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The federal courts have held that the object of this law was to allow the citizenship of the wife to follow that of the husband, without the necessity of any application on her part, and that the effect of the marriage of an alien woman to a citizen of the United States is equivalent to her naturalization in the usual mode prescribed by law. In other words, that she is thereby duly naturalized.
The exact case now presented has arisen in the courts and has been decided as indicated above.
Alien dying after declaration of intention.
It is inferred, however, that your claim to citizenship is based upon the provisions of section 2168 of the Revised Statutes of the United States, which reads as follows:
"When any alien, who has complied with the first con
Feb. 16, 1897. dition specified in section twenty-one hundred and sixty
five, dies before he is actually naturalized, the widow and the children of such alien shall be considered as citizens of the United States, and shall be entitled to all rights and privileges as such, upon taking the oaths prescribed by law."
Upon complying with the terms of the above law, you will be entitled to the rights and privileges of citizenship and will be granted a passport upon submitting proof of such compliance. It should be in the form of a certificate. of the court before which you may appear and take the oaths prescribed by law.
COPIES OF PASSPORTS.
As passports are not recorded, the Department can not furnish copies of them; but it may furnish information in reference to them, when it is clear
that no improper use will be made of the information.
May 6, 1887.
I have to say that the Department does not furnish Vol. x, p. 98, copies of passports. For legitimate purposes, it sometimes gives certificates to the effect that passports have been issued to certain parties.
No such document is issued, except under extraordinary circumstances, when the mails are deemed unsafe.
Your note of the 20th instant, requesting that a courier's passport" be issued for Mr. H. Holland, has been received. In reply, I have to inform you that a longestablished rule of the Department forbids the granting of such passports, except in cases where the mails are deemed unsafe.
Vol. i, p. 19,
CRIMINAL CONVICTION OF APPLICANT.
While the Department may, for good and sufficient reason, refuse to issue a passport to a citizen, it has held that criminal conviction of a citizen in a foreign country is not in itself sufficient cause for refusing a passport.
1888, p. 420.
Mr. Putnam is a native American citizen, a resident of For. Rels., the Republic of Colombia, and obtained, on December 20, 1884, a passport from Minister Scruggs. He was subse. quently convicted in a Colombian court of felony, sen
tenced to a term of imprisonment, which sentence he served out, when he was discharged without a pardon.
He now applies for a renewal of his passport, and you ask the opinion of the Department in the case.
The question is whether a foreign conviction of crime is a bar to an application by the party convicted for a passport, and the Department holds that it is not, because foreign convictions of crime are not to be regarded as extraterritorial in their operation.-Mr. Bayard to Mr. Walker, March 29, 1888.
Vol. i, p. 66,
Vol. i, p. 97,
DECLARATION OF INTENTION TO BECOME A
A declaration of intention to become a citizen of the United States made by an alien before a court does not confer citizenship upon him, and he can not, in consequence, be granted a passport. Any question relative to the right of such a person to complete his citizenship belongs to the judiciary to decide, and not to the Department.
In reply I have to inform you that the law allowing passports to be granted to persons that had only "declared their intentions" was repealed May 30, 1866.
In reply to your letter of the 27th instant, inquiring whether the Government will consent to your absence for the purpose of completing your studies, shall not derogate from your right to become a citizen in pursuance of your declaration of intention, I have to say that whether or not your absence will affect your right to naturalization depends upon the law, which belongs to the judiciary to
interprete, and in respect to which no department of this Government has any dispensing power.
Passports can not be issued to aliens who have only General declared their intention to become citizens.
instructions in regard to passports,
Your dispatch No. 346, of the 13th ultimo, in regard to Protection the application of Mr. Richard King (who has made his For. Rels., declaration of intention to become an American citizen) for a passport has been received and considered.
If Mr. King should, on appealing to this Government for protection, show that he was domiciled in this country, as well as in inchoate citizenship by virtue of having declared his intention, the question of granting protection would be presented for consideration. But this position does not involve the admission of Mr. King's right to a passport or special protection papers. A passport can only be granted to native or naturalized citizens, and protection papers are no longer issued by the Department. Mr. Bayard to Mr. McLane, February 1, 1887.
1887, p. 287.
DIVORCED WOMAN'S APPLICATION.
A woman of American birth who marries an alien and afterwards secures a divorce from him may procure a passport as an American, provided it is clearly shown that she intends to reside in this country; but the circumstances surrounding each case must regulate its treatment.
It has been said that the wife, at the moment of mar- Morse on Citizenship, riage, loses her citizenship and acquires that of her hus- P. 144.
For. Rels., 1874, P. 409.
band; but perhaps it would be correct to say, with the author first cited (Phillimore), "The condition of the wife, from the standpoint of nationality, is temporarily lost in that of the husband." If this description be qualified by adding the words, "during the marital union," it is undoubtedly correct; for the moment this relation ends by legal separation, as suggested by Phillimore, she may, at option, resume her nationality of birth, or she may acquire a new one. The common-law idea that the husband and wife are one, and that the husband is that one, applies, of course, only during the existence of the relation.
The woman merges her nationality in that of her husband upon marriage to a foreigner. In case of legal separation, the practice places her in a position similar to that of a minor child, born of foreign parents, who has been adopted by a citizen of the United States, upon reaching majority. The wife may elect whether to preserve the foreign nationality acquired by her marriage, or reacquire her former American citizenship.
An American lady, native born, after arriving at womanhood, came to Europe and married an Englishman. After living many years with her husband and having children by him, she has recently obtained a divorce in England. She now applies to me for a passport, to be issued in her maiden name and as an American citizen.
giving such a passport for the reasons—
I have declined
First. That there is nothing in the decree of divorce authorizing her to take her maiden name; and that I am not advised that the laws of England, independent of the order in the decree, authorize a divorced woman, at her option, to take her maiden name.
Second. Touching the question of citizenship, I consider