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that foreign-born residents may be naturalized by a compliance with it, and not otherwise. This power, like the power to regulate commerce among the states, was carved out of the general sovereign power held by the states when this nation was formed and granted by the Constitution to the Congress of the United States. It thus vested exclusively in Congress, and no power remained in the states to change or vary the rule of naturalization Congress established, or to authorize any foreign subject to denationalize himself and become a citizen of the United States without a compliance with the conditions Congress had prescribed.” See, also, Lanz v. Randall, 4 Dill. 425.
The history of the proceedings of the Constitutional Convention, and the speeches of Charles Pinckney who drafted this clause of the Constitution, clearly show that it was the intention of the framers to confer on the Federal Government the exclusive power to declare on what terms naturalization should be extended to foreigners.
The State courts have adopted the view taken of the subject by the Federal courts. Lynch v. Clark, 1 Sandf. Ch. 641; Davis v. Hall, 1 Nott & McCord, 292; In re Wehlitz, 16 Wis. 443; In re Stephens, 4 Gray, 559; In re Ramsden, 13 How. Pr. 429.
By the Act of April 14, 1802 (2 Stat. at L. 153), Congress declared that the children of persons who, previous to the passage of any law on the subject of naturalization by the Government of the United States, had been naturalized under the laws of one of the States, should, if dwelling in the United States, be considered as citizens of the United States.
C. Naturalization a Judicial Function.
In the United States naturalization is a judicial function, having been committed by Congress to the courts.
A naturalization proceeding is a judgment. Chief Justice Marshall, in Spratt v. Spratt (4 Peters, 393), said: “ The various acts upon the subject submit the decision on the right of aliens to admission as citizens to courts of record. They are to receive testimony, to compare it with the law, and to judge on both law and fact. This judgment is entered on record as the judgment of the court." See, also, Campbell v. Gordon, 6 Cranch, 175; Mut. Benefit Ins. Co. v. Tisdale, 91 U. S. 238; Ritchie v. Putnam, 13 Wend. 524; State v. McDonald, 24 Minn. 48.
An interesting discussion of the question whether the final order of a court admitting an alien to citizenship is a judgment, is found in the opinion of the Spanish Treaty Claims Commission in the case of Ruiz v. United States, from which full quotation is made under “Impeachment of Naturalization," page 144, post. The Commission said:
“In the refinements of legal phraseology we may find some other word that suits us better than judgment by which to call the final determining act of a court in passing upon such proceedings-order, adjudication, decree, decision, conclusion-but the effect is just the same. The thing done and not the technical name one chooses to give it is of importance only. The validity and legality of an act done, whether by an officer or a tribunal, depends upon the jurisdiction over the subject-matter, and the exercise of its delegated power by a judicial body in reaching a conclusion is, to all intents and purposes, a judgment, whether technically so called or not; and it is a matter of legal insignificance what other term or name is employed to express it. The authorities make no distinction between the orders of officers and the judgments of tribunals, where the exercise of jurisdiction is confided to their discretion, and they employ the same within the authority and power conferred. Neither do we find authorities to sustain the proposition that a judgment in uncontested proceedings, by default or confession, is excluded from the terms of Article IV, Section 1, of the Constitution, which provides that ‘full faith and credit shall be given in each state to the public acts, records, and judicial proceedings of every other state' and of the Act of Congress, Revised Statutes, Section 905, which declares that such records and judicial proceedings, when properly authenticated, 'shall have such faith and credit given to them in every court within the United States as they have by law or usage in the courts of the state from which they are taken.' The authorities appear to make no distinction whatever between different kinds of judgments. They are all entitled to the same faith and credit, whether entered by default, confession, or in a contested litigation, and may be impeached on the same grounds as other judgments are impeachable upon. Freeman on Judgments, Section 588; Bunn v. Ahl, 29 Pa. St. 387; 72 Am. Dec. 639; Sipes v. Whitney, 30 Ohio, 69; Kingman v. Paulson, 126 Ind. 507. It is interesting to note in this connection that neither the Constitution nor the statute refers specifically to a judgment, and it is equally true that the Acts of Congress relating to naturalization and conferring jurisdiction upon certain courts never speak of a judgment, and yet the courts of the country, from the earliest decisions to the present time, in innumerable cases, have uniformly treated them as judgments. Undoubtedly the decision of a court of competent jurisdiction to grant a naturalization certificate based upon facts made to appear to its satisfaction, is comprehended in the expression public acts, records, and judicial proceedings, and must be a judgment.'”
D. What Courts Are Authorized to Naturalize.
The first law enacted by Congress concerning naturalization (Act of 1790), authorized any common law court of record in any one of the states" to admit aliens to citizenship.
The Act of 1795, which repealed the Act of 1790, conferred jurisdiction in naturalization proceedings upon
the supreme, superior, district, or circuit court of some one of the states, or of the territories northwest or south of the river Ohio, or a circuit or district court of the United States."
The Act of April 14, 1802 (2 Stat. at L. 153), which, in turn, repealed the Act of 1795, authorized “the supreme, superior, district or circuit court of some one of the states or of the territorial districts of the United States, or a circuit or district court of the United States," to act in naturalization proceedings, and declared that "every court of record in any individual state having common law jurisdiction and a seal and clerk or prothonotary, shall be considered as a district court within the meaning of this act.” As carried into the Revised Statutes of the United States (1878), Section 2165, which remained the law on the subject until the passage of the Act of June 27, 1906, 34 Stat. at L. 596, the provision read: "A circuit or district court of the United States, or a district or supreme court of the territories, or a court of record of any of the states having common law jurisdiction and a seal and clerk."
The Act of June 27, 1906—the existing law-provides that “exclusive jurisdiction to naturalize aliens as citizens of the United States is hereby conferred upon the following specified courts: United States circuit and district courts now existing, or which may hereafter be established by Congress in any state, United States district courts for the Territories of Arizona, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Hawaii, and Alaska, the Supreme Court of the District of Columbia, and the United States courts for the Indian Territory; also all courts of record in any state or territory now existing, or which may hereafter be created, having a seal, a clerk, and jurisdiction in actions at law
or equity, or law and equity, in which the amount in controversy is unlimited.”
1. Courts of Record.
The language of the Statute is “courts of record having a seal, a clerk, and jurisdiction in actions at law or equity, or law and equity, in which the amount in controversy is unlimited."
There have been no judicial decisions under the Act of 1906, but the courts have frequently passed upon the question of jurisdiction of courts under prior laws. As cases may arise concerning naturalizationconferred under prior laws, and as the language of the existing law is, in part, similar to that of previous acts, references to earlier decisions of the courts are given.
In ex parte Cregg, 2 Curtis, C. C. 98, the Court said: “When the Act speaks of courts of record it speaks of courts whose proceedings are duly recorded by authorized persons; and when it says 'having a clerk or prothonotary, it superadds the requirement that those proceedings shall be recorded by one of those officers."
In Mills v. McCabe, 44 Ill. 194, the question involved was whether the Marine Court of the City of New York, which was created by Act of the State Legislature and had a clerk and seal and a limited common law jurisdiction, was a court of record within the meaning of the Act of Congress. The New York courts had decided that the marine court was a court of record only to the extent to which it was declared so by statute, and not in the strict legal sense of the term. The Illinois court said: "A fair and reasonable construction of the Act of Congress requires us to hold that only a court of record for general, and not special, purposes was intended to be embraced. The Act has not declared that a court of record for some purposes only shall be invested with