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In In re Yamashita (Wash.), 59 L. R. A. 671, 70 Pac. 482, a native of Japan applied for admission, as an attorney, in the courts of the State of Washington, whose laws preclude the admission of any person who is not a citizen of the United States. Yamashita had obtained from the superior court of Pierce County, Washington, an order admitting him to citizenship. It was held that the judgment upon its face showed that Yamashita was of the Japanese race; that Japanese are not entitled to become citizens of the United States; that, as the court was without authority to pronounce the judgment, its determination was void, and must be disregarded. It was decided that he could not be admitted.
It was claimed in the recent controversy caused by the exclusion of Japanese from San Francisco schools that Japanese are not Mongolians. But as it does not appear to be claimed that they belong to either the Caucasian or African race it is not seen that they are placed in any better position under our statute.
The city court of Albany, New York, decided against the naturalization of a dark yellow native of Burmah, although he was an educated physician. Re San C. Po, 7 Misc. 471, 28 N. Y. Supp. 383. In the opinion the court said:
“Burmese are Malays and under modern ethnological subdivisions are Mongolians, . and are not, therefore, within the strict letter of the Act of 1882, which prohibited the admission of Chinese to citizenship, for one can be a Mongolian and yet not be a Chinaman; but the petitioner falls squarely within the provision of Section 2169 of the United States Revised Statutes which limits naturalization to free white persons and to persons of African nativity and of African descent, for he is certainly neither.”
In Re Kanaka Nian, 6 Utah, 259, the Supreme Court of Utah denied the application of a native Hawaiian for admission to citizenship, holding that the applicant was neither a white person nor a person of the African race. The court said: “We are of opinion that the law authorizes the naturalization of aliens of the Caucasian or white race and of the African race only, and all other races, among which are the Hawaiians, are excluded."
This was prior to the annexation of Hawaii to the United States. Congress, by the Act of April 30, 1900, providing a government for the territory of Hawaii, declared that “all persons who were citizens of the Republic of Hawaii, on August 12, 1898, are citizens of the United States."
The general statutes of naturalization do not apply to American Indians. 7 Ops. Atty. Gen. 746.
The Civil Rights Act, in defining citizens, expressly excluded "Indians not taxed." And while the citizenship clause of the Fourteenth Amendment omits this phrase, an examination of the debates in Congress when the Amendment was under consideration shows that the words were omitted as unnecessary, such persons not being deemed to be “subject to the jurisdiction of the United States."
In In re Burton, 1 Alaska, 111, it was decided that an Indian, a native of British Columbia, was not a "free white person or an alien of African nativity or of African descent,” and hence was not capable of naturalization under the statute.
It has also been decided that a person of half white and half Indian blood is not entitled to admission to citizenship under our general naturalization statutes, such person not being a “white person” within the purview of the law. In re Camille, 6 Sawyer, 541.
Indians are capable of naturalization by treaty and by special law, however, and citizenship has been frequently bestowed upon them in these ways.
them in these ways. Elk v. Wilkins, 112 U. S. 94; Boyd v. Thayer, 143 U. S. 135.
In the case of Re Rodriguez, 81 Fed. 337, the United States District Court for the Western District of Texas held that a native citizen of Mexico, whatever might be his status viewed solely from the standpoint of the ethnologist, is embraced within the spirit and intent of our naturalization laws. In this case it was contended that Rodriguez was excluded from the privilege of naturalization under Rev. Stat. 2169 because of his color, the authorities relied upon being: Re Ah Yup, 5 Sawy. 155, Fed. Cas. No. 104; Re Camille, 6 Sawy. 541, 6 Fed. 256; Re Kanaka Nian, 6 Utah, 259, 4 L. R. A. 726, 21 Pac. 993, and Re Saito, 62 Fed. 126.
The court analyzed the decision in Ah Yup's case, which is termed the leading one. It says that the opinion of Judge Sawyer is by no means decisive of the present question, as his language may well convey the meaning that the amendment of the naturalization statutes referred to by him (the amendment striking the word "white" therefrom) was intended solely as a prohibition against the naturalization of members of the Mongolian race. The court refers to the Act of May 6, 1882 (22 Stat. at L. 61, Chap. 126, U. S. Comp. Stat. 1901, 1333), expressly forbidding the naturalization of Chinese, and asks why, if the Chinese were denied the right to become naturalized citizens, under laws existing when Re Ah Yup was decided, did Congress enact this prohibitory statute?
Says the court: “Indeed, it is a debatable question whether the term 'free white person,' as used in the original Act of 1790, was not employed for the sole purpose of withholding the right of citizenship from the black or African race and the Indians then inhabiting this country." Continuing, the court says: “Nor is it deemed material to inquire into what race ethnological writers would assign the present applicant. If the strict scientific classification of the anthropologist should be adopted, he would probably not be classed as white. It is certain he is not an African nor a person of African descent. According to his own statement he is a 'pureblooded Mexican,' bearing no relation to the Aztecs or original races of Mexico. Being, then, a citizen of Mexico, may he be naturalized pursuant to the laws of Congress ? If debarred by the strict letter of the law from receiving letters of citizenship, is he embraced within the intent and meaning of the statute ? If he falls within the intent and meaning of the law, his application should be granted notwithstanding the letter of the statute may be against him.” The court then quoted from the Constitution of the Republic of Texas and the Constitution, laws, and treaties of the United States, which, it is said, disclose that both that Republic and the United States have freely, during the past sixty years, conferred upon Mexicans the rights and privileges of American citizenship-not individually, but by various collective acts of naturalization. He also quotes Rev. Stat., Section 1999 (U. S. Comp. Stat. 1901, 1269), recognizing the right of expatriation, and reciting that this government has freely received emigrants from all nations, and invested them with the rights of citizenship. He concludes: “When all the foregoing laws, treaties, and constitutional provisions are considered, which either affirmatively confer the rights of citizenship upon Mexicans, or tacitly recognize in them the right
of individual naturalization, the conclusion forces itself upon the mind that citizens of Mexico are eligible to American citizenship, and may be individually naturalized by complying with the provisions of our (naturalization) laws." The applicant was admitted to naturalization.
The fact that the United States has by collective acts conferred upon Mexicans the rights and privileges of American citizenship affords no basis for the argument that Mexicans are eligible to naturalization under our general naturalization statutes. See Re Yamashita (Wash.), 59 L. R. A. 671, 70 Pac. 482. In this case the applicant was ignorant, and was unable to read or write, and did not understand the principles of the Constitution, yet the court held, in the face of several decisions to the contrary, that he was entitled to be naturalized, inasmuch as it appeared that he was peaceable, industrious, of a good moral character, and law-abiding. The existing law, the Act of June 29, 1906, expressly requires that the applicant shall be able to write his name and speak the English language.
8. Porto Ricans and Filipinos.
In In re Gonzales, 118 Fed. 941, the Circuit Court of the United States for the Southern District of New York, in 1902, held that a native Porto Rican woman was an alien, within the meaning of our laws regulating the admission of aliens who come to the United States. But, on appeal, the Supreme Court reversed this decision and decided that the woman, who was a citizen of Porto Rico, was not an alien, within the sense of the immigration laws. Gonzales vs. Williams, 192 U. S., 1.
Under this decision, citizens of Porto Rico and citizens of the Philippine Islands, while not citizens of the