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Mr. SHOEMAKER. That differs in this respect. As you see, it makes no difference in the 7-year limit, and it says this “signed by the applicant in the applicant's own handwriting, if physically able to write." Under existing law he signs his name anyhow, whether he is physically able to write it or not and the courts will, in the case of a blind man, or anything like that, view the matter with some leniency, but in all other cases they require him to sign it.

Mr. Rees. Do I understand that they can sign by mark?

Mr. SHOEMAKER. He cannot sign a petition by mark, no, sir. He must sign it. Frequently they sign it in foreign script, and no one knows what it is.

Mr. Rees. The form, you say, is practically the same as the one now prescribed ?

Mr. SHOEMAKER. You mean for the petition? Mr. REES. Yes. Mr. SHOEMAKER. I would like to run over that rather huriedly, Congressman, if I may. The petition under existing law does not require the personal description. It is substantially the same except for this personal description, and I think I can account for that by saying that that is put in there in order to enable them to readily issue the petition for citizenship if the person be naturalized.

Mr. Rees. Do I understand that the petitioner does not now have to wait 90 days?

Mr. SHOEMAKER. No; he does have to wait 90 days under the general notice, but there is no posted notice, as formerly.

Mr. REES. Why not?

Mr. SHOEMAKER. It was thought that there was no reason for it. It was simply written out by the clerk and posted up in his office, and it was felt that any person who had any reason to find out about the applicant would go into the clerk's office and find it. It was a tremendous task upon the clerk and it was not thought that it was of

any value.


Mr. REES. Let us go back and discuss for a moment the question of the 7-year period. Don't you think that if the declarant waits for more than 7 years after he has filed his declaration of intention, that he ought to be required to file a new declaration if he wants to go on?

Mr. SHOEMAKER. I have always had that impression, but I am speaking personally.

Mr. REES. I wish I could get you to speak personally as well as for the Department, because we want your opinion.

Mr. SHOEMAKER. Exactly, and I want to give it to you, too.

Mr. Rees. Because, if you do agree on some of these things and fail to agree on others, we want the information. As I understand it, under the proposed code the requirement of 7 years following a declaration of intention to file the petition for citizenship has been lifted. It just seems to me that after a person has gone so far as to declare his intention he ought to, within the period of 5 years, complete his citizenship if he cares anything about it. If he does not, and still wants to go through with it, he ought to be required to begin over again, and he ought to be made to give his reasons for failure to proceed. There may be reasons for it but I think, generally speaking, 7 years is long enough.

7 That is just my private opinion.

Mr. FLOURNOY. My only suggestion would be that it might be reasonable to have a 7-year provision but leave it to the judgment of the court to waive that if satisfactory explanation of the failure to make the petition is given. A man may have been very ill, he may have been in Colorado or some place on account of illness, but there must be some reason for this, and I think something halfway between the old rigid provision and this provision, leaving it out entirely, should be adopted.

Mr. Rees. You say what you have done, and I have no objection to it. You have provided that an individual can declare his intention in any court of the United States.

Mr. SHOEMAKER. That is a good provision, I think.

Mr. REES. That being the case, he certainly ought to be willing then, within a period of 7 years, somewhere in the United States, to declare his residence for a period of 6 months within the State

Mr. SHOEMAKER. Six months in the county, and I think this provides 6 months within the State.

Mr. REES. And now he can reside anywhere and proceed with his naturalization proceedings.

Mr. SHOEMAKER. That may be covered over here later. I do not know about that.

Mr. REES. Now, section 332.
Mr. SHOEMAKER. That is correct.

(a) The Commissioner or a Deputy Commissioner shall designate members of the Service to conduct preliminary hearings upon petitions for naturalization to any naturalization court and to make findings and recommendations thereon to such court. For such purposes any such designated examiner is hereby authorized to take testimony concerning any matter touching or in any way affecting the admissibility of any petitioner for naturalization, to subpoena witnesses, and to administer oaths, including the oath of the petitioner to the petition for naturalization and the oath of petitioner's witnesses.

That broadens the existing law. You see that goes to State courts, as distinguished from existing law which has reference only to a United States district court. Under existing law, when an alien files a petition in the United States court, he is examined as a rule by our examiner who has been designated by the court as an examiner for that purpose, and if the witnesses are found satisfactory to testify to the things of which they claim to have knowledge, those witnesses are excused from attendance at the court hearing. This is broadening that provision to apply now to a State court where it does not apply under existing law.

Mr. Rees. Is that the only change in that section?
Mr. SHOEMAKER. That is substantially the only change.
Mr. Rees. All right.
Mr. SHOEMAKER (reading):

(b) The findings of any such designated examiner upon any such preliminary hearing shall be submitted to the court at the final hearing upon the petition with a recommendation that the petition be granted, or denied, or continued, with the reasons therefor. Such Endings and recommendations shall be accompanied by duplicate lists containing the names of the petitioners classified according to the character of the recommendations and signed by the designated examiner. The judge to whom such findings and recommendations are submitted shall, if he approves such recommendations, enter a written order with such exceptions as the judge may deem proper, by subscribing his name to each such list when corrected to conform to his conclusions upon such recommendations. One of such lists shall thereafter be filed permanently of record in such court and the duplicate list shall be sent by the clerk of such court to the Commissioner.

That is true in the United States courts today but not in the State courts.

Mr. REES. This just extends that same authority to the State courts?
Mr. SHOEMAKER. Yes, sir.
Mr. Rees. All right.
Mr. SHOEMAKER. Section 333 (a) [reading]:

Every final hearing upon a petition for naturalization shall be had in open court before a judge or judges thereof, and every final order which may be made upon such petition shall be under the hand of the court and entered in full upon a record kept for that purpose, and upon such final hearing of such petition the applicant, and, except as provided in subsection (b) of this section, the witnesses shall be examined under oath before the court and in the presence of the court.

That is the same practice which obtains today in the Federal court, and in the State courts the same applies except that the witnesses are not excused today. They must appear for final hearing to be heard by the court, and that is in open court.

Mr. REES. All right. Mr. SHOEMAKER. This is section (b) [reading]: The requirement of subsection (a) of this section for the examination of the petitioner and witnesses under oath before the court and in the presence of the court shall not apply in any case where a designated examiner has conducted the preliminary hearing authorized by subsection (a) of section 332; except that the court may, in its discretion, and shall, upon demand of the petitioner, require the examination of the petitioner and the witnesses under oath before the court and in the presence of the court.

That is substantially the practice today.

(c) Except as otherwise specifically provided in this chapter, no final hearing shall be held on any petition for naturalization, nor shall any person be naturalized nor shall any certificate of naturalization be issued by any court within thirty days after the filing of the petition for naturalization, nor within sixty days preceding the holding of any general election within the territorial jurisdiction of the naturalization court.

That is a change, a very decided change, in existing law. Under existing law final hearings are not held under the general law until 90 days. This changes it to 30 days after the filing of the petition. And the provision that no certificate shall be issued or petition be heard under existing law applies in those cases after 30 days, and this extends it to 60 days. One is a cutting down and the other is an extension.

Mr. Rees. All right. This is (reading]: except as otherwise specifically provided in this chapter, no final hearing shall be held on any petition for naturalization, nor shall any person be naturalized, nor shall any certificate of naturalization be issued by any court within thirty days.

Does that mean that hearings may not be had until after 30 days except for these exceptions that we have been talking about?

Mr. SHOEMAKER. That is the way I understand it.
Mr. Rees. In place of waiting 90 days, everything else is the same.

Mr. SHOEMAKER. That is the way I take it, yes, sir. And then it goes on to extend it, that it shall not do these things within 60 days before the holding of any election within the territorial jurisdiction of the naturalization court. The existing law provides for 30 days.

Mr. REES. In other words, you can have your hearing at any time after 30 days if the court will set your case down after your petition is filed, except that you must not hold it between, we will say, the 1st of September of each even year and the date of any election.

Mr. SHOEMAKER. That might extend over further than that.


Mr. REES. What?

Mr. SHOEMAKER. It may extend even further than that, because it seems to me from my own experience that frequently there are elections being held at all times, general elections within the jurisdiction.

Mr. Rees. This says any general election within the territorial jurisdiction of the naturalization court.

Mr. SHOEMAKER. I find that they are having elections continually, and it might stop naturalization.

Mr. REES. Do you mean that it might be a city election ?

Mr. SHOEMAKER. They might call any kind of an election within the jurisdiction of the court as one within the purview of this statute.

Mr. REES. I have no objection to that feature, anyhow, but I do think that cutting down from 90 to 30 days is somewhat of a departure.

Mr. SHOEMAKER. That unquestionably is a departure. Frequently that does not make a bit of difference where the applicant has been examined personally. In the vast majority of cases it does not make any difference if there is a hearing the next day, but in some cases it does make a difference. Mr. REES. I have in mind a case not so far away

from my

immediate community where a man had been charged with a crime and was making a very desperate effort to become a citizen, and I recall that those representing the Government were having a rather difficult time in getting extensions on this man's hearings, because he was so very anxious to have a hearing on his petition. It seems to me there was a case where they might have crowded that thing through in 30 days and admitted a man who should not have been admitted to citizenship, whereas, if a little longer period of time was given, the Government could investigate and this matter might reach the ears of people who would be interested in calling to the attention of the examiner or the court at the proper time the fact that this man might not be elegible to citizenship if the facts were known.

Mr. SHOEMAKER. I can see that you are right about that.

Mr. REES. I do not see the necessity of hurrying this matter along within 30 days after the petition is filed. I assume that the reason given for waiving the 90 days is because the examiner can have his investigation made within 30 days, and that seems to be all that is necessary. I do not think there could be much of an abuse if you wait the 90 days. It may be that there would be some good to come from it.

Mr. BUTLER. Isn't it true that there is a rather thorough examination made when the man files a so-called preliminary application to file a petition?

Mr. SHOEMAKER. When he files his preliminary application he gets a certificate on that?

Mr. REES. That is under the regulations promulgated by the Department and is not a part of that law?

Mr. SHOEMAKER. That is correct. And in some cases they do not make it. They make it after the petition is filed.

Mr. REES. I am not familiar with it, but as I understand it they do make a preliminary examination if they want to but they are not required to do it.

Mr. SHOEMAKER. We make it wherever it is possible to make it before the petition is filed. It aids the applicant and it aids us, and it aids the court.

Mr. Rees. It prevents errors from being made?


Mr. SHOEMAKER. That is it exactly. The next clause [reading]:

(d) The United States shall have the right to appear before any court in any naturalization proceedings for the purpose of cross examining the petitioner and the witnesses produced in support of the petition concerning any matter touching or in any way affecting the petitioner's right to admission to citizenship, and shall have the right to call witnesses, produce evidence, and be heard in opposition to the granting of any petition in naturalization proceedings.

That is simply following the existing law. As a matter of fact, the cross examination is more a direct examination than it is a cross in the vast majority of cases.

Mr. REES. Subsection (e) ?
Mr. SHOEMAKER (reading):

(e) It shall be lawful at the time and as a part of the naturalization of any person, for the court, in its discretion, upon the prayer of the petitioner included in the petition for naturalization of such person, to make a decree changing the name of said person, and the certificate of naturalization shall be issued in accordance therewith.

That is existing law, except they do not include it in the petition as a rule except in a pro forma way, as, for instance, the petitioner wants his name so and so, and this provides for it.

Mr. REES. I do not think it is necessary to read the next section. It is the oath that is required of the petitioner. Isn't that correct? It describes what the oath shall contain?

Mr. SHOEMAKER. That proviso is different.

Mr. Rees. Let me ask you this. This section also changes the provision of the present law, if it has been changed—and I do not know whether it has or not—whereby you renounce your allegiance to a certain king, prince, or potentate, and then say “any other king, prince, or potentate."

Mr. SHOEMAKER. That is right; where formerly they had to renounce

particularly instead of generally. Mr. FLOURNOY. This says particularly, too.

Mr. SHOEMAKER. Yes; but I think that was made before the present law.

Mr. FLOURNOY. Hasn't there been considerable difficulty in ascertaining in many cases to what sovereign or state an alien actually owes allegiance?

Mr. SHOEMAKER. Considerable difficulty; yes, sir. But I might add in connection with that thought-well, the former Kaiser said he would never recognize that a German subject had renounced his sovereignty unless he renounced particularly William the Second, German Emperor, but in several instances we have had to have the man renounce two or three different countries to all of which he might be subject. Mr. Rees. All right. Then I think it would be well to amend the

REES section?

Mr. SHOEMAKER. Undoubtedly.
Mr. REES. All right.

Mr. SHOEMAKER. This oath is slightly changed but not in any material respect.

Mr. REES. All right. I do not think there is any reason to read subsection (c).

Mr. SHOEMAKER. That is substantially existing law.
Mr. REES. Section 335 has been changed a little.
Mr. SHOEMAKER. That is substantially existing law.

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