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United States, were not aliens, and were not capable of becoming naturalized, for two reasons: 1. The naturalization laws of the United States apply only to aliens. 2. The naturalization laws of the United States require a renunciation of former allegiance. As citizens of Porto Rico and citizens of the Philippine Islands owed allegiance only to the United States, there was no former allegiance for them to renounce.
Under these circumstances Congress by the Act of June 29, 1906 (34 Stat. at L. 596, Sec. 30), provided for the admission of such citizens as citizens of the United States, upon compliance with our naturalization laws. The law reads as follows:
“All the applicable provisions of the naturalization laws of the United States shall apply to and be held to authorize the admission to citizenship of all persons not citizens who owe permanent allegiance to the United States, and who may become residents of any state or organized territory of the United States, with the following modifications: The applicant shall not be required to renounce allegiance to any foreign sovereignty; he shall make his declaration of intention to become a citizen of the United States at least two years prior to his admission; and residence within the jurisdiction of the United States, owing such permanent allegiance, shall be regarded as residence within the United States within the meaning of the five years' residence clause of the existing law.”
9. Alien Enemies.
Alien enemies of the United States are incapable of naturalization. Section 2171 of the Revised Statutes declares that “No alien who is a native citizen or subject, or a denizen of any country, state, or sovereignty
with which the United States are at war, at the time of his application, shall be then admitted to become a citizen of the United States."
This provision, which is based on the language of the Act of April 14, 1802, was before the courts in the case of Ex parte Overington (1812), 5 Binney, 371. Overington applied for admission to citizenship under the Act of March 26, 1804, which provided that upon the death of an alien who had declared his intention to become a citizen of the United States, but had not completed his naturalization, his widow and children should be considered as citizens, upon taking the oaths prescribed by law. Overington's father, a subject of Great Britain, had been residing in the United States, with his son, from October, 1807, until his death in 1809. It was held, that as the father if living, would have come within the description of the Act of 1802, “an alien enemy,” and would have been incapable of naturalization, the son could not be given rights of citizenship.
The Act of July 30, 1813, provided that persons resident within the United States on June 18, 1812, who had previously made a declaration of intention to become citizens of the United States, or were then entitled to become citizens, might be admitted to become citizens, notwithstanding they should be alien enemies, at the times and manner prescribed by the laws previously passed on that subject.
The case of Ex parte Newman, 1813, 2 Gallison, 11, raised the question whether a British subject could file a preliminary declaration of intention under the Act of July 30, 1813. The court said that the "act enables persons who before the war had made the preparatory declaration to become citizens in the same manner as if war had not intervened. But it confers no privileges on other persons. The petitioner, therefore, can not exempt himself from the general disability.”
10. Women-The Naturalization Laws Include Females as
Well as Males. a. In General.
In the case of Brown v. Shilling, 9 Md. 74, where a woman had been naturalized after the death of her husband, the court declared that there was nothing in the naturalization acts that should be construed as excluding women from the right of citizenship by naturalization.
Mr. Evarts, when Secretary of State, declared that “an alien woman may be naturalized under the laws of the United States in the same manner and under the same conditions that pertain to the naturalization of an alien man. Citizenship does not involve the electoral qualification. The question is so well settled and the instances of women having been naturalized are so numerous that it is deemed unnecessary to cite you any particular cases." 3 Moore's Int. Law Digest, 331.
In Minor v. Happersett, 21 Wall. 162, the court said that "it is apparent that from the commencement of legislation upon this subject alien women and alien minors could be made citizens by naturalization."
b. Married Women.
It has also been decided that an alien wife might be naturalized, and there are numerous recorded instances of such naturalizations. Ex parte Pic, 1 Cranch. C. C. 372, where the naturalization was in the United States Circuit Court for the District of Columbia, and Priest vs. Cummings, 16 Wend. 617.
In Priest vs. Cummings, which was decided in 1839, the wife, a British subject, married to a native citizen of the United States, took out naturalization papers as a citizen of the United States during the life of her husband and while living with him. In the course of the opinion, the court said: “It will not be denied that Congress possesses the power to naturalize femes covert, even against the consent of their husbands; and the language used by that body could not well be made more comprehensive-'any alien, being a free white person, may be admitted to become a citizen of the United States.'
The practice, I believe, has been universal to admit femes covert to citizenship upon application.” This decision, on appeal, was affirmed as to the question of citizenship, though reversed on other grounds. 20 Wend. 338.
The statement of the court, in this case, that a married woman can be naturalized, even against the consent of her husband, is dictum, and its correctness, from a legal standpoint, is doubted.* Indeed, it seems questionable whether, in view of the almost universal doctrine that the citizenship of a woman during marriage is merged in that of her husband, a married woman can, while the marriage status lasts, independently secure naturalization. No case in which this question has squarely been presented appears to have come before the courts. In passing upon the question whether a declaration of intention to become a citizen of the United States could be made before the clerk of the court at the private residence of the applicant, who was the actress, Mrs. Langtry, Mr. Justice Field, in circuit, made this statement:
“Note by the court.— It is stated in the public journals that Mrs. Langtry is not a feme sole, and that her husband is living in England, and a subject of the Queen. If this be so, the question will arise on her application for final naturalization papers, whether she can be naturalized in this country. No person can be a citizen of two countries; and the wife is by law a citizen of her husband's country.” In re Langtry, 1887,31 Fed. 879, 880.
* It does not appear in this case that the husband was unwilling for his wife to become naturalized. When the decisions in Priest v. Cummings were rendered (1839 and 1840), the common law rule that the marriage of an alien woman to a citizen did not affect her citizenship still generally prevailed. The wife in this case simply availed herself of our naturalization laws to adopt her husband's American citizenship. Such a proceeding became unnecessary after the passage of the statute of 1855, which enacted that an alien woman married to a citizen herself becomes a citizen if she was herself capable of naturalization. Kelly v. Owen, 7 Wall. 496.
And to the inquiry of a person “whether the British Government would recognize the naturalization papers of a former British subject, an English woman, who was naturalized in the United States without the consent of her husband,” the Department of State, on October 3, 1896, replied that the writer should consult private counsel learned in the law of Great Britain. 3 Moore's Int. Law Digest, 454.
It was said in the case of Comitis v. Parkerson, 56 Fed. 556, however, that the relation of husband and wife is not inconsistent with one being a citizen and the other being an alien.
11. Anarchists and Polygamists.
Section 7 of the Act of June 29, 1906, which, with the substitution of the words “or who is a polygamist,” for the phrase “or who has violated any of the provisions of this act," substantially re-enacts the first sentence of Section 39 of the Act of March 3, 1903 (32 Statutes at Large, 1222), provides that “no person who disbelieves in or who is opposed to organized government, or who is a member of, or affiliated with any organization entertaining and teaching such disbelief in or opposition to organized government, or who advocates or teaches the duty, necessity, or propriety of the unlawful assa
saulting or killing of any officer or officers, either of specific individuals or of officers generally, of the Government of the United States, or of any other organized government, because of his or their official character, or who is