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and who wishes to return here to reside permanently, must come to the United States under the quota of her husband's nationality. If there is a great demand for that quota, which is highly probable, she may have to wait many years to return to this country. Then, too, she may never be able to come back to stay long enough to be repatriated.

Again, a native-born woman in this situation must go through practically the same naturalization proceedings as an alien. A prominent case of this kind is that of Representative Ruth Bryan Owen, who married a British subject in 1910 and thereby was expatriated without regard to her own wishes in the matter. Following the close of the Warld War she returned with her husband to reside in the United States. When she petitioned for naturalization she was required to go through the same naturalization proceedings as an alien.

These defects in the act of 1922 have been brought to light in the courts, and the decisions of the courts in regard to them have resulted in the initiation of amendatory legislation. The committee on immigration and naturalization has approved and reported out to the House H. R. 10960.

This bill, if enacted into law, would permit a woman who lost her American nationality by marriage to an alien prior to 1922 to return to the United States as a nonquota immigrant. It would permit her to be repatriated merely by appearing before a naturalization examiner and then going into court and taking the oath of allegiance. The length and character of her residence would not matter. She would be repatriated even if she were here for only a day.

A law such as is proposed in H. R. 10960 would give practically equal rights of citizenship to American men and women. Yet there can never be full equality until the many different nationality laws of the world are made much more uniform. And it is for this reason that the battle for equality of nationality has been carried to The Hague, where representatives of more than 50 countries are in conference, endeavoring to draft a treaty to codify the international laws on nationality, territorial waters, and responsibility of states.

Out of some 80 countries there are only 5 whose laws grant both men and women equal rights of nationality.

[From the Herald Tribune, May 30, 1929)




WASHINGTON, May 29.-An amendment to the naturalization law which would make it possible for Rosika Schwimmer, lecturer and author, to become an American citizen in spite of her pacifist views, was introduced to-day in the House by Representative J. Griffin, Democrat, of New York. Though he promised to press it for action, a vote is unlikely during the extra session of Congress.

Mr. Griffin's amendment is designed to overcome the decision Monday of the Supreme Court of the United States which held that Mrs. Schwimmer is not entitled to citizenship because she objected to the oath requiring all aliens to declare that, if necessary, they would take up arms in defense of the Constitution.

“Under the law, as it stands," the New Yorker pointed out, “ there is nothing to prevent a court from denying citizenship to a Quaker. That this has never been done is not due to any protection in the law but to the beneficent indulgence of the judge.” “Mrs. Schwimmer,” he said, seems to be the only one made to suffer."

Mr. Griffin, in a statement supporting his amendment, said:

“I have introduced to-day an amendment to the naturalization law to meet the case of Rosika Schwimmer, who was denied citizenship by the recent Supreme Court decision, to add the following sentence to the existing law: 'Except that no person mentally, morally, and otherwise qualified, shall be debarred from citizenship by reason of his or her religious views or philosophical opinions with respect to the lawfulness of war as a means of settling international disputes.'


“Agreeing with the dissenting opinion of Justice Holmes, concurred in by Justice Sanford, I feel that the qualifications for citizenship should not be left to judicial discretion.

* The only ones who have so far suffered by this hiatus in the law, which I am endeavoring to cure, are a few harmless doctrinaires of the type of Mrs. Schwimmer. Personally I do not see why aliens holding the views of Senator Borah and many other eminent Americans on the unlawfulness of war should be debarred from citizenship.

“I do not think that war is likely to be abolished, but we should not penalize the optimism of those who believe that it will, and I might add that I served 12 years in the military forces of my State and Nation and organized and commanded a company in the famous Sixty-ninth Regiment in the SpanishAmerican War. I, therefore, can not be charged with being a pacifist; but I do feel proud of my allegiance to the fundamental principles of free thought and free speech which were so finely expressed in the splendid opinion of Justice Holmes."

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(By Representative Anthony J. Griffin) By its recent decision in the Macintosh and Bland naturalization cases the traditional rights of man—religious liberty and freedom of thought-so far as the United States Supreme Court is concerned, are practically abolished.

To put it to the test, let the Quakers, who participated so materially in building up one of the States of our Union, now attempt to secure American citizenship. You will find that this decision of the Supreme Court will be promptly cited against them.

It may be argued that in practice the denial of those “ inalienable rights of man will only affect aliens seeking the aegis of our flag. That is precisely the menace of it. For, if a belief in war is held to be an essential of citizenship in the case of aliens, the principle may be expected sooner or latter to be invoked in the case of actual citizens, to furnish a ground for their expiration. This is no idle dream. Certain war-minded fanatics are already playing that tune.

To grasp the full import of the Macintosh and Bland decisions it is necessary to keep in mind that up to 1929, applicants for citizenship were not interrogated as to their religious or conscientious scruples, nor asked the question, now become crucial; that is, if they would take up arms if necessary. Theretofore, the questionnaire submitted to intending citizens required them to say whether or not they “ will support and defend the Consititution and laws of the United States.” This was in exact compliance with the terms of the oath of allegiance which Congress required should be taken, and was deemed sufficient for over 100 years. Suddenly, the Bureau of Naturalization, without any additional legislation or direction of Congress, added question 24 to the questionnaire:

“ 24. If necessary, are you willing to take up arms in defense of this country?"

It is obvious that this question is purely hypothetical and calls for an answer as to what the applicant, at that moment, may think he may be willing to do in a certain contingency which may never happen in his lifetime. To ask such a question of old men and women, as is now being done, is simply ridiculous and provocative of hypocrisy. The thoughtless will answer it flippantly, and cowards, under the fear of a denial of citizenship, are virtually clubbed into making an outrageously deceitful statement.

In effect, the Supreme Court decision permits the Bureau of Naturalization to make a new law establishing a new qualification for citizenship, utterly without the authority of Congress. I make bold to say that the minority opinion, expressed by Chief Justice Hughes and Justices Holmes, Brandeis, and Stone, is decidedly more in harmony with American traditions. The majority justices seem to have predicated their decision upon the false assumption that the admission of Macintosh and Bland would authorize aliens to bargain at the time of naturalization for exemption from military service in time of war.

Bargain with whom?

A naturalization clerk who puts a question not authorized by Congress? That assumption is entirely untenable. Even the Supreme Court itself could not authorize such a bargain. Such a bargain could only be authorized by Congress and the possibility of that is unthinkable. In short, the whole effect, and the only effect, of a favorable decision in the Macintosh and Bland cases would simply be to confirm existing law; that a naturalized citizen is a citizen, no matter what his creed and no matter what he thinks he is likely to do in some future war. It would leave the whole question of duty in wartime in abeyance, reserving—as it has been reserved for over 100 years—the right in Congress to provide for exemptions when the occasion requires.

Inch by inch, and step by step, bureaucracy is invading the domain of Congress. Now the Supreme Court decides by a 5 to 4 decision that the Naturalization Bureau has the right to ask the applicant for citizenship if he or she will fight (take up arms) and debar an intending citizen, if the question is not answered satisfactorily—in other words, an additional quali, fication for citizenship is demanded and practically construes words into the oath of allegiance which were never justified by any act of Congress.

To offset this unauthorized injection into the law of this new qualification for citizenship, I introduced in 1929, H. R. 3547. The bill provides : “That no person mentally, morally, and otherwise qualified shall be debarred from citizenship by reason of his or her religious views or philosophical opinions with respect to the lawfulness of war as a means of settling international disputes.” That simply means that religious or philosophical opinions on war have nothing to do with the case. If enacted into law, the Bureau of Naturalization will necessarily eliminate the question from the questionnaire and will no longer heckle old men and women with silly questions as to what they think they will do in some future war.

With the younger folks the question is equally ridiculous. Women are always exempt from taking up arms, and to insist upon them saying they will do so is worse than a legal fiction. As for young men, within the draft age, the fear of denial of citizenship will coerce them into making a self-serving statement. The question ought to be dropped. It has provoked an utterly futile controversy, only half decided by a divided court, and denies admission to citizenship of Quakers, Dunkards, Mennonites, and idealists generally, while leaving the door wide open for the unscrupulous, who are willing to enlist now in a war that may never come.



To friends and others:

The undersigned are members of the Society of Friends, commonly called Quakers.

In the solemn crisis in which our country now finds itself, upon the threshold of a great war, we desire to present to our fellow members and to our fellow citizens certain principles which we believe are fundamental as to our conduct.

The Society of Friends has from its beginning advocated freedom of speech and liberty of conscience. It has upheld the personal accountability of each person to his Maker. It has supported democracy as that form of government which best maintains the liberty of the individual, earnestly seeking the right to follow the dictates of his own conscience. It has consistently opposed oppression and wrong and the endeavor to impose beliefs and laws adverse to men's conscience. We believe these principles are likewise fundamental in our American democracy.

War and military power being ready instruments in the hands of oppressors, and the militant and combative spirit being, as we hold, contrary to the spirit of God and the teachings of Jesus, Friends have endeavored to bring to the hearts of men the benign influence of peace and that spirit which shall do away with the causes of all wars, and which develops the highest manhood.

Friends point to the bloody course of the present war, with its examples of faithlessness and ruthlessness, as an exposition of what comes to the world when the ambitious, autocratic spirit of domination controls the minds of men.

In order to restrain the ruthless warfare waged, not only upon foes but upon nations which have with unexampled patience shown their desire to remain friends, the President of the United States has deemed it wise to ask Congress to grant to him the right and the means to use the power of this Nation to endeavor to restore the principles of peace, stating the objects to be “to vindicate the principles of peace and justice in the world as against selfish and autocratic power, and to set up among the really free and selfgoverned peoples of the world such a concert of purpose and of action as will henceforth ensure the observance of those principles.”

With those objects we believe the members of the Society of Friends unqualifiedly agree and in the war will give this Government their hearty, unwavering support.

There will be work for Friends and other lovers of peace. We can serve in various capacities without hatred or animus and we hope that the time is near when all peoples shall be free of autocratic ambitions and militarism and will cooperate in maintaining peace in the world.

We believe that in the work before us we could follow the words of Lincoln: “ With malice toward none, with charity for all, with firmness in the right, as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in, to bind up the Nation's wounds, to care for him who shall have borne the battle, and for his widow and his orphans, to do all that may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace among ourselves and with all nations." Dated, New York, April 6, 1917. WILSON M. POWELL.












GENTLEMEN : This is a bill which would permit Friends (Quakers) from Canada and England and other countries to be naturalized as citizens, and no longer be classed by our beloved Government with anarchists and destroyers of governments. It would also admit Mennonites and other suitable persons. It would not change the law excluding from citizenship those who are opposed to organized governments. I am speaking for the Friends.

Friends have always been supporters of law and order, tranquillity and peace, in the community, and have supported means and methods to insure such peace. They were among the founders of the Republic. They are now considered worthy to hold the highest offices in the Republic. William Penn was one of the first to propose an association of nations to establish international law and order, and to maintain peace among the nations. He was strong for peace, but would probably not be allowed, under recent rulings, to become a citizen.

Friends have been hearty supporters of the Kellogg peace pact, and my New York yearly meeting at its session in May, 1927, before the Government had gone very much into the matter, addressed memorials to the administration and to New York Senators and Congressmen, urging the taking up of the proposition of M. Briand, which had just been made, in April, 1927, and enacting it into an international agreement.

When the League of Nations was proposed, our yearly meeting addressed memorials to the Senate in its support.

Even in the last war, a group of New York Friends, active in their meetings, drafted and signed a statement of sympathy and “unqualified agreement,' with the ultimate objects and aims of the President, and although reasserting their love of peace, yet promising in the words of Lincoln, to strive to bind up the Nation's wounds, to care for those who have borne the battle and for their widows and orphans and to do all that may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace among the nations. This document was not only signed by those whose names are printed here but also by a great number of other Friends, and was reprinted in our organ The Friends Intelligencer.

To us, of course, the main point was the achieving and cherishing lasting peace, and the binding up of the Nation's wounds. In pursuance of this an organization of Friends was formed in the United States and another in Eng. land which cooperated in sending many of our young men and women abroad,

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who during and after the war established themselves in the devastated areas in France and elsewhere to set up hospitals and feeding stations for women and children particularly, in order to care for those who had borne the brunt of the battle and for their widows and orphans, and to assist in the restoration of good will, a necessary preliminary to a lasting peace. Some went even further than this, and being such lovers of peace that they were even willing to fight for it, entered into the military forces of the United States, although exempted by law. Such young men were not disciplined by any meeting, Friends feeling that they should not question the conscience of any member in that respect, that each member should do as he felt God called him. One of our well-beloved Friends at Flushing became a gold star mother, and I have no doubt there were others.

The war act of 1917, enabling the President to increase the Military Establishment for the war, expressly exempted from the draft the members of such organizations as the Friends. If that could be done in time of war, why should there not be equal consideration for Friends in time of peace?

I do not know whether this is a proper time to propose any amendment of the proposed bill, but, with all deference to Congressman Griffin, I would suggest an amendment, which I now hand you. It makes use of the language of the war act of 1917, admitting to citizenship those persons otherwise qualified who are members of existing sects opposed to war, as that act, passed in time of war, exempted them for the draft.

The fathers of our beloved Republic in establishing the Constitution had in mind freedom of religious belief and conscience. They provided in that Constitution that no religious test shall be required as a qualifications to any office or public trust under the United States. (Article VI.) They further provided that Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free practice thereof. (First amendment.)

We submit that the release asked for in this bill is in the spirit of those provisions. As was said by Mr. Chief Justice Hughes in his dissenting opinion in the Macintosh case: “The essence of religion is belief in relation to God involving duties superior to those arising from any human relation.” It is submatted than conscientious persons are the best qualified for citizenship.

The Society of Friends arose in England, about the middle of the seventeenth century. That is the home country of the Friends. Many English and Canadian Friends come here to reside. They become members of our American meetings. They want to become loyal American citizens as we are. Under recent decisions loyal and convinced Friends, true to our testimonies, following the right as God gives them to see the right, have not in these latter days the right to become American citizens, if they will not agree in advance to bear arms. We feel that debarring of our Friends is a very serious thing.

This bill restores to them that right.

We ask of this committee favorable action so that the bill may be enacted into law.

The discipline of the New York yearly meeting of the Religious Society of Friends contains the following:

“We have found it to be our duty to bear our faithful testimony against war, in accordance with the gospel, which breathes peace on earth and good will toward men. God's law of love, as fully exemplified by the life of Jesus, is applicable to nations as well as individuals. Friends are earnestly advised on all occasions to act in a Christian and peaceable manner, and not only to refuse to bear arms, but to engage in no business tending to promote war, nor to unite with any in a way calculated to incite or encourage the spirit of war.

We greatly desire that the children of our country shall be imbued with the true conception of patriotism and service to the Nation and to humanity. We earnestly advise Friends to exert themselves at all times to make our country a potent factor in the advancement of the world and to work to improve the civic, economic, social, and moral condition of our country, rather than to exalt it at the expense of others or to support and justify its action irrespective of right or justice.”

Would not people of such aims make good citizens?
Should they not be admitted to citizenship?
Dated first month 26th, 1932.
Respectfully submitted,

Delegate from the New York Yearly Meeting

of the Religious Society of Friends.

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