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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 in 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. SLAYDEX. 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 15,000 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, 1911.
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 bonorably 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 fellow's 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. RÖGERS. Oh, I know of many thousands of them.
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
Mr. RAKER. Are there any concrete cases now pending before the department or before the courts anywhere involving those questions at the present time?
Mr. Rogers. There has been one very carefully considered case in the Federal Reports, if that is what you are interested in, the case of Ex parte Griffin, which was decided on December 2, 1916, by Judge Ray, the Federal judge for the northern district of New York.
Mr. RAKER. Where is it reported ?
Mr. Rogers. It is reported in 237 Federal Reporter, page 445, and that decision quotes the oath of allegiance which the committee may be interested to hear.
The CHAIRMAN. In that case Judge Ray held that he had expatriated himself.
Mr. ROGERS. Yes.
Mr. SIEGEL. Mr. Chairman, I am just informed by our friend from the State Department that there are a number of cases of men who have become officers in the armies in Europe, and now they can not become officers in our Army because they have lost their citizenship.
Mr. KNUTSON. Yes, we have several cases of that kind in Minnesota of boys who have been over with the Canadian contingents and who want to come back now and serve in the American Army. They are treated as aliens.
Mr. RAKER. I would like to ask this question, What are they coming back for now!
Mr. KNUTSON. To fight under their own flag.
Mr. KYUTON. I think our friend from the State Department can explain those cases.
Mr. Rogers. Yes; Mr. Flournoy, the Chief of the Bureau of Citizenship in the Department of State, of course can answer those questions much more accurately than I can. I have just looked into the general situation.
The CHAIRMAX. I should think there would be a great many coming back who had perhaps been wounded in the war.
Mr. Rogers. Yes; that is what I just suggested.
The CHAIRMAX. And they would want to recover their American citizenship.
Mr. ROGERS. Yes,
Mr. SIEGEL. Mr. Chairman, I would like to have the decision of Judge Ray made a part of the record.
The CHAIRMAN. Yes; I think that is very important.
[Ex parte Griffin.
District Court, N. D. New York.
December 2, 1916.)
287 ved 445
SYLLARI'S BY THE COURT.
1. Citizens, Key No. 13—Expatriation.
A citizen of the United States, who with his family goes to ('amada, and there later enlists in the aumy of that country for over-sea service, making the neces. sury declarations, and takes an oath of allegiance that he will be faithful and bear true allegiance to His Majesty King George the Fifth, his heirs and succes: ors, ind that he will as in duty bound honestly and faithfully defend His Majesty, his heirs and successors, in person, crown, and dignity, against all enemies, ind will observe and obey all orders of His Majesty, his heirs and successors, and of all the generals and officers set over him, so help him God, and
actually enters the service, thereby effectually expatriates himself under the provisions of 2 C. S. Comp. Stat. 1913, $ 3959, p. 1591, act March 2, 1907, c. 2534, $ 2, 34 Stat., 1228, which declares 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," etc. Expatriation is complete, even if, after a few days' service, he deserts and surreptitiously returns to the United States.
[ED. NOTE.--For other cases, see Citizens, Cent. Dig., $$ 20–22; Dec. Dig., Key No. 13.)
2. Aliens. Key No. 46–Deportation-Expatriated Citizen.
Such person, by such acts, if voluntary, not only abandons and renounces his citizenship in the United States, but becomes an alien, and by such removal, enlistment, and oath of allegiance to a foreign power initiates naturali. zation in such foreign country and comes under its protection. Therefore, when he thereafter deserts such service and surreptitiously returns to the United States, not coming through any port of entry, he comes in violation of law, and may be deported under the provisions of section 36 of Immigration Act Feb. 20, 1907, c. 1134, 34 Stat. 908 (Comp. St. 1913, $ 4285), which provides that all aliens who shall enter the United States except at the seaports thereof, or at such place or places as the Secretary of Labor may from time to time designate, shall be adjudged to have entered the country unlawfully and shall be deported as provided by sections twenty and twenty-one of this act: Provided, that nothing contained in this section shall affect the power conferred by section thirty-two of this act upon the Commissioner General of Immigration to prescribe rules for the entry and inspection of aliens along the borilers of Canada and Mexico."
[En. SOTE.--For other cases, see Aliens, Cent. Dig. $ 105; Dec. Dig. Key No. 46.]
3. ('itizens, Key No. 13—Expatriation—Consent-“ Foreign State ”-Oath of Allegiance.
Such oath of allegiance to the king of Great Britain is an oath of allegiance to a foreign state” within the meaning of the statute, and even if the consent of the United States and of such person is necessary to com. plete expatriation, the necessary consent is found in the statute and the voluntary acts of such person. Mackenzie v. Hare, 239 l. S. 299. 36 Sup. Ct. 106, 60 L. Ed. 297.
[ED, NOTE.-For other cases, see Citizens, Cent. Dig., $$ 20–22; Dec. Dig., Key., No. 13. For other definitions, see Words and Phrases, Second Series, Foreign State. ] 4. Aliens, Key No. 46-Deportation-Expatriated Citizen.
The petitioner, born in the United States and residing in New York, went with his family to Gananoque, Canada, June 30, 1916, enlisted in the Canadian Army for over-sea service, July 15, 1916, and took the oath of allegiance, deserteil August 5, 1916, und surreptitiously returned to the United States August 6, 1916. Held, that he had voluntarily expatriated himself and was an alien, and was subject to deportation as such.
[E1). NOTE.—For other cases, see Aliens, Cent. Dig., 105; Dec. Dig., Key No. 46.]
5. Citizens, Key No. 13—Expatriation-Oath of Allegiance.
The fact that the enlistment was for one year or during the war between England and Germany and six months thereafter did not change the effect of taking the oath of allegiance, which contained no limitation.
[E1, YOTE.-For other cases, see Citizes, Cent. Dig., $$ 20–22; Dec. Dig., Key No. 13.]
ADDITIONAL SYLLABUS BY EDITORIAL STAFF.
6. Citizens, No. 13—" Expatriation."
“ Expatriation " is the voluntary renunciation of citizenship; the renouncing allegiance to one's own Government, usually accompaied by forsaking one's own country.
[En. Note.-For other cases, see Citizens, Cent. Dig., $$ 20–22; Dec. Dig.. Key No. 13. For other definitions, see Words and Phrases, First and Second Series, Expatriate.]
Petition by Edward Dempster Griffin for a writ of habeas corpus. Dismissed.
This is an application by Edward Dempster Griffin, who claims to be a citizen of the t'nited States, for his release from the custody of the immigration