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16. A few puzzling matters. What must I do in order to obtain my “Certificate of Arrival"?

You must fill in a blank which will be furnished by the Clerk of the Court, and forward it to the United States Department of Labor, Bureau of Naturalization, at Washington, District of Columbia. You should be careful to give the name of the Court to which


wish the “Certificate of Arrival ” returned. Otherwise it might be sent to the Court in which you took out your “first paper. This Bureau will furnish the Clerk of the Court with the Certificate. You will be notified when it is ready.

When shall I receive my “Certificate of Citizenship"?

The “Certificate of Citizenship" will be issued by the Clerk of the Court, after the oath of allegiance has been administered, and at the time and in the manner that the Court may direct. This is at least ninety days after the petition has been filed.

How may I obtain the date of my arrival and the name of the steamship?

If you do not know the date of your arrival or the name of the steamship, you may obtain this information by writing to the Commissioner of Immigration at the port where you arrived within United States territory. You must give the approximate date of your sailing, the name of the port from which you sailed, and the approximate date of your arrival within the United States.

Is it possible for a naturalized citizen to forfeit his American citizenship?

Yes. The United States has laid down the rule that a naturalized citizen who returns to the country from which he came and resides there two years forfeits his citizenship in the United States. He forfeits it also if after being naturalized he resides for five years in any other country.

What is the penalty for getting naturalization papers by fraud ?

Any person who attempts to obtain naturalization papers by perjury or fraud or aids to obtain them by false statements, or any person who has naturalization papers unlawfully in his possession, is subject to prosecution. He may be fined not more than five thousand dollars, or imprisoned not more than five years; or he may be punished in both these ways.

What must an applicant do in order to obtain a duplicate of a “Declaration of Intention” (“first paper"), or a “Certificate of Naturalization" ("second paper"), issued since September 27, 1906, which he has lost?

He must make an affidavit as to when and under what circumstances he lost his papers. This affidavit is then submitted through the Clerk of the Court in which the paper was issued for investigation to the United States Department of Labor, Bureau of Naturalization, at Washington, District of Columbia. If satisfactory, new papers will be issued.

When may an applicant for citizenship change his name?

Any applicant who desires to change his name may, if he has sufficient reasons, be allowed so to do by order of the Court when he is admitted to citizenship. The request must be made when he files his “Petition for Naturalization” (“second paper"). His “Certificate of Citizenship" will be issued in his new name, and he will be expected to use this name always in the future.

The standing of soldiers, sailors, seamen, and others.

There are special provisions in a law passed May 9, 1918, relative to the naturalization of foreign-born men, Filipinos, and Porto Ricans, (1) who are in the regular or volunteer military or naval service of the United States; (2) who have been honorably discharged from such service; (3) who have served on merchant or fishing vessels of this country. In the case of these soldiers, sailors, and seamen, certain preliminaries are not necessary. There are also special provisions about "alien enemies" and about American citizens who, during the Great War, entered the service of any country allied with the United States. The officers of the Court will furnish information about these points upon request.

A foreign-born man serving in the army or navy of the United States at the close of the Great War, or one who was honorably discharged because of wounds, etc., before the end of that war, may file his “Petition for Naturalization” (“second paper") without being obliged to prove the usual residence within the United States.

His petition, however, must be supported by two reliable witnesses, citizens of the United States.

There have probably been many foreign-born men residing within the United States who have had mistaken ideas regarding their standing as citizens. The law provides that any man who was misinformed in this way, and who through error exercised the rights and performed the duties of a citizen in good faith, may file his “Petition for Naturalization” (“second paper”) without being obliged to file his “Declaration of Intention” (“first paper"). This applies only to foreign-born men who on or before July 1, 1914, were qualified to become citizens except that they had not filed their “Declaration of Intention” (“first paper"). It must be proved to the satisfaction of the Court, however, that the applicant complies with all the other requirements of the naturalization law.

Does the wife of a naturalized citizen become a citizen of the United States ?

Yes, provided she is residing within the United States or under its jurisdiction. The general rule is that when a man becomes a citizen, his wife and children also become citizens.

Must the widow and the minor children of a foreign-born man take out "first papers” (“Declaration of Intention”) in order to become citizens ?

This is not necessary if the husband or the father, as the case may be, took out his "first paper" (“Declaration of Intention”) prior to his death. In such a case, the widow and minor children may become citizens by filing their “Petition for Naturalization” (“second paper”).

Does a foreign-born child adopted by an American citizen, through this adoption become a citizen of the United States ?

No; a child so adopted is not an American citizen even though under twenty-one years of age at the time of adoption. At the proper times, he must take out the usual papers.,

17. Addresses to New American Citizens



President of the United States

You have just taken an oath of allegiance to the United States. Of allegiance to whom? Of allegiance to no one, unless it be God — certainly not of allegiance to those who temporarily represent this great Government. You have taken an oath of allegiance to a great ideal, to a great body of principles, to a great hope of the human race. You have said, “We are going to America not only to earn a living, not only to seek the things which it was more difficult to obtain where we were born, but to help forward the great enterprises of the human spirit — to let men know that everywhere in the world there are men who will cross strange oceans and go where a speech is spoken which is alien to them if they can but satisfy their quest for what their spirits crave; knowing that whatever the speech there is but one longing and utterance of the human heart, and that is for liberty and justice." And while you bring all countries with you, you come with a purpose of leaving all other countries behind you — bringing what is best of their spirit, but not looking over your shoulders and seeking to perpetuate what you intended to leave behind in them. I certainly would not be one even to suggest that a man cease to love the home of his birth and the nation of his origin these things are very sacred and ought not to be put out of our hearts — but it is one thing to love the place where you were born and it is another thing to dedicate yourself to the place to which you go. You cannot dedicate yourself to America unless you become in every respect and with every purpose of your will thorough Americans. You cannot become thorough Americans if you think of yourselves in groups. America does not consist of groups. A man who thinks of himself as belonging to a particular national group in America has not yet become an American, and the man who goes among you to trade upon your nationality is no worthy son to live under the Stars and Stripes.

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We Americans are the children of the crucible. It has been our boast that out of the crucible, the melting pot of life in this free land, all the men and women of all the nations who come hither emerge as Americans and as nothing else; Americans who proudly challenge as a right, not as a favor, that they “belong” just exactly as much as any other Americans and that they stand on a full and complete equality with them; Americans therefore, who must, even more strongly, insist that they have renounced completely and without reserve, all allegiance to the lands from which they or their

1 Ex-President Roosevelt died January 6, 1919. The Massachusetts Legislature adopted resolutions containing the following paragraphs:

“To Theodore Roosevelt the American people owe an eternal debt of gratitude. A man of varied ancestry, he was the typical American. His great career is the proud heritage of every loyal American, whether native or foreign born; we are prouder to be Americans because he was an American.

“With tireless energy, with great administrative ability, with keen political judgment, with noble ideals of service to God and to man, Theodore Roosevelt labored for the welfare and advancement of his countrymen. Called to many duties and responsibilities, he brought to each task the qualities that made him a leader and friend of all mankind.

“Soldier and statesman, scientist and historian, hunter and explorer, he brought a new zeal and distinction to many fields of human endeavor. He asked no patriotic service which he himself was not ready to give. The greatest American of his generation, his death leaves a void in the heart of America which no man can fill, and all the peoples of the world who strive after righteousness mourn his loss and will ever cherish the inspiration of his life.”

Read Theodore Roosevelt, the Citizen, by Jacob A. Riis.

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