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The legation at Berlin declined to issue a passport to a naturalized citizen on the ground that he had resided in the United States only three years. It appeared by the proceedings in which he was naturalized that it was represented to the court that he had resided in the United States five years. On these facts Mr. Evarts declared "that his certificate of naturalization was obtained on fraudulent and false affidavits and is therefore void;" that he was "not a citizen of the United States," and was "not entitled to a passport." The thanks of the Department were expressed to the legation for its " prudence and caution."
Mr. Evarts, Sec. of State, to Mr. White, min. to Germany, No. 5.5, Dec. 10,
1879, MS. Inst. Germany, XVI. 520.
The question as to impeachment of naturalization was at one time
much discussed in the course of the proceedings of the Question before the Spanish Claims Commission under the agreement Spanish Claims
between the United States and Spain of February 12. Commission.
1871. By that agreement it was stipulated that no judgment of a Spanish tribunal disallowing the affirmation of a party that he was a citizen of the United States should prevent the arbitrators from hearing a claim presented in his behalf by the Government of the United States, but that in any case before the arbitrators the Spanish Government might “ traverse the allegation of American citizenship,” and that thereupon “ competent and sufficient proof thereof” would be “ required; ” and that “the Commission having recognized the quality of American citizens in the claimants they will acquire the rights accorded them by the present stipulations as such citizens.”
In the case of Ortega, No. 91, it appearing by the claimant's own statements that he had not complied with the condition of residence under the naturalization laws, the umpire, M. Bartholdi, held that his naturalization was invalid and that he was not entitled to appear as an American citizen.
The agent of the United States, Mr. Durant, March 7, 1879, invoked the interposition of the Department of State in respect of the question thus decided, the same question being involved in other pending cases. Mr. Evarts, who was then Secretary of State, replied, in a letter bearing the same date, that the Department was of opinion that the powers of the Commission for the determination of disputed cases of citizenship were not “ judicial," and that when the advocate for Spain had traversed the fact of naturalization," and the naturalization was shown “by judicial proof," and it " being established that the party has done nothing since to forfeit his acquired right," the limit of the "discretionary power" of the Commission “ would seem to be reached."
When this reply was written M. Bartholdi had been succeeded as umpire by Baron Blanc, before whom there was pending the case of Fernando Dominguez, No. 32. In this case Spain alleged that the naturalization was fraudulent, chiefly on the ground that the claimant had spent in Cuba the greater part of the five years immediately preceding his admission to citizenship. Baron Blanc held that it was the duty of the umpire to determine on the papers submitted to him whether the certificate of naturalization was procured by fraud or was granted in violation of treaty stipulations or of the rules of international law, but he also held that the claimant had previously to his naturalization been domiciled in the United States, and that such absences as were shown did not " work a change of legal residence;" and, assuming that the court had taken this view, Baron Blanc said that it must prevail so long as it remained “unreversed by an American tribunal of superior jurisdiction."
The arbitrator for Spain dissented from this conclusion, declaring that he could not agree to refer to the umpire any case in which the question of citizenship was involved till he should have submitted the subject to his Government, in order that it might determine in conjunction with the United States the exact scope of Spain's right to - traverse an allegation of American citzenship. February 9, 1880, the subject was brought to the attention of the Department of State by the Spanish minister at Washington. In his reply, dated March 4, 1880, Mr. Evarts declared that it was the view of the United States that the Commission, under the agreement of 1871, was an "independent judicial tribunal," possessing competency “ to bring under judgment the decisions of the local courts of both nations; " that in no case had the right been denied to Spain to support her traverse of the allegation of American citzenship by showing that the proofs adduced thereof “ were on their face inadmissible, or that they were unworthy of credit because of a taint of fraud in the proceedings of naturalization from which the documents emanated, or that, taken together, such proofs were insufficient to establish the demand of American citizenship put forth by this Government on behalf of the claimant." Mr. Evarts further declared that, if the decision of the umpire had been that the claimant had never in fact acquired American citizenship, the United States would have felt bound to accept the decision as final and conclusive.
May 4, 1880, the Spanish minister informed Mr. Evarts that, as the result of the latter's note of the 4th of March, a “ perfect conformity” existed between the views of the two governments.
The question thus apparently settled was, however, soon revived. In April, 1880, Baron Blanc, being on the point of leaving the United States for an indefinite time, resigned. Ile was succeeded as umpire by Count Lewenhaupt, then Swedish minister at Washington. In the following autumn the discussion of the question of naturalization was revived before the Commission by extended arguments of counsel on the part of the respective governments, and on April 18, 1881, Count Lewenhaupt in the case of Buzzi, No. 22, decided that the claimant had no right to appear as an American citizen, since it was shown that during the five years immediately preceding his naturali. zation he had lived about four and a half years in Cuba.
On the following day Mr. Durant brought this decision to the notice of the Department of State, of which Mr. Blaine had succeeded Mr. Evarts as the head. On the 22nd of April Mr. Blaine wrote to Mr. Durant concurring in the suggestion of the latter that a motion should be made before the umpire for a rehearing. November 30, 1881, however, Mr. Blaine withdrew this instruction, and directed Mr. Durant to inform the Commission that the United States could not accept the judgment in the case of Buzzi as being “ within the competence of the umpire to render,” and he added: “For the present it is sufficient that I refuse to recognize the power of the Commission to denationalize an American citizen. When a court of competent jurisdiction, administering the law of the land, issued its regular certificate of naturalization to Pedro Buzzi, he was made a citizen of the United States, and no power resides in the Executive Department of this government to reverse or review that judgment. And what the power of the Executive can not do in itself it can not delegate to a commission, which is the mere creation of an executive agreement," as was that of 1871. Mr. Durant was therefore instructed not to have any case referred to the umpire wherein the question in Buzzi's case was involved. Under this instruction Mr. Durant suspended action in some fifteen cases.
February 17, 1882, Mr. Frelinghuysen, who was then Secretary of State, instructed Mr. Suydam, who had succeeded Mr. Durant as advocate for the United States, to press the business before the arbitrators, and whenever he found them disagreeing, and in his judgment the disagreement opened a controverted question of citizenship to the decision of the umpire, to report to the Department. September 25, 1882, when the Commission, after a recess, was about to reconvene, Mr. Freylinhuysen addressed a further instruction to Mr. Suydam in which he stated that the Department must insist: (1) That it possessed no power and had conferred none on the Commission to examine into "the motive, the purpose, and object of the applicant in seeking naturalization;" (2) that the Department possessed no power and had conferred none on the Commission to make it requisite that a naturalized citizen should have been “ actually present” in the United States for five years immediately preceding naturalization, since a “ residence" might “exist without an uninterrupted actual presence during the whole probationary period;" (3) that the Government of the United States could " not deny that, under the terms of the agreement, the certificate of naturalization may be proven to have been obtained fraudulently ;” and (4) that the “ true rule” to govern the Commission was that when the allegation of naturalization was traversed and the naturalization was ** established prima facie by the production of a certificate of naturalization, or by other competent and sufficient proof, it can only be impeached by showing that the court which granted it was without jurisdiction, or by showing, in conformity with the adjudications of the courts of the United States on that topic, that fraud, consisting of intentional and dishonest misrepresentation or suppression of material facts by the party obtaining the judgment, was practiced upon it, or that the naturalization was granted in violation of a treaty stipulation or of a rule of international law."
December 14, 1882, Mr. Lowndes, then arbitrator for the United States, and the Marquis de Potestad, arbitrator for Spain, announced an agreement between them in the very terms in which Mr. Frelinghuysen had expressed the “true rule” by which the Commission should be governed; and they added that they would transmit these rules to the umpire, in order that he might be guided by them in the cases yet to be decided by him.
Moore, Int. Arbitrations, III. 2590-2621.
de Angarica, No. 17, Mr. Lowndes, December 26, 1882, with the con-
his naturalization. A similar decision was rendered by Mr. Lowndes on the same day in the
case of R. F. Criado y Gomez, No. 29. These two decisions may be found in Moore, Int. Arbitrations, III, 2621,
2624. For other decisions in similar cases, see id. 2620-2647.. By the French and American Claims ('ommission, under the convention or
January 15, 1880, claims of naturalization were rejected on the ground that the certificate was obtained by misrepresentation of material facts, as well as on the ground that the conditions of residence were not complied with. (Moore, Int. Arbitrations, III. 2647–2653.)
S. invoked the interposition of the legation of the United States
in Berlin. It appeared that he emigrated to AmerCases since 1881.
ica in December, 1871, being then nineteen years old, and arrived in New York in January, 1872. He was naturalized Oct. 2, 1876, and in the same month returned to Germany. He stated, in response to inquiries, that his final papers were issued to him by the court voluntarily, and that he did not employ any attorney, pay any bribe, or use any improper means to secure his naturalization in advance of the proper time. On these facts Mr. Blaine said: “ On Mr. S. -'s own showing he was admitted to citizenship contrary to the laws of the United States, and the decree of the court admitting him is therefore a nullity. The court was misled and deceived by the testimony of his witnesses. He knew the facts and must be presumed to have known the law. Under the circumstances it was Mr. S- 's duty to have brought these facts to the knowledge of the court. It is not a question of merely honest intention. The circumstance, moreover, that Mr. S- immediately after obtaining his certificate of naturalization, returned to his native country, does not tend to impress me with a strong sense of the bona fides of his case. This Government can not properly interfere in his behalf. Your course in the matter is approved." Mr. Blaine, Sec. of State, to Mr. Everett, chargé at Berlin, No. 265, Oct.
10, 1881, MS. Inst. Germany. XVII. 125, acknowledging the receipt of Mr. Everett's No. 248, Sept. 3, 1881, 29 MS. Desp. Germany.
A. F. Pinzon applied to the United States legation at Bogotá for its intervention, in order that he might be exempt from the duties of (Colombian citizenship. He was a native of Colombia, but produced a certificate of naturalization as a citizen of the United States. In reply to inquiries of the legation, however, he stated that he had lived in the United States but four years; that he had never made any declaration of intention; that when naturalized he was not required to prove that he had lived at least five years in the United States; that, immediately on obtaining his certificate, he returned to Colombia, and that he had not since been in the United States and had no intention of returning thither to reside. The Department of State held that he was not entitled to protection, “his certificate of naturalization having been admittedly obtained in fraud of the United States statutes."
Mr. Bayard, Sec. of State, to Mr. Scruggs, min. to ('olombia, May 16, 1887,
For. Rel. 1SS.), 211. See Mr. Scruggs's (lispatch of Dec. 26, 188t, id.
199. See, to the same effect, Mr. Bayard, Sec. of State, to Mr. Cramer, No. 138
May 6, 1887, MS. Inst. Switzerland, II. 251; to Mr. Winchester, No.
May 20, 1855, For. Rel. 188.), 27; to Mr. Coleman, No. 386, Dec. 1,
K. applied to the American legation in Berne for a passport. His application showed that he arrived in New York May 21, 1873, and