Imagini ale paginilor
PDF
ePub

ing we have thousands of persons living in foreign countries, usually in the foreign countries where they were born, or where their parents were born, having all their interests there, and their family connections, and yet they are citizens of the United States, and they may call on our Government for protection.

I refer not only to the naturalized citizens who have gone back to their native lands or gone to other countries and there are many thousands of them--but to their children, born in those countries, who are alien in all their characteristics and connections and interests, yet have the right to enter the United States as citizens. We cannot keep them out; they are born citizens.

Another class is composed of those persons who are born in the United States of alien parents and are taken by their parents to the countries from which the parents came and of which they are nationals. That is a dual nationality.

Many of them are taken in early infancy. There are hundreds of thousands of those persons living around different parts of the world who happen to have been born here and acquire citizenship under the fourteenth amendment, but they are brought up in the countries of their parents and they are in no true sense American, and yet they may not only enter this country themselves as citizens, but may marry aliens in those countries and have children and those children are born citizens.

Mr. REES. Pardon me. Do I understand that a person born of alien parentage who goes abroad before he reaches the age of majority, lives in a foreign country for many, many years, marries native of that country, can come to the United States and bring his family here?

Mr. FLOURNOY. Yes, sir.
Mr. REES. As a citizen of the United States ?

Mr. FLOURNOY. Certainly. He can live all he pleases in his father's country, and if he does not take the oath of allegiance, if he avoids doing that, he remains a citizen of the United States.

Furthermore, if he marries a woman of that country he breeds citizens of the United States. In reality they are no more citizens, in character, than all the other inhabitants of that country.

There are not a few of these cases; there are hundreds of thousands of them.

Mr. REES. Is there anything in this measure before us to change that situation ?

Mr. FLOURNOY. We have tried to do it. We have done something I think. We might have done more, probably, but we could not get complete agreement. We have gotten something, I think, better than what the law is now.

Mr. Poage. Isn't that based on the constitutional provision that all persons born in the United States are citizens thereof?

Mr. FLOURNOY. Yes.
Mr. Poage. In other words, it is not a matter we have any control

over.

Mr. FLOURNOY. No; and no one wants to change that.
Mr. Poage. No one wants to change that, of course.

Mr. FLOURNOY. We have control over citizens born abroad, and we also have control over the question of expatriation. We can provide

for expatriation. No one proposes to change the constitutional provisions.

Mr. Rees. We cannot change the citizenship of a man who went abroad, who was born in the United States.

Mr. FLOURNOY. You can make certain acts of his result in a loss of citizenship.

Mr. REES. Surely, that way.

Mr. FLOURNOY. For instance, the act of 1907 has a provision that if he takes the oath of allegiance to a foreign state, he loses his citizenship.

Then we have a provision in the old act with regard to desertion from the Army, conviction of desertion, which results in loss of citizenship, although there again there is some question as to what the law meant. But we have construed it in the State Department to mean loss of citizenship. There is no proposal, as I say, to change the Constitution.

Mr. REES. No; of course not.
Mr. FLOURNOY. That would be absurd.

If you want me to, I think we will get along better with the various provisions if we take them up seriatim.

Mr. REES. I think that would be better.

Mr. FLOURNOY. I don't think it is necessary, unless you think so, Mr. Chairman, to go into these various provisions of chapter I which are definitions and are self-explanatory.

Mr. Poage. Any of them you think you ought to discuss, do so, and if we want to ask you about any of the others when you get through,

Mr. BUTLER. How about the specific changes? Do you care to have those discussed?

Mr. REES. I think if you can tell us just what changes have been made as you go along it would be well.

Mr. FLOURNOY. That begins with chapter II.
Mr. REES. Go ahead.

Mr. FLOURNOY. Chapter II is "Nationality at birth”. Section 201 provides that the following shall be nationals and citizens of the United States at birth:

(a) A person born in the United States and subject to the jurisdiction thereof.

That is taken of course from the fourteenth amendment to the Constitution.

(b) A person born in the United States to a member of an Indian, Eskimo, Aleutian, or other aboriginal tribe: Provided, That the granting of citizenship under this subsection shall not in any manner impair or otherwise affect the right of such persons to tribal or other property.

It is probable the court held years ago that provisions of the fourteenth amendment did not apply to Indians living in their tribal relationship, but this does not give them citizenship.

Mr. REES. Tell us how this law is changed insofar as it affects the people of Alaska, Hawaii, and Puerto Rico.

Mr. FLOURNOY. Those people in Alaska and Hawaii are citizens of the United States under the law as it now exists. We have not changed that at all.

Mr. REES. And (b) is just with reference to Indians and Eskimos. Mr. FLOURNOY. Yes, sir.

we can.

Mr. REES. Under (c) what changes have you made there?
Mr. FLOURNOY (reading):

(c) A person born outside of the United States and its outlying possessions of parents both of whom are citizens of the United States and one of whom has resided in the United States or one of its outlying possessions, prior to the birth of such person.

That is the basic vehicle for conferring citizenship upon children born abroad of American parents. Some of us interested in this subject would like to stop right there and require both parents to be American nationals in order that the children born abroad be American nationals, with possibly some exceptions where a citizen who married an alien represented the Government or some American interest. But we are unable to get an agreement on that. This is the basic provision. As you see, there are certain provisions—

Mr. PoAGE. Let me interrupt you right there, because I am away behind on this whole thing. You say you are unable to get an agree

. ment on this thing. Agreement with whom?

Mr. FLOURNOY. Among ourselves, the other departments. I didn't say I. I mean our Department.

Mr. Poage. That is what I am trying to find out. Agreement with whom, the State Department and the Labor Department ?

Mr. FLOURNOY. Yes; there was a difference of opinion between the three departments as to how far we should go in restricting citizenship of children of citizens born abroad.

Mr. Poage. Then I understand the State Department feels it should stop right there.

Nr. FLOURNOY. Yes; the first proposal.

Mr. PoAGE. So that both parents would have to be citizens of the United States.

Mr. FLOURNOY. Either citizens or at least nationals. For instance, if a citizen of the United States was the father and the mother was, say, a Filipino. In that case the children would have citizenship. But the original proposal was that both parents should at least have American nationality.

Mr. PoAGE. That seems reasonable to me, and I want to find out later on why the other departments object to it.

Mr. FLOURNOY. Subsection (d):

A person born outside of the United States and its outlying possessions of parents one of whom is a citizen of the United States who resided in the United States or one of its outlying possessions prior to the birth of such person, and the other of whom is a national but not a citizen of the United States.

Mr. REES. Under (d), have you changed that at all?
Mr. FLOURNOY. I beg your pardon?

Mr. REES. Isn't that in the present law, a person born outside the United States

Mr. FLOURNOY. Yes; under the act of 1934 the child would be a citizen.

Mr. Rees. Have you changed that?

Mr. FLOURNOY. This is a different situation. The act of 1934 only requires one parent to be a citizen, in which case the child would be a citizen, but the provision would not be the same.

(e) A person born in an outlying possession of the United States of parents one of whom is a citizen of the United States who resided in the United States or -one of its outlying possessions prior to the birth of such person.

a

That covers the kind of case I mentioned a few moments ago, a child born, say, in American Samoa, of American parents. This makes it clear that even if one parent is a citizen, and he is born in American territory, although not in the United States proper, nevertheless, if he is born in American territory, he acquires citizenship in the United States.

Mr. POAGE. It would mean, would it not, that an American citizen could go to Guam and have children born-he and his wife had moved from the United States to Guam; they could have children born and that boy or girl could grow up and marry-well, not a Chinese, because the Chinese are not allowed there

Mr. FLOURNOY. A Guam person.

Mr. PoAGE. Well, a Portuguese or a Spaniard or a Frenchman or a German.

Mr. FLOURNOY. Yes.

Mr. Poage. In other words, notwithstanding that neither of the parents had ever been in continental United States, the child would still be a citizen of the United States.

а. Mr. FLOURNOY. If one of them is a citizen of the United States, who resides in the United States or one of its outlying possessions.

Mr. Poage. Neither parent would have been required to ever have seen the United States.

Mr. FLOURNOY. That is right.

Mr. Poage. It seems to me we are spreading the mantle of protection awfully thin.

Mr. FLOURNOY. Not nearly so much as it is now. There are hundreds of thousands of people of the kind I have mentioned.

(f) A child of unknown parentage found in the United States, until shown not to have been born in the United States.

That takes care of the foundlings. There are few of them.

(g) A person born outside the United States and its outlying possessions of parents one of whom is a citizen of the United States who has had ten years residence in the United States or one of its outlying possessions, the other being an alien: Provided, That in order to retain such citizenship, the child must reside in the United States or its outlying possessions for a period or periods totaling five years between the ages of 13 and 21 years, and must within six months after his 21st birthday take an oath of allegiance to the United States : Provided further, That, if the child has not taken up a residence in the United States or its outlying possessions by the time he reaches the age of 16 years, or if he resides abroad for such a time that it becomes impossible for him to complete the five years' residence in the United States or its outlying possessions before reaching the age of 21 years, his American citizenship shall thereupon cease.

As you see, that is very much like the provision of the Act of May 24, 1934, on the subject of a child born abroad of parents, only one of whom was a citizen of the United States.

Mr. Rees. Have you changed the act of 1934 now!

Mr. FLOURNOY. Yes; I think it has been improved a little. It does not result in spreading citizenship over the face of the earth quite so much as that among aliens, because it says that a citizen must have had 10 years' residence in the United States. In that case, a child may have been brought here an infant in arms, a Chinese baby or a Mexican baby, and who then married a Chinese or a Mexican girl. He lives there and marries a Chinese in China or a Mexican in Mexico, as the case may be, and they have children. They are born citizens of the

а

a

United States under the law as it now exists. It is spreading citizenship pretty widely. This is not so loose as that, because it requires that a citizen must have resided 10 years in the United States in order that he or she may transmit citizenship to the children born abroad.

In the State Department we would be glad to have that provision still more strict about these children born abroad, but it is a question of getting something through that is not quite so bad as what we have now.

The preceding provisos shall not apply to a child born abroad whose American parent is at the time of the child's birth residing abroad solely or principally to represent the Government of the United States or a bona fide American educational, scientific, philanthropic, religious, commercial, or financial organization having its principal office or place of business in the United States, or an international agency of an official character in which the United States participates, for which he receives a substantial compensation.

The object of that is clearly obvious, I think. Where a citizen parent is residing abroad representing the American Government or American interests of some kind, it seems reasonable that the law should not be so strict in his case, as he is more apt to have children who are really American than one who is not representing any American interests.

Mr. Poage. Let me ask a question there. If we didn't have any such provision as that, if I go to France representing an American cotton firm and stay there a number of years and have children born there, then of course, I am still a citizen of the United States and I can come back; my wife is a citizen of the United States, since I married before I went over there.

Mr. FLOURNOY. Yes.

Mr. PoAGE. We bring back our children to the United States. They are not citizens of the United States in the absence of some provision of this kind ? Mr. FLOURNOY. No. Mr. POAGE. Can't we bring them in?

Mr. FLOURNOY. Excuse me, they are citizens. They are born citizens. You were born here.

Mr. POAGE. Yes.

Mr. FLOURNOY. And your wife is also a citizen. They are born citizens under the law as it now stands.

Mr. Poage. It would only be where I married a French woman?

Mr. FLOURNOY. Then they are born citizens, according to the construction placed on the act of 1934 by the Attorney General. The language is most amazingly involved and peculiar, but the construction seems reasonable. They are born citizens according to this construction of law, but in order to obtain their citizenship they must reside here 5 years before reaching the age of 18 and take the oath of allegiance upon reaching their majority. That is the present law.

Mr. Poage. What I am wondering is, Why would it work any great hardship if we require those commercial representatives who are abroad—and you are right, it would only apply when they married abroad—when they brought their families back to the United States

Mr. FLOURNOY. You mean a case where the wife is an alien?

Mr. PoAGE. Yes. I am trying to get an example where they cannot get in. They can at least get in where the wife and children are

« ÎnapoiContinuă »