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TO AMEND THE NATIONALITY ACT OF 1940
TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 17, 1942
UNITED STATES SENATE,
Washington, D. C. The subcommittee, consisting of Senators Maloney, Herring, and Ball, met pursuant to call at 10:30 a. m., Hon. Francis Maloney (chairman) presiding.
Present: Senators Maloney (chairman) and Ball.
This is a meeting of the subcommittee appointed by Chairman Richard Russell of the Committee on Immigration to hear those who want to be heard on H. R. 6250. (The bill referred to is as follows:)
(H. R. 6250, 77th Cong., 2d Sess.)
AN ACT To amend the Nationality Act of 1940 Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That section 307 (a) of the Nationality Act of 1940, approved October 14, 1940 (54 Stat. 1142), be, and it hereby is, amended by adding the following: “Provided, That the requirement that a person shall have resided for a period of six months within the State in which the petition is filed shall not apply
to members of the military and naval forces of the United States: And provided further, That any member of the military or naval forces of the United States may file his petition for naturalization in any naturalization court, regardless of his place of residence, and such petition may be heard immediately by the naturalization court if the petitioner and his witnesses shall have appeared before, and been examined by, a representative of the Immigration and Naturalization Service."
Sec. 2. Subdivision (1) of subsection (b) of section 307 of the Nationality Act of 1940, approved October 14, 1940 (54 Stat. 1142), is hereby amended to read as follows:
“(1) Prior to the beginning of such period (whether such period begins before or after his departure from the United States) the alien has established to the satisfaction of the Attorney General that his absence from the United States for such period is to be on behalf of such Government, or for the purpose of carrying on scientific research on behalf of such institution, or to be engaged in the development of such foreign trade and commerce or whose absence abroad is necessary to the protection of the property rights in such countries of such firm or corporation.”
Sec. 3. The Nationality Act of 1940, approved October 14, 1940 (54 Stat. 1137), is hereby amended by adding, immediately following section 304 thereof, a new section to be numbered 304A and reading as follows:
"SEC. 304A. An alien, if eligible to naturalization, fifty years of age or over, who has resided in the United States continuously since prior to July 1, 1924, and who, on or prior to the effective date of this section, has made a declaration of intention to become a citizen which is not more than seven years old, or who, within two years from the effective date of this section, shall make a declaration of intention, may thereafter file petition for naturalization and be admitted to
citizenship upon full and complete compliance with all requirements of the naturalization laws, except that he shall not be required to speak the English language, sign his declaration or petition in his own handwriting, or meet other educational requirements.”
Sec. 4. Section 320 of the Nationality Act of 1940, approved October 14, 1940 (54 Stat. 1148), is hereby amended to read as follows:
“Sec. 320. A person not an alien enemy, who resided uninterruptedly within the United States during the period of five years next preceding July 1, 1925, an on that date otherwise qualified to become a citizen of the United States, except that such person had not made a declaration of intention required by law and who during or prior to that time, because of misinformation regarding the citizenship status of such person, erroneously exercised the rights and performed the duties of a citizen of the United States in good faith, may file the petition for naturalization prescribed by law without making the preliminary declaration of intention, and upon satisfactory proof to the court that petitioner has so acted may be admitted as a citizen of the United States upon complying with the other requirements of the naturalization laws.'
Sec. 5. Section 328 (c) of the Nationality Act of 1940, approved October 14, 1940 (54 Stat. 1152), is hereby amended to read as follows:
"(c) For the purposes of the immigration laws and naturalization laws an alien, in respect of whom a record of registry has been made as authorized by subsection (b) of this section, shall be deemed to have been lawfully admitted to the United States for permanent residence as of the date of such alien's entry.”
Sec. 6. The first paragraph of section 332 (a) of the Nationality Act of 1940, approved October 14, 1940 (54 Stat. 1154), is hereby amended to read as follows:
“Sec. 332. (a) An applicant for naturalization shall, not less than two nor more than seven years after such declaration of intention has been made, make and file in the office of the clerk of a naturalization court, in duplicate, a sworn petition in writing, signed by the applicant in the applicant's own handwriting if physically able to write, and duly verified by witnesses, which petition shall contain substantially the following averments by such applicant.'
Sec. 7. Section 334 (c) of the Nationality Act of 1940, approved October 14, 1940 (54 Stat. 1156), is hereby amended to read as follows:
"(c) Except as otherwise specifically provided in this Act, no final hearing shall be held on any petition for naturalization nor shall any person be naturalized nor shall any certificate of naturlization be issued by any court within thirty days after the filing of the petition for naturalization, nor within thirty days preceding the holding of any general election within the territorial jurisdiction of the naturalization court.”
Sec. 8. Section 338 (a) of the Nationality Act of 1940, amended by substituting a comma for the period at the end thereof and by adding the following: “or on the ground that his utterances, writings, actions, or course of conduct establishes that his political allegiance is to a foreign state or sovereignty."
Sec. 9. Section 338 (b) of the Nationality Act of 1940, approved October 14, 1940 (54 Stat. 1158), is hereby amended by adding the following sentence at the end thereof: “When the United States is at war or during the existence of a national emergency proclaimed by the President, a naturalized person shall in any proceeding brought under subsection (a) of this section have thirty days' notice in which to make answer to the petition of the United States, if such notice is served upon him personally in the continental United States."
SEC. 10. Section 338 of the Nationality Act of 1940, approved October 14, 1940 (54 Stat. 1158–1159), is amended by relettering subsections (d), (e), (f), and (g) to read subsections (e), (f), (g), and (h), respectively, and by adding thereto a new subsection to be lettered subsection (d)” and reading as follows:
"(d) An action may be maintained under the provisions of this section to secure a judgment canceling the certificate of naturalization of any person whose loss of nationality has occurred under the provisions of section 404 of this Act."
Sec. 11. The first sentence of the second proviso of section 401(a) of the Nationality Act of 1940, approved October 14, 1940 (54 Stat. 1168–1169), is hereby amended to read as follows:
“(a) Provided further, That a person who has acquired foreign nationality through the naturalization of his parent or parents, and who at the same time is a citizen of the United States, shall, if he is abroad, and has not theretofore expatriated himself as an American citizen by his own voluntary act, be permitted within two years from the effective date of this Act to return to the United States and take up permanent residence therein, and it shall be thereafter deemed that he has elected to be an American citizen,"
Sec. 12. Section 403 (a) of the Nationality Act of 1940, approved October 14, 1940 (54 Stat. 1169-1170), is hereby amended to read as follows:
"Sec. 403. (a) Except as provided in subsections (g) and (h) of section 401, no national can expatriate himself, or be expatriated, under that section while he is within the United States or any of its outlying possessions, but expatriation shall result from the performance by him within the United States or any of its outlying possessions of any of the acts or the fulfillment of any of the conditions specified in that section if and when the national thereafter takes up a residence abroad."
Sec. 13. The Nationality Act of 1940 is hereby amended by inserting therein a new section immediately following section 316, to be known as section 316A:
“Sec. 316A. A person born of alien parents in a foreign country, who entered the United States as a minor prior to July 1, 1924, and who on or before the effective date of this Act was a registered voter in any State and a bona fide resident in any State or of the District of Columbia and who claims citizenship through the naturalization of a parent, upon proof satisfactory to the Immigration and Naturalization Service, of the naturalization of such parent, shall be held to have been legally admitted into the United States for permanent residence.”
Passed the House of Representatives January 13, 1942.
SOUTH TRIMBLE, Clerk.
The first witness is Mr. John F. Finerty, who appears as a representative of the Civil Liberties Union.
STATEMENT OF JOHN F. FINERTY, COUNSEL, AMERICAN CIVIL
LIBERTIES UNION, NEW YORK CITY Senator MALONEY. Mr. Finerty, please tell the reporter your full name and just identify yourself otherwise for the record, and then you may proceed in your own way.
Mr. FINERTY. Thank you. John F. Finerty, 35 Sutton Place, South, New York City; lawyer, with offices at Barr Building, Washington, D. C., and 120 Broadway, New York City.
Mr. Chairman, I am one of the signers of the brief filed by the American Civil Liberties Union, and signed in addition by Edward Borchard, Yale University Law School, Zechariah Chafee, Jr., Harvard University Law School; Morris L. Ernst, general counsel, American Civil Liberties Union; Osmond K. Fraenkel, of the New York Bar; Lloyd K. Garrison, dean, University of Wisconsin Law School; Arthur Garfield Hays, general counsel, American Civil Liberties Union William Draper Lewis, director, American Law Institute; Karl N. Llewellyn, Columbia University Law School; Robert K. Matthews, Ohio State University Law School, and Reuben Oppenheimer, of the Maryland bar.
While I signed the brief in question, I did not prepare it and, as my testimony will indicate, while I think it entirely sound, I believe it does not quite reach the fundamentals of the questions which I will discuss.
I am briefly to give my qualifications. I am a member of the bars of Illinois, Minnesota, District of Columbia, and United States Supreme Court. I have spent 34 years in the practice of constitutional, international, and transportation law. From 1920 to 1925 I was assistant general counsel of the United States Railroad Administration, in charge of all rate litigation before the Interstate Commerce Commission and the United States Supreme Court for the Government. Prior to that I was assistant general counsel of the Great Northern Railway and counsel for the New York Central Railway.