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a polygamist, shall be naturalized or be made a citizen of the United States." (H.) Usual Legal Conditions.
The usual conditions of naturalization in the United States are:
1. A declaration of intention to become a citizen.
4. Qualifications as to age, education, and moral character.
5. Renunciation of order of nobility or hereditary title, if any.
6. Oath of allegiance, and renunciation of prior allegiance.
1. Declaration of Intention.
The first step in the process of naturalization is the declaration of intention to become a citizen.
The Act of June 29, 1906,34 Stat. at L. 596, Sec. 4, par. 1, provides that the alien “shall declare on oath before the clerk of any court authorized by this Act to naturalize aliens, or his authorized deputy, in the district in which such alien resides, two years at least prior to his admission, and after he has reached the age of eighteen years, that it is bona fide his intention to become a citizen of the United States, and to renounce forever all allegiance and fidelity to any foreign prince, potentate, state, or sovereignty, and particularly, by name, to the prince, potentate, state, or sovereignty of which the alien may be at the time a citizen or subject. And such declaration shall set forth the name, age, occupation, personal description, place of birth, last foreign residence and allegiance, the date of arrival, the name of the vessel, if any, in which he came to the United States, and the present place of residence in the United States of said alien: Provided, however, That no alien who, in conformity with the law in force at the date of his declaration, has declared his intention to become a citizen of the United States shall be required to renew such declaration.”
a. Time of Making.
As to the time of making the declaration, it may be made immediately after the arrival of the alien in this country. It must be made at least two years before his admission to citizenship. Sec. 4, par. 1.
The declarant must be at least eighteen years of age. Id. Until the enactment of the Act of June 29, 1906, application to be admitted to citizenship could be made at any time after the lapse of two years from the date of the declaration of intention; but that act limits the life of a declaration of intention to seven years. The theory of the law is that one who does not, within seven years, carry out his formally expressed intention, must be deemed to have abandoned such intention, and should be required to begin his probation again. The provision was designed to prevent the abuse of our citizenship by large numbers of aliens who under the old law were enabled to enjoy most of the rights of citizens, including political rights, and who designedly refrained from completing their naturalization that they might avoid military duty and service as jurors.
b. Before Whom Made.
The declaration of intention must be made before the clerk of a court authorized by the Act of June 29, 1906, to naturalize aliens, or his authorized deputy.*
* On and after September 27, 1906, declarations of intention to become citizens of the United States shall be filed with the clerks of such State courts only as have “a seal, a clerk, and jurisdiction in actions at law or equity, or law and equity in which the amount in controversy is unlimited.” Nat. Reg., Oct. 2, 1906.
As to what courts are authorized to naturalize, see Sec. 3, par. 2 of Act, and page 11 ante, where that subject is fully treated; and also Appendix, post, wherein is contained a complete list of the courts having jurisdiction to naturalize in the United States.
The declaration must be made in the district in which the alien resides. Sec. 4, par. 1 of Act. This means the judicial district of the court.
The words “before the clerk," mean before the clerk either in the clerk's office or in open court. In re Langtry, 31 Fed. 879; Sto. Scola's Case, 8 Pa. Co. Ct. 344.
As to the meaning of the phrase "before the clerk,” in Andres v. Arnold, 77 Mich., 85, a case arising under the provision of Section 2165 of the Revised Statutes, it was held that it was sufficient if the declaration was made before the clerk out of his office, and became a part of his records when filed.
But in the case of Re Langtry, 31 Fed. 879, where the clerk of the United States Circuit Court had taken the necessary records and seal of the court to the private residence of Mrs. Langtry and received her declaration of intention there, the court (Mr. Justice Field), held that the declaration must be made either in the clerk's office or in open court. The court said that persons seeking the great privilege of American citizenship ought to consider it of sufficient value to attend where the records of the court are held in proper legal custody. The justice called attention to the fact that in some states a man is allowed to vote as soon as he makes his declaration of intention to become a citizen, and said that, if a clerk of the court, or his deputy, could go around the country taking declarations of intention and administering oaths, dangerous consequences might follow. He said that Congress, in authorizing the declaration to be made before the clerk, could not have contemplated the granting of authority to clerks to remove records from the proper place of their custody for the accommodation of parties.
The same view was reached in Sto. Scola's Case, 8 Pa. Co. Ct. 344.
The declaration can not be made before a court having no clerk; Ex parte Cregg, 2 Curtis, 98. c. Form of Declaration of Intention.
The statute (Act of June 29, 1906), Section 4, paragraph 1, provides that the declaration shall be "on oath.” For judicial decisions relative to the taking of oaths upon making declaration of intention under the old statutes, see McDaniel v. Richards, 1 McCord, 187; and U. S. v. Walsh, 22 Fed., 644.
The declaration shall set forth the name, age, occupation, personal description, place of birth, last foreign residence and allegiance, the date of arrival, the name of the vessel, if any, in which he came to the United States, and the present place of residence in the United States of said alien. Id. Sec. 4, par. 1.
The applicant shall declare that it is bona fide his intention to become a citizen of the United States, and to renounce forever all allegiance and fidelity to any foreign prince, potentate, state, or sovereignty, and particularly, by name, to the prince, potentate, state, or sovereignty of which the alien may be at the time a citizen or subject. Id.
None of the prior laws prescribed a form, but the Act of 1906, Section 27, prescribes the form of the declaration of intention, which must, substantially, be used. This form is as follows:
DECLARATION OF INTENTION.* (Invalid for all purposes seven years after the date
aged..............years, occupation.............., do declare on oath (affirm) that my personal description is: Color............., complexion... ..., height............., weight color of hair..............., color of eyes..........
*See note, next page.
other visible distinctive marks...............; I was born in...............on the..............day of............, anno Domini.............; I now reside at.. .; I emigrated to the United States of America from on the vessel.............; my last foreign residence was.
..It is my bona fide intention to renounce forever all allegiance and fidelity to any foreign prince, potentate, state, or sovereignty, and particularly to
of which I am now a citizen (subject); I arrived at the (port) of............., in the State (Territory or District) of..............on or about the............day of..............anno Domini. .; I am not an anarchist; I am not a polygamist nor a believer in the practice of polygamy; and it is my intention in good faith to become a citizen of the United States of America and to permanently reside therein. So help me God.
(Original signature of declarant)*.
Subscribed and sworn to (affirmed) before me this
......day of ............., anno Domini... (L. S.]
(Official character of attestor.)
The statute (Sec. 4, par. 1) contains a proviso relative to those who have, in conformity with the law in force when they made their declarations, declared their intention to become citizens, in this language: “Provided, however, That no alien who, in conformity with the law in force at the date of his declaration, has declared his intention to become a citizen of the United States, shall be required to renew such declaration."
In view of this proviso, the Secretary of Commerce and Labor, in pursuance of the power vested in him by
* The names of aliens making declarations of intention, or filing petitions for naturalization, must be entered in full in the appropriate places on the various blank forms, without abbreviation, and the signatures of