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Mr. ROGERS. I will read section 2 in full:

That any American citizen shall be deemed to have expatriated himself when he has been naturalized in any foreign state in conformity with its laws or when he has taken an oath of allegiance to any foreign state.

Mr. RAKER. Yes: that is right.

Mr. ROGERS. I simply left out the part that did not fit this situation.

Mr. SLAYDEN. Do you not think that is a pretty good statute as a general thing?

Mr. ROGERS. I think it may have been a good statute in 1907 in the light of the situation then presented to the legislators; but I do not think it is a good statute so far as it now affects these 45,000 or 50,000 American boys fighting on the side of the allies.

Mr. SLAYDEN. Mr. Rogers, why would not a simple joint resolution. stating that American citizens who, in order to engage in the war with Germany, have taken an oath of allegiance to a foreign prince, potentate, or Government shall, upon submission of satisfactory evidence that they were citizens prior to that time, have their rights as citizens reestablished, be sufficient without interfering with this statute?

Mr. ROGERS. The bill which is before the committee now does not interfere with the statute at all.

Mr. SLAYDEN. I have not read the bill yet.

Mr. ROGERS. It simply suggests the precise remedy which you have suggested, Mr. Slayden. It provides that any man who may be deemed to have expatriated himself under the law which I have just read

Mr. SLAYDEN. You mean the bill before us?

Mr. ROGERS. I am not reading the bill. Would you care to have it read verbatim?

Mr. SLAYDEN. No; I just wanted to find out your position.

Mr. ROGERS. It provides that any person formerly an American citizen who may be deemed to have expatriated himself under that act by taking, since August 1, 1914, an oath of allegiance to any foreign state fighting Germany, and who took such oath in order to be enabled to enlist in the armed forces of such foreign state, and who actually enlisted in such armed forces, and who has been duly and honorably discharged from such armed forces, may, upon complying with the provisions of this act, reassume and reacquire the character and privileges of a citizen of the United States.

Mr. RAKER. Mr. Rogers, do you make any distinction between a man who joins after the declaration of war and one who leaves his own country and takes either side of the conflict in a foreign country when the United States is neutral as to both of them?

Mr. ROGERS. This particular proposal is limited to men who have been fighting on the side of the allies since August 1, 1914.

Mr. RAKER. But do you make any distinction, or do you take into account that the men abandoned their citizenship so far as the United States is concerned when they entered on either side of a conflict when the United States was not at war with either of those parties?

Mr. MEEKER. When the United States was neutral.

The CHAIRMAN. In answer to that, I think the last proviso in that section says that no American citizen shall be allowed to expatriate himself after we have entered the war. Since we have entered the war it seems they can not expatriate themselves.

Mr. ROGERS. That is undoubtedly true. They can not expatriate themselves since we have entered the war.

Mr. WILSON. AS I understand the purpose of this bill it is that any person who has taken this oath of allegiance to any of our allies

Mr. ROGERS (interposing). Since August 1, 1914, and prior to our entering the war ourselves.

Mr. WILSON (Continuing). After the war is over or after he is honorably discharged from the army in which he is fighting, by taking an oath of allegiance to the United States he again becomes a citizen of the United States and is relieved from the effect of his former act declaring he had expatriated himself in taking his former oath.

Mr. ROGERS. Yes. Of course the difference is this: As the law now stands such a person, under the construction of the act of March 2, 1907, would have to wait five years. He would be treated as he came to the port of New York just like a man coming from Poland or Greece for the first time, and in order to be naturalized and to acquire American citizenship he would have to wait five years. Now, this bill says that that sort of man is not really an alien at heart. He did not intend to expatriate himself, but in order to engage in a cause which appealed to him he had to take an oath of allegiance; but still in every sense, except in a technical sense, he is an American citizen. Surely we are not going to place any unnecessary barriers in his path.

Mr. RAKER. Do you make any distinction at all about the man who, when the United States is neutral, abandons his citizenship and goes against the United States and joins another country and becomes a citizen of another country? Do you not make any distinction as to him simply because we happen afterwards to enter the war ourselves?

Mr. ROGERS. We make the distinction that we require him to take an oath of allegiance to the United States before he can get back his American citizenship. I am not sure I get the exact point you have in mind, Judge Raker.

Mr. RAKER. What I was getting at is this: I did not want to use any strong language, but do you not believe that we should think seriously about the proposition before we open the door to a man who abandons this country to fight on either side of a war when the United States is neutral as to both of those countries?

Mr. SIEGEL. Is not the situation really changed under these circumstances?

Mr. RAKER. But we do not want to forget this country in thinking of things that have turned out now. It is the principle we must consider.

Mr. SLAYDEN. The permanent policy of the country is what you are thinking about?

Mr. RAKER. Yes.

Mr. SIEGEL. Here is the point I want you to discuss, Mr. Rogers: Up to the day of the declaration of war, would you have had any thought of introducing this bill if we had not declared war against

Mr. ROGERS. I will read section 2 in full:

That any American citizen shall be deemed to have expatriated himself when he has been naturalized in any foreign state in conformity with its laws or when he has taken an oath of allegiance to any foreign state.

Mr. RAKER. Yes; that is right.

Mr. ROGERS. I simply left out the part that did not fit this situation.

Mr. SLAYDEN. Do you not think that is a pretty good statute as a general thing?

Mr. ROGERS. I think it may have been a good statute in 1907 in the light of the situation then presented to the legislators; but I do not think it is a good statute so far as it now affects these 45,000 or 50,000 American boys fighting on the side of the allies.

Mr. SLAYDEN. Mr. Rogers, why would not a simple joint resolution stating that American citizens who, in order to engage in the war with Germany, have taken an oath of allegiance to a foreign prince, potentate, or Government shall, upon submission of satisfactory evidence that they were citizens prior to that time, have their rights as citizens reestablished, be sufficient without interfering with this statute?

Mr. ROGERS. The bill which is before the committee now does not interfere with the statute at all.

Mr. SLAYDEN. I have not read the bill yet.

Mr. ROGERS. It simply suggests the precise remedy which you have suggested, Mr. Slayden. It provides that any man who may be deemed to have expatriated himself under the law which I have just read

Mr. SLAYDEN. You mean the bill before us?

Mr. ROGERS. I am not reading the bill. Would you care to have it read verbatim?

Mr. SLAYDEN. No; I just wanted to find out your position.

Mr. ROGERS. It provides that any person formerly an American citizen who may be deemed to have expatriated himself under that act by taking, since August 1, 1914, an oath of allegiance to any foreign state fighting Germany, and who took such oath in order to be enabled to enlist in the armed forces of such foreign state, and who actually enlisted in such armed forces, and who has been duly and honorably discharged from such armed forces, may, upon complying with the provisions of this act, reassume and reacquire the character and privileges of a citizen of the United States.

Mr. RAKER. Mr. Rogers, do you make any distinction between a man who joins after the declaration of war and one who leaves his own country and takes either side of the conflict in a foreign country when the United States is neutral as to both of them?

Mr. ROGERS. This particular proposal is limited to men who have been fighting on the side of the allies since August 1, 1914.

Mr. RAKER. But do you make any distinction, or do you take into account that the men abandoned their citizenship so far as the United States is concerned when they entered on either side of a conflict when the United States was not at war with either of those parties?

Mr. MEEKER. When the United States was neutral.

The CHAIRMAN. In answer to that, I think the last proviso in that section says that no American citizen shall be allowed to expatriate himself after we have entered the war. Since we have entered the war it seems they can not expatriate themselves.

Mr. ROGERS. That is undoubtedly true. They can not expatriate themselves since we have entered the war.

Mr. WILSON. As I understand the purpose of this bill it is that any person who has taken this oath of allegiance to any of our allies

Mr. ROGERS (interposing). Since August 1, 1914, and prior to our entering the war ourselves.

Mr. WILSON (continuing). After the war is over or after he is honorably discharged from the army in which he is fighting, by taking an oath of allegiance to the United States he again becomes a citizen of the United States and is relieved from the effect of his former act declaring he had expatriated himself in taking his former oath.

Mr. ROGERS. Yes. Of course the difference is this: As the law now stands such a person, under the construction of the act of March 2, 1907, would have to wait five years. He would be treated as he came to the port of New York just like a man coming from Poland or Greece for the first time, and in order to be naturalized and to acquire American citizenship he would have to wait five years. Now, this bill says that that sort of man is not really an alien at heart. He did not intend to expatriate himself, but in order to engage in a cause which appealed to him he had to take an oath of allegiance; but still in every sense, except in a technical sense, he is an American citizen. Surely we are not going to place any unnecessary barriers in his path.

Mr. RAKER. Do you make any distinction at all about the man who, when the United States is neutral, abandons his citizenship and goes against the United States and joins another country and becomes a citizen of another country? Do you not make any distinction as to him simply because we happen afterwards to enter the war ourselves?

Mr. ROGERS. We make the distinction that we require him to take an oath of allegiance to the United States before he can get back his American citizenship. I am not sure I get the exact point you have in mind, Judge Raker.

Mr. RAKER. What I was getting at is this: I did not want to use any strong language, but do you not believe that we should think seriously about the proposition before we open the door to a man who abandons this country to fight on either side of a war when the United States is neutral as to both of those countries?

Mr. SIEGEL. Is not the situation really changed under these circumstances?

Mr. RAKER. But we do not want to forget this country in thinking of things that have turned out now. It is the principle we must

consider.

Mr. SLAYDEN. The permanent policy of the country is what you are thinking about?

Mr. RAKER. Yes.

Mr. SIEGEL. Here is the point I want you to discuss, Mr. Rogers: Up to the day of the declaration of war, would you have had any thought of introducing this bill if we had not declared war against

Germany? Now what you are trying to do is to help the fellows who are now in the armies of the allies?

Mr. ROGERS. Who are now in the armies of the allies or who have been; yes, that is true.

Mr. MEEKER. But those fellows went before the declaration of war either to the allies or to Germany, and those men should be treated alike, because we were neutral, and we have no right as a neutral nation to say, "You can fight on this side, but you can not fight on the other side."

Mr. WILSON. No; I think the situation is very different. There were a great many people in this country long before we ever got into this war who were so much in sympathy with the cause of the allies that they sought an opportunity to fight in those armies, and now we have practically indorsed what they have done, and I would think there would be quite a difference in dealing with that man and a man who had left his country in order to fight with Germany.

Mr. MEEKER. It would not make any difference so long as the Government was neutral. As long as this Government remains neutral, you would say to the boys. " You can fight on either side."

Mr. SIEGEL. Of course there is this much to be said about the whole matter: There is a dispute on as to whether they have really lost their citizenship or not. We have only had one decision that amounts to anything, and that is the decision of Judge Ray, which I referred to when we were discussing the Webb bill, providing for recruiting of aliens. I do not understand the department is now ruling that these men are not citizens. Of course Mr. Flournoy could tell us about that.

Mr. RAKER. Mr. Rogers, right at this time is there any necessity at all for this legislation?

Mr. ROGERS. I think there is tremendous necessity for it.

Mr. RAKER. Are there any parties returning from the war who are applying for citizenship or being hampered in any way, shape, or form?

Mr. ROGERS. As far as the Commissioner of Immigration is concerned, I understand he is here to speak for himself; but my understanding is that the Department of Labor does not raise the question whether this provision of the statute of March 2, 1907, is applicable when men who have been fighting in the European war present themselves at the ports of this country for readmission.

Mr. RAKER. But are there any cases pending now of men who have expatriated themselves from the United States and have gone to foreign countries to participate in the war, and are now returning to the United States and think they ought to be citizens now? Are there any that you know of?

Mr. ROGERS. Oh, I know of many thousands of them.

The CHAIRMAN. They are now coming back?

Mr. ROGERS. They are now coming back. They are not held up at the ports of the United States and they are allowed to enter. But bear in mind, gentlemen, the questions relative to voting and holding office; questions involving marriage law and divorce law and the devolution of property in case of their death. All those questions depend upon the question of whether these men are still citizens of this country or citizens of the country in the army of which they have been fighting.

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