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That portion of section 1, Act of August 22, 1912 (37 Stat. 356; U. S. C., title 8, sec. 11), reading as follows:
"SEC. 1998. That every person who hereafter deserts the military or naval service of the United States, or who, being duly enrolled, departs the jurisdiction of the district in which he is enrolled, or goes beyond the limits of the United States, with intent to avoid any draft into the military or naval service, lawfully ordered, shall be liable to all the penalties and forfeitures of section nineteen hundred and ninety-six of the Revised Statutes of the United States : Provided, That the provisions of this section and said section nineteen hundred and ninety-six shall not apply to any person hereafter deserting the military or naval service of the United States in time of peace :
So much of section 1, Act of October 6, 1917, chapter 79 (40 Stat. 376; U. S. C., title 39, sec. 324), as reads as follows: "Provided further, That all mail matter, of whatever class, relating to naturalization, including duplicate papers required by law or regulation to be sent to the Bureau of Naturalization by clerks of State or Federal courts, addressed to the Department of Labor, or the Bureau of Naturalization, or to any official thereof, and indorsed 'Official Business', shall be transmitted free of postage, and by registered mail if necessary, and so marked : Provided further, That if any person shall make use of such indorsement to avoid payment of postage or registry fee on his or her private letter, package, or other matter in the mail, the person so offending shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and subject to a fine of $300, to be prosecuted in any court of competent jurisdiction.";
Section 1, last proviso of section 2, and second paragraph of section 3, Act of May 9, 1918 (40 Stat. 542-546, 547, 548), as amended by section 6 (c), (d), Act of March 2, 1929 (45 Stat. 1514) ; Act of June 21, 1930 (46 Stat. 791); and sections 2 (a), 3, and 10, Act of May 25, 1932 (47 Stat. 165-166 ; U. S. C., title 8, secs. 18, 354, 377, 378, 384, 387, 388, 389, 391, 392, 393, 394, 395, 403, and 405);
Proviso to second paragraph of section 4, chapter XII, Act of July 9, 1918, chap ter 143 (40 Stat. 885; U. S. C., title 8, sec. 366) ;
Second proviso to section 1, Act of August 31, 1918, chapter 166 (40 Stat. 955); Act of November 6, 1919, chapter 95 (41 Stat. 350; U. S. C., title 8, sec. 3);
Sections 1, 2, 3, and 4, Act of September 22, 1922 (42 Stat. 1021-1022); as amended by sections 1 and 2, Act of July 3, 1930 (46 Stat. 854) ; section 4, Aet of March 3, 1931 (46 Stat. 1511--1512); and section 4, Act of May 24, 1934 (48 Stat. 797 ; U. S. C., title 8, secs. 367, 368, 368a, 369, and 369a);
Act of June 8, 1926 (44 Stat. 703; U. S. C., title 8, sec. 399a);
Act of March 2, 1929, chapter 536 (45 Stat. 1512-1516) (except sec. 6 (e) and sec. 7 (b)); as amended or added to by sections 4, 5, and 6, Act of May 25, 1932 (47 Stat. 165–166); and sections 1, 2, 3, 4, and 6, Act of April 19, 1934 (48 Stat. 597-598; U. S. C., title 8, secs. 106a, 1061, 106c, 356, 377b, 377c, 379, 380a, 380b,' 382, 388, 399b (a), 399b (b), 399b (c), 399b (d), 399c (a), 399C (b), 399c (c), 3990, 399e, and 402) ;
Section 1, Act of March 4, 1929 (45 Stat. 1515; U. S. C., title 8, sec. 373);
Act of March 3, 1931 (46 Stat. 1511-1512) (except section 4 (b), thereof) (U. S. C., title 8, secs. 9, 372a, 396, and 397) ;
Section 2, 3, 4, 6, 8, 9, and 10, Act of May 25, 1932 (47 Stat. 165–166); as amended by section 2, Act of April 19, 1934 (48 Stat. 597 ; U. S. C., title 8, secs. 356 (a), 377, 377b, 384, 388, 399b (b), and 399b (c));
Act of April 19, 1934 (48 Stat. 597-598: U. S. C., title 8, secs. 106a (b), 380a, 399b (a), 399b (b), 399b (c), 399€ (a), 99f, and 402) ;
Sections 1, 2, 3, and 4, Act of May 24, 1934 (48 Stat. 797 ; U. S. C., title 8, secs. 6, 8, 17a, and 368); and
Second proviso to Act of June 27, 1934 (48 Stat. 1245, ch. 845; U. S. C., title 48, sec. 733b);
Act of June 24, 1935, chapter 288 (49 Stat. 395);
Act of June 20, 1939, chapter 224 (53 Stat. 843-844);
And any other Acts or parts of Acts in conflict with the provisions of this Act, except for the purposes of section 346 of this Act.
The repeal herein provided shall not terminate nationality heretofore lawfully acquired, nor restore nationality heretofore lost under any law of the United States or any treaty to which the United States may have been a party.
Sec. 504. If any provision of this Act shall for any reason be declared by any court of competent jurisdiction to be invalid, such declaration shall not invalidate the remainder of this Act.
SEC. 601. This Act shall take effect from and after 90 days from the date of its approval.
The CHAIRMAN. The consideration of this bill followed a message received from the President as follows: To the Congress of the United States of America:
I transmit herewith a report concerning the revision and codification of the nationality laws of the United States, submitted upon my request, by the Secretary of State, the Attorney General, and the Secretary of Labor. The report is accompanied by a draft code with three appendixes containing explanatory matter, prepared by officials of the three interested Departments who are engaged in the handling of cases relating to nationality.
The report indicates the desirability from the administrative standpoint of having the existing nationality laws now scattered among a large number of separate statutes embodied in a single, logically arranged, and understandable code. Certain changes in substance are likewise recommended.
In the enclosed letter forwarding the report to me the Secretary of State calls attention to a single question on which there is a difference of opinion between the Departments of Justice and Labor on the one hand and the Department of State on the other hand. If the committees of Congress decide to consider this question, the views of the three Departments may be presented directly to them,
I commend this matter to the Congress for the attentive consideration which its wide scope and great importance demand.
FRANKLIN D. ROOSEVELT, Enclosures: (1) Report; (2) draft code and annexes; (3) from the Secretary of State.
THE WHITE HOUSE, June 13, 1938.
The CHAIRMAN. Under date of June 1, 1938, a draft code was prepared by a committee comprising the Honorable Cordell Hull, Secretary of State; Hon. Homer Cummings, Attorney General; and Hon. Frances Perkins, Secretary of Labor, and submitted to the President with the following letter of submittal:
JUNE 1, 1938. The PRESIDENT,
The White House: By your Executive order of April 25, 1933, you designated the undersigned a committee to review the nationality laws of the United States, to recommend revisions, and to codify the laws into one comprehensive nationality law for submission to the Congress.
In pursuance of this order a committee of advisers, composed of six representatives of the Department of State, six of the Department of Labor, and one of the Department of Justice, was appointed to study the existing laws governing nationality, and to prepare a draft code, embodying such changes and additions as might seem desirable, together with a report explaining the same. Because of the wide field covered by these laws, the complexity of the problems involved and certain obstacles which could not have been foreseen, the report was not completed until August 13, 1935.
In view of the unusual importance of this subject, which is designed to determine the basic status of nationality itself, upon which so many rights and obligations depend, the draft code mentioned above was thoroughly reviewed by offi
cials of the three Departments, some of whom had taken no part in its preparation. As a result of this review and of conferences between these officials, various changes were made in the original draft.
While the nationality laws of nearly all foreign states have in recent years been completely revised and codified, the laws of the United States on this subject are found scattered among a large number of statutes, and it is sometimes difficult to reconcile the provisions of different statutes. On the other hand, there are no statutory provisions fixing the nationality status of the inhabitants of certain of the outlying possessions of the United States, including American Samoa and Guam.
The nationality problem in the United States is especially complex and difficult for several reasons. In past years large numbers of persons of foreign origin have come to the United States, have had children born to them in this country, and have subsequently returned to reside in the foreign countries from which they came, or have moved on to other foreign countries, taking their Americanborn children with them. In some cases the parents while in the United States obtained naturalization as citizens thereof, and in such cases children born to them in foreign countries after such naturalization have acquired citizenship of the United States at birth, under the provision of the existing law (R. S. 1993). Children born in the United States to persons of the classes mentioned acquired at birth citizenship of the United States, and in many cases they also acquired at birth the nationality of the foreign states from which their parents came, thus becoming vested with dual nationality. Dual nationality has also attached at birth to children born in certain foreign countries having in their law of nation. ality the territorial rule (jus soli) to parents who acquired American nationality at birth or through naturalization.
The draft code submitted herewith is divided into five chapters, as follows: Chapter I, Definitions ; Chapter II, Nationality at Birth; Chapter III, Nationality Through Naturalization; Chapter IV, Loss of Nationality; and Chapter V, Miscellaneous.
Since the citizenship status of persons born in the United States and the incorporated Territories is determined by the fourteenth amendment to the Constitution, the proposed changes in the law governing acquisition of nationality at birth relate to birth in the unincorporated Territories and birth in foreign countries to parents one or both of whom have American nationality. Cases of the latter kind are especially difficult of solution, in view of the necessity of avoiding discrimination between the sexes, and of the fact that, under the laws of many foreign countries, the nationality thereof is acquired through birth in their territories.
With regard to chapter III, it may be observed that naturalization constitutes a vital part of the nationality system of the United States, and the naturalization measures proposed by the committee of advisers constitute a considerable portion of the committee's proposals.
United States citizenship is a high privilege and ought not to be conferred lightly or upon a doubtful showing. The experience of the naturalization courts and administrative officers who have had to deal directly with the problems presented has demonstrated, however, the need for an accurate, comprehensive, and detailed code by which naturalization is to be conferred and any abuse of the process remedied. No alien has the slightest right to naturalization unless all statutory requirements are complied with, and every certificate of citizenship must be treated as granted on condition that the Government may challenge it in regular proceedings for that purpose and demand its revocation unless issued in accordance with statutory requirements.
The proposed code herewith represents a studied effort to draft a measure which would conform to the constitutional requirement that the rule of naturalization be uniform and facilitate the naturalization of worthy candidates, while protecting the United States against adding to its body of citizens persons who would be a potential liability rather than an asset.
The provisions of Chapter IV, Loss of Nationality, are of special importance. Loss of nationality is in all cases to result from the existence of stated facts. In this relation mention may be made of the provision of section 501, in which diplomatic and consular officers are required to send to the Department of State reports concerning persons found by them to have committed acts resulting in loss of American nationality under the provisions of chapter IV of the proposed act. It is important to note that such reports are intended merely for the information of the Department of State, the Department of Labor, and any other branches of the Government which may be interested.
Chapter V, Miscellaneous, in addition to the provision of section 501, mentioned above, contains a provision (sec. 502) for the issuance of certificates of nationality, for use in foreign states in cases of American nationals other than naturalized citizens.
The most important changes in the existing laws proposed in the annexed code are as follows:
(1) The provision of section 201 (g) requiring that, in order that a person born abroad may acquire citizenship of the United States at birth when only one of his parents is a citizen of the United States, the latter must have resided 10 years in the United States. The requirement of the existing law concerning residence in the United States as a condition to retention of citizenship has been modified for the benefit of children of persons representing the Government or American commercial or other interests;
(2) The provisions of chapter III concerning the facilitating of naturalization under special conditions, and in particular the following:
The provision of section 311 for the naturalization, without prior residence in the United States, of the alien spouse of a citizen of the United States residing abroad in the employment of this Government or of organizations of certain specified classes;
The provision of section 314 for the naturalization of a person under 18 years of age upon the petition of a citizen parent, and the similar provision of section 315 for the naturalization of an adopted child;
The provision of section 317 for facilitating the entry into the United States and naturalization, without the usual requirements concerning residence in the United States, of a person who was formerly a citizen of the United States but who became expatriated while residing in a foreign country through the naturalization of a parent therein ;
(3) The provisions of chapter IV concerning loss of nationality, especially the following:
The provisions of section 402 concerning loss of nationality by a naturalized citizen as a result of the following acts:
(a) Residing for at least 2 years in the territory of a foreign state of which he was formerly a national or in which the place of his birth is situated, if he acquires through such residence the nationality of such foreign state by operation of the law thereof;
(b) Residing continuously for 3 years in the territory of a foreign state of which he was formerly a national or in which the place of his birth is situated, except as provided in section 404 hereof.
Special mention may also be made of the provision in section 337 of the code for the revocation of naturalization in the case of a person who takes up a permanent residence in his native land or some other foreign country within 10 years (instead of 5 years, as provided in the existing law) after the date of his naturalization.
The problem of the child born abroad to parents of different nationalities was the subject of extended consideration by the committee and finally resulted in the draft of section 201 (g) referred to above which confers American citizenship at birth upon a person born abroad if one of his parents is an American citizen. Prior to the Citizenship Act of May 24, 1934, only the children of American fathers acquired citizenship at birth if they were born abroad. This, however, was changed by the 1934 act so that a woman retaining citizenship after marriage to an alien also transmitted citizenship to her children. In enacting this measure Congress apparently took into consideration the fact that persons born in foreign countries whose fathers were nationals of those countries would be likely to have stronger ties with the foreign country than with the United States, and consequently annexed as a condition for retaining citizenship a 5-year period of residence in this country between the ages of 13 and 18. This condition was equally applicable irrespective of whether the citizen parent was a father or a mother.
It has been recognized, however, that these residence requirements will impose great hardship in some cases. This is especially true where the head of the family is a salaried person residing abroad as a representative of the American Government or some American commercial or other organization. The committee has therefore recommended that in cases of this character the conctitions relating to residence during minority shall no longer be imposed. If the citizen parent does not represent the American Government or an American educational, scientific, philanthropic, religious, commercial, or financial organization, the foreign-born child, in order to retain American citizenship, is re
quired under section 201 (g) to reside in the United States 5 years between his thirteenth and his twenty-first birthdays. The committee recommends strengthening the 1934 act in another respect, however, by restricting the right of transmitting citizenship in a case of this kind, through the requirement that the citizen parent should have resided at least 10 years in the United States prior to the birth of the child.
Mention is made above of section 317 of the code. While probably the majority of former American nationals who have been naturalized in foreign states through the naturalization of their parents therein continue to reside in such foreign states, some of them return to the United States to reside, and it seems only reasonable to adopt special provisions to enable the latter to recover their American citizenship if they so desire.
None of the various provisions in the code concerning loss of American nationality, such as those applicable to children born abroad to parents only one of whom has American nationality and persons who, after obtaining American nationality through naturalization, establish a residence abroad, is designed to be punitive or to interfere with freedom of action. They are merely intended to deprive persons of American nationality when such persons, by their own acts, or inaction, show that their real attachment is to the foreign country and not to the United States.
Important reasons for terminating American nationality in cases of persons who reside in foreign countries and have to all intents and purposes abandoned the United States lie in the fact that it will prevent them from transmitting American nationality to their foreign-born children having little or no connection with the United States, and embroiling this Government in controversies which they may have with the governments of the foreign countries in which they reside. The mere presumption of expatriation provided for in section 2 of the act of March 2, 1907, in cases of naturalized citizens residing for 2 years in the foreign states from which they came or 5 years in other foreign states, has proven inadequate. In general the right to protection should be coexistent with citizenship, and a law under which persons residing abroad are denied the protection of this Government, although they remain citizens of the United States, and transmit citizenship to children born abroad, is deemed inconsistent and unreasonable. The admission of an alien to the privilege of American citizenship is subject to the condition that he intends to reside permanently in the United States and perform the duties of citizenship. When a naturalized citizen abandons his residence in the United States and takes up residence in the state of which he was formerly a national, definite termination of his American citizenship should follow.
Further explanations of the various provisions of the code submitted herewith may be found in the comment on the various articles--appendix 1 herewith. In addition to the code and appendix 1, we also submit herewith the following:
Provisions of the code and corresponding provisions of the existing nationality laws, arranged in parallel columns (appendix 2), and constitutional, statutory, and treaty provisions relating to nationality (appendix 3).
Your committee, in the light of the experience of the interested departments in handling cases presented to them for action, is convinced that it is most desirable to have the nationality laws of the United States revised, and embodied in a single code, the meaning of which may be readily understood. We feel that there is no branch of the law of more importance to the country, or requiring more careful attention, than that branch which governs nationality, determining, as it does, what classes of persons shall compose the national society itself.
The proposals contained in the accompanying draft code are to be regarded merely as suggestions for the use of the appropriate committees of Congress, When the matter is to be considered by these committees, the undersigned will be glad to designate members of their respective departments whose duties involve the handling of citizenship cases to confer with the committees, if that is desired. Respectfully,
Secretary of State. HOMER CUMMINGS,
Attorney General. FRANCES PERKINS,
Secretary of Labor. Enclosures : Draft Nationality Code and appendixes 1, 2, and 3, as above.