Letter from the secretary of state expatriation and protection abroad pdf

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letter from the secretary of state expatriation and protection abroad pdf

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Two points emerge as having deep historical roots:. It was one of the earliest principles of the foreign and domestic policy of the United States Government that aliens could come to the United States, be naturalized as citizens of this country, and thereafter be considered as absolved from allegiance to the countries of which they had previously been citizens. This was one of the principles involved in our dispute with Great Britain which led to the War of Under common law, it was generally held that no person could discard his or her nationality and become an alien without the consent of his or her sovereign or government Shanks v.

Dupont, 28 U. This concept received some acceptance in the United States but was questioned at an early date. For most of the 19th century and early 20th century, when questions about loss of nationality arose in the United States, it was in the context of the right of expatriation and the protection of naturalized U. Current U. United States, U. In , the U. Supreme Court, in the matter of Afroyim v.

Rusk, U. Fourteenth Amendment to the U. In the matter of Osborn v. Bank of the United States, 9 Wheat. Supreme Court, speaking through Chief Justice Marshall, declared that:. The Constitution does not authorize Congress to enlarge or abridge those rights. The simple power of the national Legislature, is to prescribe a uniform rule of naturalization, and the exercise of this power exhausts it, so far as respects the individual.

The parent laws of our citizenship and naturalization laws were the Virginia laws of and , which were drawn up by Thomas Jefferson and introduced by George Mason.

President Thomas Jefferson recommended the enactment of the Federal law of April 14, upon which our system of naturalization rests. The Virginia law of is notable because it contained a provision for expatriation in the following terms:. On three occasions, in , , and , Congress considered and rejected proposals to enact laws which would describe certain conduct as resulting in expatriation. On each occasion Congress was considering bills that were concerned with recognizing the right of voluntary expatriation and with providing some means of exercising that right.

In and , many members of Congress still adhered to the English doctrine of perpetual allegiance and doubted whether a citizen could, even voluntarily, renounce his citizenship. By , however, almost no one doubted the existence of the right of voluntary expatriation, but several judicial decisions had indicated that the right could not be exercised by the citizen without the consent of the Federal Government in the form of enabling legislation:.

They pointed to a proposed Thirteenth Amendment, subsequently not ratified, which would have provided that a person would lose his citizenship by accepting an office or emolument from a foreign government. The bill was finally defeated.

The Enrollment Act of March 3, - 13 Statutes at Large ; 38th Congress, Session II, Chapter 78, 79, contained a provision Section 21 concerning loss of nationality for deserters from the military and naval service of the United States and for departing the United States with the intent of avoiding any draft into such service. The law provided:. And all persons who shall hereafter desert the military or naval service, and all persons who, being duly enrolled, shall depart the jurisdiction of the district in which he is enrolled, or go beyond the limits of the United States, with intent to avoid any draft into the military or naval service, duly orders, shall be liable to the penalties of this section.

And the President is hereby authorized and required forthwith, on the passage of this act, to issue his proclamation setting forth the provisions of this section, in which proclamation the President is requested to notify all deserts returning within sixty days as aforesaid that they shall be pardoned on condition of returning to their regiments and companies or to such other organizations as they may be assigned to, until they shall have served for a period of time equal to their original term of enlistment.

In , Congress passed An Act for the Relief of Certain Soldiers and Sailors, 15 Statutes at Large 14, to remove any disability incurred by loss of citizenship due to desertion. In , two years after the Fourteenth Amendment had been proposed, Congress specifically considered the subject of expatriation. Several bills were introduced to impose involuntary expatriation on citizens who committed certain acts.

With little discussion, these proposals were defeated. Other bills, like the one proposed but defeated in , provided merely a means by which the citizen could himself voluntarily renounce his citizenship. Then in the July 27, Act Concerning the Rights of American Citizens in Foreign States 15 Statutes at Large ; 40th Congress, 2nd Session, Chapter , , Congress enacted legislation declaring that expatriation is a natural and inherent right of all people.

That any declaration, instruction, opinion, order, or decision of any officers of this government which denies, restricts, impairs, or questions the right of expatriation, is hereby declared inconsistent with the fundamental principles of this government.

The July 27, Act Concerning the Rights of American Citizens in Foreign States 15 Statutes at Large provided no method by which the right of expatriation might be exercised and, except for the limited grounds specified in the Act of March 3, , 13 Statutes at Large , legislative guidance as to the circumstances in which nationality might be cast off was completely lacking until the Act of March 2, , 34 Statutes at Large The motivating force of this legislation appears to have been public indignation aroused by the treatment of naturalized Irish-Americans who were arrested in Ireland for participation in the Fenian movement and similar cases in Germany.

Seward, Secretary of State to Mr. Adams, Minister to England, Diplomatic Correspondence The foregoing cases grew out of the Fenian movement. In consequence of the arrest of naturalized Americans on charges connected with this movement, the question of expatriation assumed an acute form.

Among the numerous cases arising at that time, the most notable one, historically, is that of Warren and Costello, two naturalized American citizens who were tried and sentenced in Dublin in , for treason-felony, on account of participation in the Jacmel expedition. It was shown that they had come over to Ireland in that vessel and had cruised along the coast for the purpose of effecting a landing of men and arms, in order to raise an insurrection.

This incident, together with others, produced an excitement that, as Mr. Paul to Pensacola. Federal Edition. Collected and Edited by Paul Leicester Ford. Humphreys, U. When the laws adopt an individual no nation has a right to question the validity of the act, unless it be one which may have a conflicting title to the person adopted. Spain therefore cannot contest the fact that these gentlemen are American citizens. States Ministers, V Further, in an instruction to Rufus King, envoy at London, Mr.

Marshall stated on September 20, It is impossible for the United States to discriminate between their native and naturalized citizens, nor ought your Government to expect it, as it makes no such discrimination itself. There is in this office a list of several thousand American seamen who have been impressed into the British service, for whose release applications have from time to time been already made; of this list a copy shall be forwarded to you, to take advantage of any good offices you may be able to render.

Shaler, American Consul General at Algiers, dated January 13, , Secretary of State John Quincy Adams, in declining to extend the protection of the United States to a native of Italy who has established himself in Tunis immediately or shortly after procuring naturalization in this country, said:. Further, Mr. Buchanan stated in a letter to Mr. Huesman, dated March 10, It is right to inform you, however, that difficulties have arisen in cases similar to yours.

In more than one instance European governments have attempted to punish our naturalized citizens, who had returned to their native country, for military offenses committed before their emigration. In every such case, the Government has interposed, I believe successfully, for their relief, but still they have in the meantime been subjected to much inconvenience.

Under these circumstances I could not advise you to incur the risk of returning to Oldenburg, if the business which calls for your presence can be transacted by any other person. Bancroft, Minister to England, dated October 28, , Mr.

Buchanan further stated:. Bancroft, dated December 18, , Mr. Buchanan stated:. We can recognize no difference between the one and the other, nor can we permit this to be done by any foreign government, without protesting and remonstrating against it in the strongest terms. The subjects of other countries, who, from choice, have abandoned their native land, and, accepting the invitation which our laws present, have emigrated to the United States and become American citizens, are entitled to the very same rights and privileges, as if they had been born in the country.

To treat them in a different manner, would be a violation of our plighted faith, as well as of our solemn duty. In , the Department of State submitted to Mr. Cushing, after averting to the fact that the National Government had not undertaken to formalize any general law either or citizenship or of emigration, referred to the laws of Virginia, which required, he said, as conditions of the relinquishment of citizenship, 1 a solemn declaration of intention to emigrate, with actual emigration and 2 the assumption in good faith of a foreign allegiance, but declared 3 that the act of expatriation should have no effect if done while in the State or the United States was at war with a foreign power, nor could a citizen of Virginia by emigration discharge himself from any obligation to the State, the nonperformance of which involved by its laws any penal consequence.

Black wrote to the Secretary of State an opinion regarding expatriation in the matter of Julius Amther, a native of Immelhausen, in Bavaria:. Any citizen of the United States, native or naturalized, may remove from the country, and change his allegiance, provided this be done in time of peace, and for a purpose not directly injurious to the interests of this Government.

If he emigrates, carries his family and effects along with him, manifests his intention not to return, takes up his residence abroad, and assumes the obligation of a subject to a foreign government, this implies a dissolution of his previous relations with the United States, and no other evidence of that fact is required by our law. A native of Bavaria naturalized in America may return to his native country, and assume his political status as a subject of the King of Bavaria, if there be no law there to forbid it.

The Bavarian government may require him to abjure his allegiance to the United States in such form as they may choose to prescribe, since we, on our part, make our own regulations for the admission of Bavarian subjects as citizens of the United States.

In Attorney General Black wrote an opinion in the case of Christian Ernst proclaiming in sweeping terms the right of expatriation:. The natural right of every free person, who owes no debt and is not guilty of any crime, to leave the country of his birth, in good faith and for an honest purpose, the privilege of throwing off his natural allegiance and substituting another allegiance in its place, is incontestible.

We take our knowledge of international law, not from the municipal code of England, but from natural reason and justice, from writers of known wisdom, and from the practice of civilized nations; and they are all opposed to the doctrine of perpetual allegiance.

In the United States, ever since our independence, we have upheld and maintained the right of expatriation by every form of words and acts; and upon the faith of the pledge which we have given to it, millions of persons have staked their most important interests.

Naturalization signifies the act of adopting a foreigner and clothing him with all the privileges of a native citizen or subject. In regard to the protection of our citizens in their rights at home and abroad we have, in the United States, no law which divides them into classes or makes any difference whatever between them.

In Attorney General Williams ruled that the expatriation statute's sweeping language also recognized the right of U. The Attorney General indicated that it was the duty of executive officers to determine if such loss of nationality had taken place and suggested renunciation and foreign naturalization as two methods of expatriation. Thereafter the Department of State assumed the responsibility, in the absence of statute, of determining whether such loss of nationality occurred.

The selection and actual enjoyment of a foreign domicile, with an intent not to return, would not alone constitute expatriation; but where, in addition thereto, there are other acts done by him which import a renunciation of his former citizenship, and a voluntary assumption of the duties of a citizen of the country of his domicile, these together with the former might be treated as presumptively amounting to expatriation, even without proof of naturalization abroad; though the latter is undoubtedly the highest evidence of expatriation.

Continuing problems with foreign governments taking legal action against naturalized U. Even before the passage of the Act of July 27, , a treaty was negotiated May 27, by which the North German Confederation agreed to recognize as Americans former Germans who had secured our naturalization. The United States entered into a number of bilateral and multilateral treaties, commonly called the Bancroft Conventions for their chief negotiator, George Bancroft, in the 19th Century and early years of the 20th Century.

The treaties provided for loss of citizenship by a citizen of one state upon naturalization in the other state and for loss of the second nationality upon resuming permanent residence in the original country. From to , the United States entered into 25 Bancroft treaties covering 34 foreign countries.

In the matter of Reid v. Covert, U. Supreme Court established that provisions of treaties or executive agreements are unenforceable if they conflict with the Constitution. In Schneider v.

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Two points emerge as having deep historical roots:. It was one of the earliest principles of the foreign and domestic policy of the United States Government that aliens could come to the United States, be naturalized as citizens of this country, and thereafter be considered as absolved from allegiance to the countries of which they had previously been citizens. This was one of the principles involved in our dispute with Great Britain which led to the War of Under common law, it was generally held that no person could discard his or her nationality and become an alien without the consent of his or her sovereign or government Shanks v. Dupont, 28 U. This concept received some acceptance in the United States but was questioned at an early date. For most of the 19th century and early 20th century, when questions about loss of nationality arose in the United States, it was in the context of the right of expatriation and the protection of naturalized U.

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Relinquishment of United States nationality

Menu Menu. United States Government Printing Office. Document 15 Treaty between Argentina and Spain dispensing with authentication of signatures of letters rogatory Documents Visit of Secretary Root to South America.

Petitioner, a national of the United States by birth, has been declared to have lost his American citizenship by operation of the Nationality Act of , 54 Stat. Section of that Act 1 provided that. He seeks a reversal of the judgment against him on the ground that these provisions were beyond the power of Congress to enact.

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Relinquishment of United States nationality is the process under federal law by which a U. Relinquishment is distinct from denaturalization , which in U. Renunciation of United States citizenship is a legal term encompassing two of those acts: swearing an oath of renunciation at a U. Citizenship and Immigration Services office in U. The other five acts are: naturalization in a foreign country; taking an oath of allegiance to a foreign country; serving in a foreign military; serving in a foreign government; and committing treason , rebellion , or similar crimes.

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