also before notaries public and before the diplomatic or consular representative of the interested party, and that the Government would also grant an extension of the time allowed for making it.
In view of these statements as to the interpretation and enforcement of the decree, the legation of the United States was instructed September 5, 1890, that the Department of State, while entertaining no doubt as to the correctness of the principles previously enunciated by it, was of opinion that it would be advisable for citizens of the United States to make the desired declaration before the American diplomatic or consular officers. Other governments, said the Départment, were known to have advised their citizens to take this course, which seemed to be dictated by a just consideration for their convenience and security. At the same time, the legation, in acquainting the Brazilian Government with the nature of these instructions, was to add that, although the Government of the United States had counselled its citizens to make the declaration, it could not admit that a failure to make it prevented such citizens from appealing to their Government in case of necessity, or estopped that Government from affording them relief and protection.
October 21, 1890, the American legation issued an instruction to the consular officers of the United States in Brazil to receive the declarations of citizens of the United States, and on the 24th of the same month the legation made a communication on the subject to the ministry of foreign affairs.
In a memorandum presented to the Department of State, October 9, 1890, the Brazilian legation at Washington, after referring to the provisions in the codes of various nations, under which, particularly in cases of double allegiance, the election of nationality may be inferred from the silence of the individual, said: “ The Brazilian decree does not impose nationality, and the Government has given all facilities for its execution. It has been made known that any claim presented through diplomatic or consular agency would be favorably received if the claimant had not enjoyed any of the rights granted; that the declaration required in the decree can be made either before the municipal and police authorities or before the diplomatic or consular agent of the respective nation; that the term for the declaration (has been enlarged up to the 31st of December, 1890; and, finally, the constitution, which has just been issued, extends still more that term, allowing six months to be reckoned from the date of the execution of the constitution. From these considerations it follows: (1) That the provisional government have exercised their right and have not gone beyond it. (2) That their nationality having not been made compulsory on foreigners residing in the Republic, they do not violate the latters' rights nor cause them any loss. (3) That the protest of the Italian Government has no foundation. (4) That the claim that the decree be revoked or modified is contrary to the sovereignty and dignity of Brazil. The Government of Brazil therefore is bound not to accede to that claim."
Mr. Blaine, Sec. of State, to Mr. Adams, min. to Brazil, Jan. 7, Feb. 19,
March 6, and March 22, 1890, MS. Inst. Brazil, XVII. 427, 441, 452, 457; Mr. Lee, chargé, to Mr. Blaine, Sec. of State, May 9, and May 27, 1890, 49 JS. Iesp. Brazil; Mr. Blaine, Sec. of State, to Mr. Lee, chargé, June 3, 1890, MS. Inst. Brazil, XVII. 461; Mr. Wharton, Act. Sec. of state, to Mr. Lee, chargé, Sept. 5, 890, id. 473; Mr. Lee, chargé, to Mr. Blaine, Sec. of State, Oct. 24, 1890, 50 MS. Desp. Brazil; Mr. Blaine, Sec. of State, to Mr. Conger, min. to Brazil, Dec. 3, 1890, MS. Inst. Brazil, XVII. 490, enclosing copy of a memorandum by Mr. Valente, Brazilian min., Oct. 9, 1890, and a "reply of Mr. Blaine, of Dec. 2, 1890.” The “ reply " of Mr. Blaine does not appear, however, to have been sent to Mr. Valente. An endorsement on Mr. Valente's memorandum, “ans'd Dec. 2, 1890," is crossed out, indicating that the answer was written, but was at the last moment withheld. A copy probably was transmitted to Mr. Conger, in accordance with a direction previously given and by oversight not afterwards countermanded. See, in this relation, Mr. Blaine, Sec. of State, to Mr. Mendonça,Brazilian min., Nov. 4, 1890, enclosing copy of Mr. Blaine's instruction to Mr. Adams, of Feb. 19, 1890, the delivery of which was “by request " withheld from the Brazilian Government, and stating that “all further consideration of the subject” would at Mr. Mendonça's “ earnest request" be postponed till after the latter's return from a journey which he was about to make to Rio de Janeiro. (MS. Notes to Brazil, VII. 91.)
March 26, 1860, the Haytian Government issued an invitation to
“all men of African origin who are willing to share Case of Haytian our fortunes" to purchase land and settle in that immigrants.
country. It was stated that permission would be granted to immigrants to buy land on their making a declaration that they wished to become Haytians, and on their renouncing every other nationality. It was stated that any of the immigrants destined to a religious career would be exempt from military service, but that no exception would be made in the case of those who were engaged in secular pursuits. All immigrants who complied with the conditions were, after a settlement of a year and a day in the Republic, to enjoy all the privileges of Haytian citizens. This invitation was accepted by various persons in the United States, who went to Hayti and obtained grants of land thereunder, upon their becoming citizens. On the subsequent claim of some of these persons to exemp