« ZurückWeiter »
The CHAIRMAN. Not only in my county but in every other county in the country.
Mr. REES. Now, the requirements as to proof. Is that new?
Mr. HAZARD. Six months in the State instead of the county. But there is one other point with reference to these two provisions that I should mention, and that is that there has been omitted from the character requirements the specific provision of present law, that an alien who is a polygamist may not be naturalized, on the theory that the practice of polygamy is purely a moral matter, and it is included in the provision for good moral character.
The CHAIRMAN. In other words, he would be knocked out on the good moral character requirement ?
Mr. HAZARD. You could not be of good moral character and be a polygamist, too. So it is just surplusage.
Mr. Rees. So you just leave out the word "polygamist”? Mr. HAZARD. Correct. Subdivision (b): At the hearing on the petition, residence in the State in which the petitioner resides at the time of filing the petition, for at least six months.
That, Mr. Chairman, is the same as the present law, in substance, about the proof at the final hearing by citizen witnesses for the entire period of time for which they qualify.
The CHAIRMAN. Now you have got (c).
Mr. HAZARD. Subdivision. (c) is new, and fills a gap in the present law in the case of persons who, under the law, may be absent from the United States for extended periods if they are in the employ of the Government of the United States or furthering American trade or commerce, or representing an American institution of research. The present law requires that during all the time they are absent, they must conform to the same requirements as to proof of their good character and attachment to the principles of the Constitution, and yet it is physically impossible for them to do it because they cannot bring, as a rule, from Liberia, we will say, witnesses who are citizens of the United States to testify to their good character while they were there. This provision takes care of that
Notwithstanding the provisions of subsections (a) and (b) of this section the requirements of subsection (a) of section 307 as to the petitioner's residence, moral character, attachment to the principles of the Constitution of the United States, and disposition toward the good order and happiness of the United States may be established by any evidence satisfactory to the naturalization court.
That is a provision by which the petitioner, if he desires—I beg pardon. I had best read (d):
The clerk of court shall, if the petitioner requests it at the time of filing the petition for naturalization, issue a subpena for the witnesses named by such petitioner to appear upon the day set for the final hearing, but in case such witnesses cannot be produced upon the final hearing other witnesses may be summoned upon notice to the Commissioner, in such manner and at such time as the Commissioner, with the approval of the Secretary, may by regulation prescribe. If it should appear after the petition has been filed that any of the verifying witnesses thereto are not competent, and it further appears that the petitioner has acted in good faith in producing such witnesses, found to be incompetent, other witnesses may be substituted in accordance with such regula
That is merely a means of making regular the efforts on the part of the applicant at the last moment to substitute witnesses for others who may not be present. It also relieves a good deal of hardship that is present now, if through no fault of the applicant he finds, after the petition has been filed, that a witness is not competent because he is not a citizen, or because he checks back and finds he is 1 month short of knowing him for 5 years, and under present practice the petition is invalid and must be dismissed under the ruling of the circuit court of appeals. Now, if he acted in good faith, he can produce another witness and proceed with his petition.
Mr. REES. With witnesses who can testify to the things that this other man could not testify to. The only thing I can see wrong about it-it is not wrong, probably—is, here I petition for citizenship and have you two men as my witnesses and one of you happens to find out that he is not a citizen, but I can go out and pick up some man who has been known to me for quite a while and can bring him right into court on the day of the hearing in place of the other man, and he can testify for me?
Mr. HAZARD. This says, “subject to rules to be established by the Commissioner, with the approval of the Secretary of Labor." But the intention there is merely to safeguard the Government against, not against you, but against the person who purposely says that his witnesses are not on hand, and where the Government wants an opportunity of inquiring into the eligibility, the credibility, the competency of this witness, whom you have brought in at the last minute.
Mr. Rees. I can see where a hardship would be worked, and I am sure has been worked a good many times against the petitioner for citizenship because of the things you have mentioned. A man may be unable to say that he has known him for 412 years, or whatever the requirements may be, instead of 5 years, or he may have found, as I have seen in experience I have had with a couple of cases, where men found out for the first time that they themselves were not citizens.
Mr. HAZARD. Yes; where the examination of our examiner has revealed the fact that, although he acted in perfect good faith and had voted, possibly had held public office as a citizen, he found out at the last minute that he was not.
Mr. REES. But I would not want the thing loosened up or placed in such shape that some petitioner would take advantage of a thing of that kind.
Mr. HAZARD. I think this is carefully safeguarded, Congressman Rees.
Mr. REES. All right. Now, the next one, married persons.
Mr. HAZARD. Next we get into this highly technical field of the status of married women and the statùs of the applicant who is married to a citizen, depending on the date when the marriage occurred. Shall I proceed? Mr. REES. Well, this is a long, complicated section.
The CHAIRMAN. I think we ought to start fresh on that at the next hearing.
Mr. REES. I would like to move it along.
The CHAIRMAN. I think in the next hearing we should start earlier than 10:30. I think we ought to start at 10 o'clock.
Mr. HAZARD. Mr. Chairman, I should say that I will have to be in St. Louis the early part of next week on official business, but Mr. Shoemaker is thoroughly competent to go ahead and discuss it.
The CHAIRMAN. Suppose we fix it for next Tuesday at 10 o'clock and go along until about 1 o'clock.
Mr. REES. All right.
The CHAIRMAN. We will let it go till next Tuesday. Maybe we can take 2 days next week. We left off at page 17. Meanwhile I want to read this myself. I suppose you will want to read it, too. We will adjourn until next Tuesday morning at 10 o'clock.
(Whereupon, at 11:45 a. m., the subcommittee adjourned until 10 a. m., Tuesday, February 27, 1940.)
TO REVISE AND CODIFY THE NATIONALITY LAWS OF
THE UNITED STATES INTO A COMPREHENSIVE NATIONALITY CODE
TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 27, 1940
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES,
Washington, D.O. The subcommittee met at 10 a. m., there being present Mr. Rees and Mr. Rockefeller.
There were also present Mr. R. W. Flournoy, assistant to the legal adviser, Department of State; Thomas B. Shoemaker, Deputy Commissioner of Immigration and Naturalization; Mr. B. W. Butler, Department of Justice; and Mr. Edward J. Shaughnessy, Deputy Commissioner of Immigration and Naturalization.
STATEMENT OF THOMAS B. SHOEMAKER, DEPUTY COMMISSIONER
OF IMMIGRATION AND NATURALIZATION
Mr. Rees. All right, proceed. Where are we here?
Mr. SHOEMAKER. I think we stopped the last time, Mr. Chairman, at 308, and we will come to 309, I take it, this morning. That is on page 14 of the second part.
Mr. REES. Are we at section 309 now!
Mr. Rees. In favor of the bill and representing the Department of Labor ?
Mr. SHOEMAKER. Yes, sir.
SEC. 309. (a) Any alien, who, after September 21, 1922, and prior to 12 o'clock noon, eastern standard time, May 24, 1934, has married a citizen of the United States, or any alien who married prior to 12 o'clock noon, eastern standard time, May 24, 1934, a spouse who was naturalized during such period and during the existence of the marital relation may, if eligible to naturalization, be naturalized upon full and complete compliance with all requirements of the naturalization laws, with the following exceptions:
(1) No declaration of intention shall be required;
(2) In lieu of the five-year period of residence within the United States, and the six months' period of residence in the State where the petitioner resided at the time of filing the petition, the petitioner shall have resided continuously in the United States, Hawaii, Alaska, or Puerto Rico for at least one year immediately preceding the filing of the petition.
That is a slight change from existing law. It says 1-year residence. The existing law provides for 3 years of residence.
There have been many changes and many interpretations of the prior statute, which has caused to some extent confusion in what actually is the law, but I think this will aid in setting forth definitely just what will be required in certain cases under this section and in other sections as they follow.
Mr. REES. Does this mean that an alien who married an American citizen before May 24, 1934, may become a citizen without the requirement of the declaration of intention?
Mr. SHOEMAKER. That is so provided, Mr. Congressman, that that occurred after September 22, 1922. It does not cover the case of an individual who is married and naturalized prior to that time.
Mr. REES. But if she married an American citizen-he or she, either way, married an American citizen-between September 21, 1922, and May 24, 1934, and provided she has resided in the United States during the entire period since she married a citizen
Mr. SHOEMAKER. That is right.
Mr. REES. Then he or she could become a citizen without filing the declaration of intention?
Mr. SHOEMAKER. That is the law as generally construed. Some of the courts said that a man, for instance, who married an alien spouse, after September 22, 1922, and before May 24, 1934, actually got nothing by virtue of that act, but the vast majority of the courts held to the contrary, and that has been the administrative ruling, following the vast majority of the courts.
Mr. REES. For the purpose of the record, why did you fix the date May 24, 1934 ?
Mr. SHOEMAKER. That was the date of the law, which changes your section 1993 of the Revised Statutes and provides for the naturalization of the alien and also provides for the citizenship of the children and the wife. That is the existing law under which we operate.
Mr. REES. You do not think that you are really clianging the law in this provision
Mr. SHOEMAKER. Under existing law it says here, and during the existence of the marital relation” may be naturalized, and so forth.
Mr. REES. That is
Mr. SHOEMAKER. That is not in the present statute, but I do not suppose it makes much difference in view of the fact that the marriage must have occurred during that time. So I do not think it changes anything as a matter of fact, but it is simply more or less declaratory.
Mr. REES. All right.
Mr. REES. Yes. Well, pardon mé, under number (2) of division (a) of section 309, what change is made there substantially?
Mr. SHOEMAKER. None; that is, following the construction of the existing law by the courts.
Mr. REES. All right. Now go to (b).
(b) Any alien who, after 12 o'clock noon, eastern standard time, May 24, 1934, has married or shall hereafter marry a citizen of the United States, or any alien whose husband or wife was naturalized after such date and during the existence of the marital relation or shall hereafter be so naturalized may, if eligible to