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shall make a declaration of intention to become a citizen. The act provides that in order to take advantage of its terms the petitions must be filed within 4 years after the date of its enactment.
Section 2 of the bill provides that section 326 of the Nationality Act of 1940 (the section providing special procedures for the naturalization of alien enemies) shall have no application to persons whose children are citizens of the United States and have served or are serving honorably in the military forces of the United States during the present war. There are a considerable number of noncitizen parents in the United States who have children serving honorably in the military forces of the United States. Regardless of such loyal service of their children, some of these parents have been under a stigma attaching to them because of their technical status as "alien enemies." Where the entire family is loyal, it is a distinct hardship to the parents to be placed in the position where they necessarily are subjected to the enforced delays of the alien enemy provision of the Nationality Act in seeking naturalization.
The section would not exempt such applicants from any of the usual requirements of the naturalization laws. They would have to show the necessary period of residence in the United States and in the State required of other applicants, and would have to prove the same qualities of good moral character, attachment to the principles of the Constitution, and loyalty to the United States.
Under existing law, a person seeking United States citizenship must file a declaration of intention to become a citizen of the United States at least 2 years prior to the filing of a petition for naturalization. An alien who is a native of a country with which the United States is at war may not become a naturalized citizen of the United States unless his declaration was filed more than 2 years prior to the beginning of the war or unless the President, after investigation and report by the Department of Justice establishing the loyalty of such alien to the United States, exempts such alien from the classification of "alien enemy.'
As indicated, the purpose of the section is to relieve the parents of service people from compliance with this burdensome provision of law.
Section 3 merely waives the declaration of intention to become a citizen on the part of persons whose children are citizens and have served or are serving honorably in the armed forces of the United States. At present the great majority of applicants for citizenship, approximately two-thirds, do not have to file declarations to become citizens of the United States. These classes, among others, include the spouse of American citizens, persons serving honorably in the armed forces, veterans of the other wars, etc. Under existing law there must be a 2-year period between the declaration of intention to become a citizen and the final petition. It will undoubtedly be true of a large majority of the cases coming under this section that a declaration would not normally be required because in many instances the applicant for naturalization will be either the husband or wife of an · American citizen.
This section does not waive any of the requirements of naturalization such as the establishment of good moral character, attachment to the principles of the Constitution, and loyalty to the United States. It merely eliminates what is considered an unnecessary burden on the parents of American citizens. H. Rept. 165
A letter of the Attorney General, dated February 10, 1945, addressed to the chairman of the committee, reads as follows:
FEBRUARY 10, 1945. Hon. SAMUEL DICKSTEIN, Chairman, House Committee on Immigration and Naturalization,
House of Representatives, Washington, D. C. MY DEAR MR. CHAIRMAN: This is in response to your request for my views concerning a bill (H. R. 511) to amend the Nationality Act of 1910.
Section 304 of the Nationality Act of 1940 (54 Stat. 1140; 8 U. S. C. 704) provides that no person shall be naturalized as a citizen of the United States upon his own petition who cannot speak the English language. Section 1 of the bill would exempt from this requirement those aliens otherwise eligible for naturalization who are 50 years of age or over, have resided in the United States continuously since prior to July 1, 1924, and have filed a declaration of intention to become naturalized within the preceding 7 years, or within 2 years after the enactment of the act file a declaration of intention. In addition, the persons covered by this section would also be exempted from the necessity of signing a declaration or petition in their own handwriting and from meeting other educational requirements. The section contains a limitation making it applicable only to petitions for naturalization filed within 4 years after the date of the enactment of the act.
This section would make possible the naturalization of many deserving elderly aliens who have lived in the United States for a great many years, but who have been unable to obtain citizenship because of inability to meet the educational requirements of the naturalization laws. Many of them have children who were born in this country and who, therefore, are citizens of the United States.
Section 2 of the bill proposes to amend section 326 of the Nationality Act of 1940 (54 Stat. 1150; 8 U. S. C. 726), which relates to those alien enemies who have or had a son or a daughter who is a citizen of the United States and has served or is serving honorably in the armed forces of the United States during the present war. This section would make existing limitations on the naturalization of alien enemies inapplicable to this group.
Section 3 of the bill proposes to amend the Nationality Act of 1940 so as to exempt the persons just referred to from the requirement of filing a declaration of intention for purposes of naturalization. This is to be accomplished by adding a new section to the Nationality Act of 1940 immediately following section 331 (54 Stat. 1153; 8 U. S. C. 731).
It will be observed that sections 2 and 3 do not waive qualifications for naturalization such as good moral character, attachment to the principles of the Constitution, and loyalty to the United States. They would merely relieve parents of citizens of the United States who are serving or have served in the armed forces during the present war from burdens at times regarded as unnecessary.
The bill under consideration is identical with legislation (H. R. 4642, 78th Cong.) which was passed by the House of Representatives on December 4, 1944.
I recommend the enactment of the bill.
I have been advised by the Director of the Bureau of the Budget that there is no objection to the submission of this report. Sincerely yours,
FRANCIS BIDDLE, Attorney General. A similar bill, H. R. 4642, passed the House of Representatives in the Seventy-eighth Congress.
The committee are of the opinion that the legislation is highly desirable and, therefore, recommend that the bill do pass.
CHANGES IN EXISTING LAW
In compliance with paragraph 2a of rule XIII of the rules of the House of Representatives, changes in existing law made by this bill are shown as follows (existing law in which no change is made is
H. Rept. 165
printed in roman; omitted matter is printed within black brackets; the new matter is printed in italics):
The Nationality Act of 1940, as amended (54 Stat. 1137):
SEC. 304A. An alien, if eligible to naturalization, fis'y years of age or over, who has resided in the United States continuously since prior to July 1, 1924, and who, on or prior to the effective date of this section, has made a declaration of intention to become a citizen which is not more than seven years old, or who, within two years from the effective date of this section, shall make a declaration of intention, may thereafter file petition for naturalization and be admitted to citizenship upon full and complete compliance with all requirements of the naturalization laws, except that he shall not be required to speak the English language, sign his declaration or petition in his own handwriting, or meet other educational requirements: Provided, That this section shall apply only to petitions for naturalization filed within four years after the date of the enactment of this Act.
SEC. 326(e). The provisions of this section shall not apply to any alien whose son or daughter is a citizen of the United States and has served or is serving honorably in the military or naval forces of the United States during the present war and who, if separated from such service, was separated under honorable conditions. For the purpose of this section, the present war shall be deemed to have commenced on September 1, 1939, and to continue until the termination of all hostilities in the present war.
SEC. 331A. A declaration of intention to become a citizen shall not be required of any alien whose son or daughter is a citizen of the United States and has served or is serving honorably in the military or naval forces of the United States during the present war and who, if separated from such service, was separated under honorable conditions. For the purpose of this section, the present war shall be deemed to have commenced on September 1, 1939, and to continue until the termination of all hostilities in the present war.
ENSIGN FREDERICK MATTHEWS McCORD, UNITED
STATES NAVAL RESERVE
FEBRUARY 20, 1945.-Committed to the Committee of the Whole House and
ordered to be printed
Mr. CHENOWETH, from the Committee on Claims, submitted the
[To accompany S. 211)
The Committee on Claims, to whom was referred the bill (S. 211) for the relief of Ensign Frederick Matthews McCord, United States Naval Reserve, having considered the same, report favorably thereon without amendment and recommend that the bill do pass.
The facts in this case will be found fully set forth in Senate Report No. 35 of the Seventy-ninth Congress, which is appended hereto and made a part of this report.
Your committee concur in the recommendation of the Senate.
(8. Rept. No. 35, 79th Cong., 1st sess.)
The purpose of the bill is to authorize and direct the Secretary of the Treasury to pay, out of any money in the Treasury not otherwise appropriated, the sum of $187.90 to Ensign Frederick Matthews McCord, United States Naval Reserve, for the value of personal property destroyed as the result of a fire in officers' quarters, Ferry Inn Annex, at United States Naval Base No. 2, on December 14, 1943.
The quarters consisted of Nissen huts, and while the exact cause of the fire has not been determined, the available evidence indicates that it was due to a defective fuel-regulating valve on the Quaker unit space heater used for heating the quarters.
The Navy Department is of the opinion that provision should be made for the payment of this im, as claimant was occupying the quarters under official orders of the Navy Department and the loss of his property occurred without fault or negligence on his part.
The claim was examined by the Bureau of Naval Personnel, which Bureau has found the value of the property destroyed to be $187.90.
There is no other authority of law by virtue of which the claim may be adjusted.
The additional cost to the Government should this bill be enacted would not exceed $187.90.
A similar bill passed the Senate of the Seventy-eighth Congress on December 14, 1944.
The bill was introduced at the request of the Navy Department and has been cleared by the Bureau of the Budget.