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Mr. SHOEMAKER. It must be here:
Such child is residing in the United States at the time of naturalization or thereafter and begins to reside permanently in the United States while under the-age of eighteen years.
Mr. Rees. Let's get this straight. I do not want to be technical, As I understand it, a child whose father or mother is an American citizen but who is born abroad can come into the United States just before reaching the age of 18 years, reside here until he or she becomes 18 years or more, can then leave the United States and be here residing again before he or she is 21 years of age and thereby become a citizen of the United States.
Mr. SHOEMAKER. Yes.
Mr. FLOURNOY. I wanted to ask a question. I do not know whether it is entirely clear. This requires the alien parent to become naturalized so that when the child becomes a citizen the child has two citizen parents?
Mr. REES. Oh, yes.
Mr. SHOEMAKER. And never ceased to become a citizen and was at the time of the child's birth.
Mr. FLOURNOY. These provisions are stricter than under the existing law, because under existing law the child may be naturalized through the naturalization of one parent.
Mr. REES. Let me see if I am right. The alien father or mother does not have to be a citizen at the time of the birth of the child.
Mr. SHOEMAKER. Oh, no.
Mr. SHOEMAKER. If a child comes here before the eighteenth birthday "shall, if such alien parent is naturalized, be deemed a citizen of the United States” under these conditions (a) and (b).
Mr. Rees. I am wondering when the alien parent becomes a citizen. Mr. SHOEMAKER. The child must be under the age of 18 years. Mr. SHAUGHNESSY. The second parent. Mr. SHOEMAKER. Yes. Mr. SHAUGHNESSY. The second parent, who was a citizen at the time of the child's birth.
Mr. SHOEMAKER. And never ceased to be citizen.
Mr. BUTLER. This child entered the United States as an alien and under this law that child enters the United States as a citizen, under 1993 of the Revised Statutes, as amended.
Mr. SHOEMAKER. I think that is definitely so. That child, as Mr. Butler says, could enter the United States as a citizen provided it came before its thirteenth birthday. Whether it continued to retain that status depended upon compliance with the other conditions—that is to say, residence in the United States from the thirteenth to the eighteenth birthday and then taking the oath of allegiance after attaining majority. This differentiates that, that this child must come in as an alien child, subject to all the requirements of the immigration laws.
Mr. Rees. This child becomes a citizen. All in the world this child has to do is to come in here before she is 18 years of age, provided that the alien father or mother has in the meantime become a citizen,
provided he or she is residing here just before she is 21. She is a citizen and that is all there is to it. Am I right?
Mr. FLOURNOY. The child enters as an alien.
Mr. REES. That is what I mean. There is no process of naturalization.
Mr. SHOEMAKER. Solely derivation.
Mr. BUTLER. But now the child under such circumstances comes in as a citizen. He does not have to meet the requirements of the immigration laws. This is stricter than the present law.
Mr. REES. I think the present law is strict enough.
Mr. SHAUGHNESSY. It is what the old law was. Prior to the decision of the Supreme Court
Mr. BUTLER. In the Chindberry case.
Mr. SHAUGHNESSY. In the Chindberry case—there could be a succession of United States citizens passed to generations of persons, that could be admitted as such.
Mr. BUTLER. We always adhered to the Chindberry theory.
Mr. FLOURNOY. Only where the citizen parent has been residing in extraterritorial countries.
Mr. SHAUGHNESSY. Yes; and that was overruled.
SEC. 313. A child born outside of the United States of alien parents, or of an alien parent and a citizen parent who has subsequently lost citizenship of the United States, becomes a citizen of the United States upon fulfillment of the following conditions:
(a) The naturalization of both parents; or
(b) The naturalization of the surviving parent if one of the parents is deceased; or
(c) The naturalization of the parent having legal custody of the child when there has been a legal separation of the parents; and if
(d) Such naturalization takes place while such child is under the age of eighteen years; and
(e) Such child is residing in the United States at the time of the naturalization of the parent last naturalized under subsection (a) of this section, or the parent naturalized under subsection (b) or (c) of this section, or thereafter begins to reside permanently in the United States while under the age of eighteen years.
That is much stricter than existing law. Under existing law a child born abroad, the parents both of whom are aliens must under section 2 of the act of May 24, 1934, come here before its sixteenth birthday. If one of its parents be naturalized, either the husband or the wife, that child would acquire citizenship provided it lived here for 5 years. So, therefore, it must have come here under the age of 16 years. If one of the parents were dead and the other parent became naturalized, under our construction of the statute that child would acquire citizenship even though that child came after the age of 16 years and would only get citizenship after 5 years' residence. Here
they are making a provision that both parents must be naturalized, assuming that both are living, and the marital relationship continues, or if one of them be surviving, or if there be a separation and the person having legal custody of the child becomes naturalized, the child may acquire citizenship, provided that takes place while the child is under the age of 18 and is residing in the United States, and the other conditions which obtain under that section 313. So it is much stricter than the existing law.
Mr. REES. All right. Section 314.
A child born outside of the United States, one of whose parents is at the time of petitioning for the naturalization of the child, a citizen of the United States, either by birth or naturalization, may be naturalized if under the age of eighteen years and not otherwise disqualified from becoming a citizen and is residing permanently in the United States with the citizen parent, on the petition of such citizen parent, without a declaration of intention, upon compliance with the applicable procedural provisions of the naturalization laws.
That is entirely new legislation.
Mr. SHOEMAKER. Perhaps you can do that better, Mr. Flournoy. I can tell you what I think.
Mr. PLOURNOY. It is my understanding of the reason that it is simply this. We feel that there would probably be cases where a minor child, an alien child, having one citizen parent and one alien parent, should be able to acquire citizenship through the act of the citizen parent. This is not automatic. The citizen
parent has to make peti. tion and have the child regularly admitted upon the petition of the citizen parent. So that it is stricter than the act of May 24, 1934, and stricter than the old law in that it requires some act on the part of the citizen parent. In other words, the mere naturalization of the citizen parent would not be enough. He has to make a petition to do this. It seems a humane and reasonable thing.
Mr. REES. In other words, take the case of a child, she would become a citizen because of the citizenship of both of the parents ?
Mr. FLOURNOY. Yes, sir.
Mr. FLOURNOY. I might mention another kind of a case to which this would apply. We might find a case of where the citizen parent is born abroad of American parents and has never resided in this country before this child's birth. The parent then would be a citizen but the child would not be a citizen because the citizen parent had not resided in this country before the child's birth. If the family moved back over here, the parent would still be a citizen and have this alien child. That is one kind of case to which this provision would apply.
Mr. SHOEMAKER. In other words, this modifies section 312, as you can see.
Mr. REES. Yes; it does.
Mr. SHOEMAKER. It gives this child an opportunity to become naturalized through a court procedure provided the citizen parent moves and brings the thing all out before the court, even though the other parent does not become a citizen. So it is really a modification of section 312.
Mr. REES. Under section 312
Mr. FLOURNOY. Under section 312 a child cannot become a citizen automatically.
Mr. REES. No.
Mr. FlCURNOY. Unless both parents are citizens or the child only has one parent and that parent is a citizen.
Mr. SHOEMAKER. And that parent was a citizen. Mr. Rees. I just wondered why you did not stick to 312. Mr. SHOEMAKER. Well, it seems to me that it was giving that child who happened to have, let us say, the good fortune or misfortune to be born to parents one of whom happened to be a citizen, the opportunity to acquire citizenship and acquire it earlier than the child who happened to be born abroad of parents both of whom are aliens, unless one of those parents died. In that case that child would have to go through certain formalities up to 18 years. This child happened to have an American citizen parent, who could move for and on behalf of the child through a court process to acquire citizenship for the child, but the child himself could do it after reaching the age of 21 years. This operated against him in case he wanted to go abroad, in obtaining an American passport, or in passing a piece of property, it might be a question of title to property. So this was suggested so that they can make that child a citizen through court process, where it is all done in the open, and it seems to me to be a desirable proposition.
Mr. REES. All right. Mr. SHOEMAKER. Section 315. This is entirely new legislation, too. Sec. 315. An adopted child may, if not otherwise disqualified from becoming a citizen, be naturalized before reaching the age of eighteen years upon the petition of the adoptive parent or parents if the child has resided continuously in the United States for at least two years immediately preceding the date of filing such petition, upon compliance with all the applicable procedural provisions of the naturalization laws, if the adoptive parent or parents are citizens of the United States and the child was:
(a) Lawfully admitted to the United States for permanent residence; and (b) Adopted in the United States before reaching the age of sixteen years; and
(c) Adopted and in the legal custody of the adoptive parent or parents for at least two years prior to the filing of the petition for the child's naturalization,
We have had in the past considerable difficulty with regard to these adopted children. Sometimes a child would be adopted and that child would seek to get a derivative certificate through adoptive parents. The child could not get it in that way. Then the natural parents, if living—the child might apply through the naturalized natural parents and the natural parents, having given up all custody of the child, the question would become pertinent as to whether or not the child could acquire citizenship through the action of such parents. We have held strictly to the natural parents. This clause makes provision for the acquisition of citizenship through adoption, and I think all of the provisions for the adopted child are sufficiently safeguarded so that there will not be the acquisition of citizenship by a person who should not get it. In other words, the code as adopted as a whole will prevent in other clauses the naturalization, say, of persons who are not amenable to naturalization or not within the provisions of the naturalization statutes—such, for instance, as Japanese and Chinese.
Mr. REES. How old should the child need to be to become a citizen under this section ?
Mr. SHOEMAKER. Well, almost any time before reaching the age of
Mr. REES. In other words, if we have a man and his wife who are naturalized citizens of the United States, they can adopt a child at the age of 5 and make that child a citizen at the age of 6!
Mr. SHOEMAKER. If the child resided here for 2 years prior to the adoption. I do not think that will involve many cases. I think that the average case
Mr. Rees. You have told us that there was quite an involvement on account of it.
Mr. SHOEMAKER. Yes. I say we have had cases like that to which I referred, but they are not numerous. I did not want to give you that impression, but the question was pertinent as to whether or not a child who is, to all intents and purposes, the child of these adoptive parents, could get any citizenship as an adopted child, and it has been felt throughout many years that some provision should be made for this class of cases—not that they are so numerous, but when they come up they are very vexing and perplexing.
Mr. REES. In what way?
Mr. SHOEMAKER. Because no provision has been made for the child from, say 1 year old, who has lived with the parents up to 21 years
Mr. FLOURNOY. We have those cases occasionally in the State Department. As Mr. Shoemaker says, they are not so numerous, but they come up. We get them in the case of passport cases. For instance, a man who wants to go abroad with his wife, naturally wants the child to go along with him, and naturally the child is not a citizen. We get them right along, but we cannot give them passports because they are not citizens now.
Nr. REES. We have a bill pending before this committee which provides for the bringing in of several thousand refugee children. According to the testimony introduced on behalf of the bill, it is suggested that there were families in this country who were willing to adopt these children. Under this law these refugee children, if brought in, could be adopted by American citizens, either native-born or naturalized, and become full-fledged citizens in 2 years under this measure.
Mr. SHOEMAKER. Upon the petition of the adoptive parent. They would have to go through the court
of course. Mr. REES. Yes.
Mr. SHOEMAKER. They would not simply be cloaked with citizenship.
Mr. REES. No. That is true. Of course, that would be a formality, almost.
Mr. SHOEMAKER. Well, I am rather inclined to the view that the average court would want to know something about a new proposition of that kind and would be inclined to look into it. As I say, that is the average court. There might be some courts who would say, “What is your recommendation ?” and be inclined to accept that, but they would not be unanimous at all.
Mr. REES. Of course, under the present law, the child would have to wait until she is the same age as anybody else?
Mr. SHOEMAKER. That is right. The child could file the application at the age of 18 and then at the age of 21, having 5 years' residence,