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AMERICANS BY CHOICE 



M: 



Americanization Studies 

SCHOOUNO OF THE iMBaGRANT. 

Fr^mk V. Thompson, Supt. of Public Schools, Boston 

America via the Neiohbobhood. 
John Daniels 

Old WoBiiD Tbaits Tbanbplantbd. 

Robert £. Park, Professorial Lecturer, University of Chicago 
Herbert A. Miller, Professor of Sociology, Oberlin College 

A Stake in the Land. 

Peter A. Speek, in charge, Slavic Section, Library of Congress 

Immiobant Health and the CcofMUNiTT. 

Michael M. Davis, Jr., Director, Boston Dispensary 

New Homes fob Old. 

Sophonisba P. Breckinridge, Professor of Social Economy, Uni^ 
versity of Chicago 

The IioaoBANT Pbess and Its Contbol. 

Robert £. Park, Professorial Lecturer, University of Chicago 

Adjusting Lmmiobant and Indxtstbt. (In preparation) 

William M. Leiserson, Chairman, Labor Adjustment Boards, 
Rochester and New York s 

Amebicans bt Choice. 

John P. Gavit, Vice-President, New York Evening Post 

The Immiobant's Day in Coubt. (In press) 

Kate HoUaday Claghom, Instructor in Social Research, New 
York School of Social Woric 

7SuMMABT. (In preparation) 
Allen T. Bums, Director, Studies in Methods of Americanization 



Harper & Brothers Pvhlishers 



"TrfT'd J ■ ■ ^ - f. ji < * 



AMERICANIZATION STUDIES 

ALLEN T. BURNa DIBECTOR 



AMERICANS 
BY CHOICE 



BY 



, ■>. 



JOHN PALMER GAVIT 




HARPER & BROTHERS PUBUSHERS 

NEW TOBK AND LONDON 

1922 






9 



^ ^ ^ • ^ 



; , • • • 



>.' . --«••• 



• • • • . ' 



^ ^ /y^E 



3 




Americans By Choice 



Copyright, 1922 

By Harper & Brothers 

Printed in the U. S. A. 

First Edition 

Or-W 







PUBLISHER'S NOTE 

The material in this volume was gathered by the 
Division of Health Standards and Care of Studies 
in Methods of Americanization. 

Americanization in this study has been consid- 
ered as the union of native and foreign bom in all 
the most fundamental relationships and activities 
of our national life. For Americanization is the 
uniting of new with native-bom Americans in fuller 
common imderstanding and appreciation to secure 
by means of self-government the highest welfare 
of all. Such Americanization should perpetuate 
no unchangeable political, domestic, and economic 
regime delivered once for all to the fathers, but a 
growing and broadening national life, inclusive of 
the best wherever found. With all our rich heri- 
tages, Americanism will develop best through a 
mutual giving and taking of contributions from 
both newer and older Americans in the interest of 
the commonweal. This study has followed such 
an understanding of Americanization. 



497929 



FOREWORD 

This volume is the result of studies in methods 
^ of Americanization prepared through funds fur- 
nished by the Carnegie Corporation of New York. 
^ It arose out of the fact that constant applications 
were being made to the Corporation for contribu- 
tions to the work of numerous agencies engaged 
in various forms of social activity intended to 
extend among the people of the United States 
the knowledge of their government and their obli- 
gations to it. The trustees felt that a study which 
^ should set forth» not theories of social betterment^ 
but a description of the methods of the various 
agencies ^igaged in such work» would be of dis- 
tinct value to the cause itself and to the public. 

The outcome of the study is contained in eleven 
volumes on the following subjects: Schooling of 
the Immigrant; The Press; Adjustment of Homes 
and Family Life; Legal Protection and Correction; 
' Health Standards and Care; Naturalization and 
Political Life; Industrial and Economic Amal- 
gamation; Treatment of Immigrant Heritages; 
I Neighborhood Agencies and Organization; Rural 
* Developments; and Summary. The entire study 
has been carried out under the general direction of 

' Mr. Allen T. Bums. Each volume appears in the 

** 

\ vu 



FOREWORD 

name of the author who had immediate charge of 
the particular field it is intended to cover. 

Upon the invitation of the Carnegie Corpora- 
tion a committee consisting of the late Theodore 
Roosevelt, Prof. John Graham Brooks, Dr. John 
M. Glenn, and Mr. John A. VoU has acted in an 
advisory capacity to the director. An editorial 
committee consisting of Dr. Talcott Williams, Dr. 
Raymond B. Fosdick, and Dr. Edwin F. Gay has 
read and criticized the manuscripts. To both of 
these conunittees the trustees of the Carnegie Cor- 
poration' are much indebted. 

The purpose of the report is to give as clear a 
notion as possible of the methods of the agencies 
actually at work in this field and not to propose 
theories for dealing with the complicated questions 
involved. 



••• 



TABLE OF CONTENTS 

Publisher's Note v 

Foreword vii 

Table of Contents ix 

last of Tables rvi 

list of Diagrams zzi 

Introduction zziii 



I. Op Theib Own Fbbb Wmt 1 

These Are Our Voters^! « 

Primitive Attitudes Toward Immigrants 3 

t^Legal Position of the Alien 5 

What Is an^ "American"? 7 

The American Has No Racial Marks 10 

Not Racial, but Cultural 1« 

Essentials of "Americanism" 14 

n. NbW MEliBEBS AND AN OlD GaMB 17 

Factors in Immigration 18 

Politics Welcomes the Irish 21 

They Always Have Been Democrats 21 

Early Germans Became Republicans 24 

Effects of the Gold Craze 25 

Vast Naturalization Frauds 25 

First Choice in Politics «0 

The Politician Close to Humanity 33 

Political Aspects of Social Clubs 35 

Politics a Great Americanizing Force 87 

ix 



CONTENTS 

FAOa 

IIL CmzENBHip: Undkb This Flag and Othsbs 40 

Boots of Political Society 42 

Influence of Emigration to America 43 

%^e Right to Emigrate 44 

The Subject tv. the Active Member 45 
Essentiab of Citizenship: Ancient — and Amer- 

V^ican 46 

TBases of American Citizenship 49 

CoDunon-law Definition Taken for Granted 50 

Concerning Americans Bom Abroad 51 

Children Bom at Sea 52 

Question of Dual Nationality 6S 

Countries Denying the Right of Expatriation 54 

Conditional Recognition $5 

Naturalization Treaties with the United States $5 

Great Britain 56 

Germany 57 

Citizenship Takes No Account of Sex 62 

"A Woman Without a Country" 63 

The American Under Three Jurisdictions 64 

IV. Dkvblopment of thb NatuhaiiDsation Law 69 

Our " Charter Members " 69 

First Naturalization Laws 70 

EfforU Toward Uniformity 78 

"^ Bars Up Against Alien Anarchists 77 

Various Presidents Discussed Naturalization 77 

Definite Reform at Last 80 

Naturalization Commission Aj^xunted 80 

^ What the Law Requires 83 

V. Thb Law in Qfbration 89 

Restrictions of Race 98 

Limitations Regarding Age 95 

The Declaration of Intentioa 96 

''Declaration Invalid " 98 

Should Declaration Be Abdished? 102 

Naturalization Judges Fkyor Its Retention 105 



CONTENTS 

^Hie Seven-year Limitation 107 

The Certificate^ Lawful Entry 109 

The Vexatious Question of Names 112 

^-^ The Petition for Naturalisation 115 

Ninety Days' Literval Before H^wng 119 

The l^nal Hearing in Court 119 

Must ''Speak" the English Language 120 

Attached to the Constitution 128 

Li the Matter of "Continuous Besidence" 124 
The Absurdity of the ''Incompetent Witnan** 126 

Judges Denounce the Absurdity 129 

Depositions of Witnesses 183 

"Good Moral Character" 185 

The Final Ceremony--Oath of AI1#>giVnrft 187 

Ceremonies of Liitiation 188 

VL Personal Equation in Naturalization 148 

A Function of Local Courts 145 

"Personal Equation" of the Judges 147 

Bird's-eye View of the Questibnnaire 154 

General Trend <^ Judges' Opinions 158 

The Clerks c^ the Courts 161 

The Question of Adequate Clerical Force 168 
When the Clerk Pockets the Fees ^, 164 

Forms of Petty Graft 165 
"Personal Equation'' in the Naturalization 

Service 167 

A Scrupulously Honest Service 169 

Need of Unifying Lifluence 170 

"Nothing to Litigate ! " 171 

Gnifused State of the Educational Test 178 
The Craze for "Americanizing" Somebody 

Else 177 

Extra Responsibilities Self-sought 180 

j^ormous Arrearage in Bureau's Work 186 

^^The Aliens Support the Bureau 189 

Fitness of Candidates 198 

"Personal Equation" of the Public 195 



CONTENTS 



Vn. SoMB Statistics Cco^cebnino LiaaaBANTs, 

"New'* and "Old" 197 

Paucity of Dependable Information 199 

Vast Arrearages in Examinations StiH 

Beport of Immigration Commission of 1907 204 

Legend of ''The New Immigration" 204 

Disparity in Numbers Among Racial (croups 206 

The Factor of Length of Besidence 208 

The Factor of Language 214 

Length of Residence and Earning Power 215 

Voting on "First Papers" 217 

What Becomes of the Dedarations? 218 

VUL Later Statistics — In Which Sobib Twsntt- 
SDC Thoxtsand PBnnoNSBS Sfeak fob 

Themselves. 225 

More Than a Fifth of All Petitioners 226 

From Twenty-dg^t Representative Courts 226 

In a Reasonably Normal Year 227 

The Racial Groups Are Typical 228 

Rdative '*Civic and Political Intoest'* 231 

How Did These Petiti<Hiers Fare? 281 

As Regards **Iinmoral Chaiacter** 284 

The Showing as to *'IgUHniiice" 235 

Time-intorvals in Naturalizatioo 236 

How Do the Racial Groiqs Conqme? 238 

niey Are Young Pe<^ 241 

Rdative Age and ** Political Interest'* 242 

Hie Real Racial Distinction 243 

Race and Rdative Age at Arrival 244 

At the Beginning of Married Life 247 

As for *'StalMlity d Resickiice'' 247 

Intdlectual Eququnoit and Occuqpatioii 250 

Geneial CondusioDS 252 

IX. CrazENBHiP VIA Mttjtart Sebvicb 255 

Poatkn of the Alien Soldier 256 

RevofaitioDaiy Legislative Action 258 

Citiaens at Heart, but ^Ewany Alios'' 260 

An Salegoaids Abandoned 263 



CONTENTS 

CSAPTBB PACOi 

All Race Bestriciions Bemoved S65 

Ordinary Naturalization Disputed S65 

/Statistics of Alien Registration 267 

\Jdi€3ia and Military Service 269 

Foreign Bom Eager to Serve 272 

Austrians Who Were Not for Austria 274 

There Was Human War-time Psychology 275 

Diplomatic Bequests for Exemption 276 
Bedprocal Conscription Among Cobelligerents 278 

Of Grerman Descent, but Loyal Americans 278 

^'^/esertion, Am<»ig Aliens and Citizens 279 

War's Test of " the Melting-pot " 281 
An Old Practice with a New Significance . 282 

What Some Judges Thou^t of It 283 

Here Was "Attachment to Our Principles"! 285 

Assimilating the Enemies <^ Tyranny 287 

Episodes of Military Naturalization 288 

/those Who'Went Without Citizenship 292 

A Great Composite Beoord of Loyalty 294 

X. The Fobeion-bobn Woman, Heb Home and 

Heb Childsen» in American Pouncs 296 

Begardless of Qualifications 298 

t/Unmarried Women Have Male Bights 298 

Dangers of '* Derivative Citizenship" 299 

vCnildren of Aliens Here American Bom 801 

"Derivative Citizenship" Ahnost Equals the 

Direct 802 

Woman Suffrage Was Widespread 803 

Applicants Came as Young Married Men 804 

The Mother Must Be "Americanized " 805 

Must Learn Politics by Political Activity 807 

Few Women Seek Naturalization 809 

Some Courts Notice the Wives 811 

Obstacles of Distance and Expense 812 

Woman Suffrage Opens a New Era 814 

Opinions of Naturalizing Judges 815 

650,000 "Derivative Voters" Extant 817 

Largely an Ignorant Vote 818 

xui 



CONTENTS 

OHAPm PACnB 

Political Indifference Not Peculiar to Fordgn 

Bom S^ 
Many Were Called, but Few Responded 821 
Foragn-bom Women Without Political Experi- 
ence 823 
They Are Good Material 824 
How the. Women Can Be Reached 827 
A Specific Example— It Works 880 
What the Children Did 888 

XL The Fobexgn-bobn Voteb in Action 835 

Divided by Racial Traditions 838 

«^iens Not Without Political Influence 839 

There is no "Foreign Vote" 840 

Old Evils Abolished 841 

Corruption Was Not an Importation 843 

Home-grown in Adams County, Ohio! 844 

Who Is the Buyer of Votes? 845 

Attempts to Find the "Foreign Vote" 847 

Response to Progressive Ideas 854 

Some Results from Cleveland 857 

"Civic Interest" in Grand Rapids 865 

Municipal Voters' League of Chicago 86d 

Some Other Instances 873 

.Xn.^THB FoBEiaN BOBN IN RADICAL MoYEMElNTS 877 

The Socialist Press 880 

Dues-paying Socialist Members 881 

Racial Groups of Socialists 8^3 

The Socialist Vote 885 

Grerman Influence in Socialism 887 

Jews in Socialism 890 

Effect of the War on Socialism 891 

The Single-tax and Agrarian Movements 893 

The Nonpartisan League 897 

Ultraradical Movements Nonpolitical 401 

The "L W. W." and the Homeless Worker 403 

adv 



CONTENTS 

Xm. Some General CoNsiDERATiOKa ' 410 

No Lowering of Standards 416 

A Function Administrative or Judicial? 420 

Physical Conditions and Dignity 422 

Function of the Naturalization Bureau 425 

Appendix 429 

Index 485 



LIST OF TABLES 

TABLH PACn 

1. Lnmigration from Ireland and Crermany Each Year» 

1820-1840 ^% 

2. Aliens Naturalized 1856-1867 in two Courts in New 

York City 26 

S. Applicants for Naturalization in Supreme Court, New 

York City in October, 1868 28 

4. Number of Replies from Judges in Each District 149 

5. Appropriation for the Naturalization Service for each 

fiscal year, 190&-1919 185 

6. Recdpts from Naturalization fees and disbursements, 

1907-1920 190 

7. Number of Declarations of Intention and Petitions 

for Naturalization issued, 1907-1920 201 

8. Per Cent that fully Naturalized Male Employees are 

of Total Male Employees who were twenty-one 
years of age and over at Time of Coming and who 
have been in the United States ten years or over, 
compared with the per cent that Male Employees 
in the United States ten years or over are of those 
here five years and over, by race 207 

9. Per Cent of Foreign Bom Male Employees Reporting 

Citiz^iship who have been in the United States 
each specified period of years, by race 209 

10. Present Political Condition of Foreign Bom Male 
Employees who have been in the United States five 
years or over and who were twenty-one years of age 
at time of coming, by race 211 

xvi 



LIST OF TABLES 

TABUB FACn 

11. Average weekly earnings of male employees, by race 

and specified industries 216 

12. Per Cent of Foreign Bom of Voting Age having First 

Papers and also per cent in states Permitting 
Aliens to Vote on first papers, compared with cer- 
tain states not Permitting Aliens to Vote on first 
papers for 1900 and 1910 218 

18. Number of Declarations filed each year 1908-1912 
with Average Number and Ratio of Petitions con- 
summating in five-year period ending eadi year 220 

14. Yearly Number of Declarations Filed 1908-1912 and 

Number of final Petitions for Naturalization As- 
sumed to have been based upon those Declara- 
tions 221 

15. Ratio of Declarations of Intention to Petition for 

Naturalization by States 223 

16. Comparison by Races of (1) Naturalization Peti- 

tioners Studied, (2) Unnaturalized Males twenty- 
one years of age or over in nine cities and in the 
country as a whole, in 1910 229 

17. Compariscm of Causes of Denial for the years 1908- 

1918 and 1913-1914 232 

18. Racial Distribution of Petitioners Denied 1913-1914, 

and the Per Cent Deniab for six Principal Causes 233 

19. Per Cent of Deniab due to "Immoral Character," by 

Race 235 

20. Per Cent of Denials due to "Ignorance," by Race 236 

21. Average Time Elapsing between Arrival and Declara- 

tion of Intention; between Declaration and Peti- 
tion and between Petition and Naturalization 237 

22. Average Interval before filing Petition after Attain- 

ment of twenty-one years, for those arriving at 
ages, 1-14, by Race 239 

xvii 



LIST OF TABLES 

TABUB PAG> 

28. Average Interval before filing Petition after Arrival 

at Ages 16-20, by Race 240 

24. Average Interval before filing Petition after Arrival 

at Ages twenty-one or over, by Race 241 

25. Number and Per cent of Petitioners for three age 

groups 242 

26. Racial Distribution of Petitioners for the age periods 

" over twenty-one " " 15-20 " and " 1-14 " 246 

27. Number of Declarations made in '^ Other" States 249 

28. Principal Occupations Represented in Petitions for 

Naturalizations filed in seven Cities 1913-1914, 
ratio between Number of Petitioners and total of 
Foreign Bom White Males in those Occupations in 
those Cities in 1910 251 

29. Number and Per Cent of Petitioners in Each Occupa- 

tion 252 

SO. Allegiance of Aliens Registered under the Selective 

Service Act 268 

81. Fitness for Service of Alien R^istrants 269 

32. Neutrals withdrawing from the Service 273 

83. Diplomatic Requests for Discharge of and Total 

R^istration of Aliens by Coimtry of Birth 277 

34. Comparison of Reported Desertions of Alien and 

Qtiz^ R^istrants 281 

35. Years in which fun and partial Suffrage was Granted 

to Women, by States 303 

36. MitTimnTn EnroUinent in Citiienship and English 

dasses, in United SUtes in 1919 322 

37. P« Cent of New Ycrfc City Vote Cast for McCall in 

1913, Dix m 1910 by Voters of Native Parentage 350 

••• 

XVUl 



LIST OF TABLES 

TABLB PAOB 

88. Per Cent of New York City Vote Cast iat McCaU in 

1918, Dix in 1910 by Russians and Austrians 850 

89. Per Cent of New York City Vote Cast for MeCall 

in 1918, Dix in 1910 by the Irish 851 

40. Per Cent of New York City Vote Cast for McCall in 

1918, Dix in 1910 by Germans SS^ 

41. Per Cent of New York City Vote Cast for MeCall in 

1918, Dix in 1910 by Italians 95^ 

4«. Per Cent of Socialist Vote in New York City in 1910 

and 1918 by Nationality SSS 

48. Distribution of Dominant Nationality in ninety-two 

precincts in Cleveland 858 

44. Distribution of Democratic and Republican Votes in 

Cleveland in 1918-1915 among Certain Racial 
Groups 861 

45. Per Cent of Certain Races Exercising Second and 

Third Choice 86« 

40. Vote Cast in precincts of Varying Racial Make-up in 

Three Wards of Grand Rapids, 1918, 1919 866 

47. Per Cent of Women Registered in thirteen Michigan 

cities 868 

48. Number of Socialists paying dues eadi year from 

1908 to 1915 882 

49. Ranks of Race Groups in Relative Socialist Strength 884 

50. Socialist Vote for President from 1880 to 1898 885 

51. The Socialist Vote for President by States from 1900 

to 19^ 886 

52. Per Cent Circulation of the German Press in nine 

states 888 



LIST OP TABLES 

TABLB PAOB 

5S, Socialist Vote f<« Fresideiit in nine states from 1900 

to 1916 889 

54. Membership of the Nonpartisan League by states 

in December, 1918 898 

55. Distribution of Petitions Studied, by Courts 429 

56. Sex and Marital Condition of Petitioners 480 

57. Petitioners' Children Under twenty-one years of age 481 

58. Age of Petitioners at Arrival and Time Elapsing 

between twenty-one years of age (or later arrival) 
and Petition, 1918-1914 482 

59. Number and Per Cent of Petitions Denied for eadi 

Cause, by Courts Facing 482 

60. Number of Petitions Denied for each Cause, by 

Coimtry of Birth Facing 482 

61. Distribution of Petitioners, by Country of Birth and 

Courts Facing 482 

62. Distribution of Petitioners, Length of Time from 

Arrival to Petition, by Country of Birth Facing 482 

69. Distribution of Petitions, by Occupation and Courts 438 

64. Average Number of Years from Date of Arrival to 

Date of Petition, by Occupation 434 

65. Number of Petitioners, by Country of Birth and 

Occupation Facing 484 

66. Ratio between Naturalization Petitions filed in 1918- 

1914 and Total Foreign Bom White Males ten 
years of age and over in 1910, by Occupation for 
seven cities Facing 484 



LIST OF DIAGRAMS 

DIAORAM PAOa 

1. Average interval before filing petition after at- 

tidnment of twenty-one years (or time of 
arrival, if arriving after twenty-one years) 
for petitioners arriving at ages of one' to 
fourteen, fifteen to twenty, and twenty-one 
years and over ^2 

2. Average interval before filing petition after ar- 

rival at age twenty-one or over by races. 
The bars which are in black represent 
countries from which the subject people 
constituted almost entirdy the immigration 
to this country 245 



INTRODUCTION 

It would require a very long list of names to give specific 
mention of all those who have rendered substantial aid 
in gathering the information on which this volume is 
based. The Commissioner of Naturalization, Mr. 
Bichard K. Campbell; the former Director of Citizen- 
sliipy Mr. Raymond F. Crist» and the chief examiners 
under their direction, have done all in their power 
to affoid information and other assistance. Several 
himdred judges of naturalization courts in all parts 
of the country, took pains to answer our questionnaire 
and personal letters on special questions. Students of 
immigration and naturalization problems have been 
ungrudging in their co-operation. 

The tedious and painstaking work of compiling the 
information contained in more than £6,000 petitions 
for naturaSzation, analyzed in the statistical chapters 
of this book, was done more especially under the direc- 
tion of Professor Raymond Moley, then at Western 
Reserve Unirersity, Cleveland; Homell Hart, of Cincin- 
nati; Professor S. C. Kohs, of Reed College, for Port- 
land, Oregon; Professor T. T. Waterman, of the 
University of the state of Washington, for Seattle, and 
Professor L. H, Hawkins, of Clark University, for Wor- 
cester, Mass. Aside from the service of these volunteer 
assistants, thanks are due in more than perfunctory 
manner to the members of the staff of the Americaniza* 
tion Study who devoted long hours to this exacting task. 

••• 
XXUl 



INTRODUCTION 

Professor Moley compfled most of the material used 
in the chapter on the legal aspects of citizenship, and 
afforded information of the utmost value woven into 
other parts of this volume. 

The thanks of the author are due in particular to his 
personal associates in the work, Mr. Paul Lee Ellerbe, 
formerly Chief Naturalization Examiner at Denver, 
and Miss Elizabeth Miner King, then of the staff of 
the New York Evening Post, now Mrs. Harold Phelps 
Stokes, of Washington, D. C. 

John Palmer Gavit 



xnv 



AMERICANS BY CHOICE 



» « 



AMERICANS BY CHOICE 



OF THEIR OWN FREE WILL 

From the point of view of citizenship there are two 
kinds of Americans — ^those who are American in- 
volmitarily by birth, and those who are American by 
choke. 

This book devotes itself to those who have become 
Americans not by birth, but of their own free will and 
accord, by that process of voluntarily adopting a father- 
land known as Naturalization. It endeavors to tell 
generally what happens to them in that process, and 
something of what they do and contribute to our 
jHjlitical life after they have been admitted to active 
membership in our body politic. 

The subject is one much talked about — especially 
since the beginning of the World War — ^and little under- 
stood save by those who administer, or who in some 
way profit by, the operation, the shortcomings, and 
confusions of the existing law and the system which has 
grown up under it. That system is handicapped and 
beclouded by public indifference and by the survival 
of ancient attitudes and limitations, and bedeViled by 
the theories and prejudices of persons and interests who, 
innocently or willfully — often with impeccable inten- 
tions — stand in the way of progress or adhere for various 

I 



> 



J ' • • , , 



_ : >:;A|^ilXGAN^ BY CHOICE 

reasons to ideas and methods long since outgrown, or 
in the light of to-day actively mischievous. 



THESE ARE OUB VOTERS ! 

It is a current fashion of unthinking persons, con- 
templating the seething masses of inmiigrants congested 
in our cities and in certain rural sections, beholding the 
polyglot store signs and newspapers, sensing the exist- 
ence of languages, manners, and customs unfamiliar 
and perhaps grotesque and even outrageous to their 
own habits and ideas of propriety, and reflecting vaguely 
upon the real and supposed evils of our political 
methods and machinery, to exclaim: 

"And these are the people who corrupt our politics! 
These are the voters who elect our presidents!" 

Many who should know better indulge in such 
absurdities, and even cite statistics to support them. 
A characteristic manner of reasoning would read some- 
thing like this: 

"In 1910 there were 13,000,000 foreign-bom persons 
in the United States, and only a little more than 
3,000,000 of them were naturalized!" 

Leaving the unreflecting hearer to forget that of the 
13,000,000 only about half (6,646,817) were males of 
twenty-one years and over; that more than half a 
million (570,77£) had declared their intention to 
become citizens; that there was no report^as to the 
citizenship of more than 775,000; so that the aliei;! 
population of voting age, and of the then voting sex, 
known to be unnaturalized, was only about one-sixth 
of the total foreign bom, or 2,266,535. This was bad 
enough in all conscience, and the Woman-Suffrage 
Amendment to the Constitution of the United States 
certainly has i^gravated it, since through it mar- 
ried immigrant women were made possible voters 

2 



OF THEIR OWN FREE WELL 

through the naturalization of their husbands. But 
nothing can be gained by exaggerating the facts, or 
constructing mare's nests by inferences from false 
assumptions. It is worth while to examine the con- 
ditions, to observe the extent to which the foreign 
bom actually do participate in our political processes, 
and on the basis of such facts as are available, to judge 
the effect that foreign birth does tend to have upon 
the quality of that participation. 

There is no disposition here to overlook or minimize 
the menace to our social and civic life involved in the 
presence of vast masses of imdigested, unassimilated 
population of whatever race or kind — even of our own 
people, herded in colonies, dominating large com- 
munities, illiterate as regards our history and ideals, 
ignorant of our language, traditions, and customs. It 
constitutes a social problem of great magnitude and 
intricacy — ^though probably by no means so menacing 
as it is our fashion to believe. But it is not one directly 
affecting our political life or the operation of our 
political machinery to any such degree as it is the 
custom to declaim. There is little substantial evi- 
dence in these days that the foreign-bom voter, as 
such, is a source of corruption or other evil influence 
in our politics. 

PRIMITIVE ATTITUDES TOWARD IMMIGRANTS 

Whether it is called an instinct, native in animal 

psychology, or an inheritance of mental habit and 

trsidition handed down from remote times of family 

and tribal necessity, the fact is that we all regard the 

stranger with a suspicion, diminishing perhaps as we 

broaden with years, experience, and culture, but never 

entirely lost. Exceedingly few are those great souls 

who have no trace of it. Especially if the stranger 

3 



AMERICANS BY CHOICE 

wears a differently colored skin, expresses his thought 
by unfamiliar vocal sounds and inflections, practices 
customs of clothing, eating, marriage, religion, differ- 
ent from our own; lives in houses of peculiar shape and 
use — ^these things all partake, for the average person, 
of the outrageous and the dangerous, and usually 
subtly offend those habits of group taste which we 
somehow feel to have their roots in essential morality 
and the nature of things. 

From time immemorial, all states and communities 
have laid special disabilities and limitations upon the 
alien — ^all based ultimately upon this habitual sus- 
picion of those who belong to another tribe or clan. 
As Edwin M. Borchard says:* 

The legal position of the alien has in the progress of time 
advanced from that of complete outlawry, in the days of 
early Rome and the Germanic tribes, to that of practical 
assimilation with nationals, at the present time. In the 
Twelve Tables c^ Rome, the alien and enemy were classed 
together, the word ''hostis" being used interchangeably 
to designate both. Only the Roman citizen had rights 
recognized in law. . . . The Germanic tribes, in the early 
period, were hardly more hospitable to the alien than were 
the Twelve Tables of the Romans. 

With the extension of trade and travel, and especially 
with the upgrowth of the feudal system, however, the 
utility of intercourse with peaceable strangers, and 
the advantage of adding their personal prowess, ca- 
pacity, and assets to the resources of the community, 
came to be more and more recognized, and the stranger 
within the gates was accorded an increasing measure 
of tolerance, not to say welcome. But this tolerance 
was at best of a very limited character; practically, it 
was not much more than a rigid systematizing of the 

^ Edwin M. Borchard^ The DiploTnoHc Protection of Citizens Abroad, 
p, 9S et seq. 



OF THEIR OWN FREE WILL 

ways of maJdng the immigrant usdful and contributory. 
It is not the province ot this report to dilate upon this 
branch of the subject. Suffice it to say that to this 
day, over nearly the whole earth, the alien is still 
subject to marked limitations, and that the exploita- 
tion of him is neither a modem nor an American 
invention. 

As for political rights, let alone any degree of par- 
ticipation in the fimctions of government, no nation 
ever has contemplated the possibiUty of such a thing — 
until a few of the American states, clamoring for 
population from any comer of humanity, offered vir- 
tually full political participation to the alien immedi- 
ately upon his mere declaration of intention to apply 
for citizenship — some day! Until the excitement of 
the World War brought public attention to the whole 
question of the position and influence of the foreign 
bom in America, this anomaly remained in force in 
at least a dozen states: Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, 
Indiana, Kansas, Michigan, Missouri, Nebraska, North 
Dakota, South Dakota, Texas, and Oregon. Since 
then it has been abolished by constitutional amendment 
or other legislation in all but two — ^Arkansas and 
Missouri.^ 



LEGAL POSITION OF THE ALIEN 

Thus far, from the point of view of international law 
and custom, it has been left to each nation to regu- 

^ Letters from Attorneys-General of Arkansas and Missouri, as late 
as October^ 1921, state that no change has been made. The Attorney- 
General of Alabama points out that a careful reading of the state 
constitution "discloses that only foreigners who had declared their 
intention ol becoming citizens prior to the adoption of the constitu- 
tion ol 1901 were entitled to register and vote, and that such person 
lost this right if he did not become a citizen at the time that he was 
entitled to become such under the laws of the United States." 

2 « 



AMERICANS BY CHOICE 

late the privileges of, and the restrictions upon» the 
alien, with the exception that certain nations strong 
enough to enforce it have established in certain coun- 
tries held by them to be less than fully "civilized," 
the principle of extra^erriioriality^ by virtue of which 
their nationals must be tried bdFore special tribimals 
supervised by representatives of their own nation. 
Generally speaking, and subject to the rule that aliens 
of all races must be treated alike imder processes of 
law, a nation may deprive the alien of Uberty of action, 
may prohibit or restrict his ownership of property, 
may forbid or delimit his employment in certain kinds 
of work or enterprises, and may expel and deport him, 
at its pleasure. In other words, the status and rights 
of an alien are determined almost absolutely by the 
municipal law in the country in which he is domiciled. 
The only Umitations upon this power are those estab- 
lished by treaties, and by the general spread of humane 
ideas, and the growing feeling — discouraged, perhaps, 
but by no means l^alted, by the World War — of the 
solidarity of the human race. 

In the United States, the rights of the alien include 
personal protection, protection of property already 
acquired, and the use of all means of redress and 
jucUcial protection enjoyed by citizens.^ 

The alien's plight in this country has been compli- 
cated by the peculiar relation subsisting between the 
Federal government and that of the individual states. 
For it has frequently happened that the government 
of the United States has been practically unable to 
enforce the rights of aliens created by treaty when 
traversed by state law. On more than one occasion 

^ This is subject, of course, to the universal exceptions regarding 
alien enemies in time of war; also to such other exceptions as special 
statutes in certain states regarding the holding of real property and 
other matters. 

6 



OF THEIR OWN FREE WILL 

threatening diplomatic situations have been created 
by the existence of this condition. 

This ancient feeling toward the alien, and the 
treatment, legal, extra^legat, and illegal, to which he 
has been subjected in respect of his person, his ffunily, 
and his property, undoubtedly have affected sub- 
stantially his sentiments toward this country. Dis- 
illusionment about the atmosphere and ways of the 
"Land of the Free" is responsible for our loss of the 
citizenship of many desirable immigrants. The man 
who will not submit quietly to injustice is of the ma- 
terial of which our best citizens from the beginning 
have been made. The kind of alibis who can accept 
without resentment some of the things to which those 
ot foreign birth and speech have been subjected within 
our borders during very recent times, are not fit to be 
Americans! ^ 

•WHAT IS AN "AMERICAN"? 

We are concerned just now, however, with the alien, 
not in his general legal or social relations, but as ma- 
terial for active membership in our community as an 
American citizen, as a voting participant in the 
sovereignty held in this country by the people. As 
such, he comes to a position unique in all the world. 
It is not yet true — ^perhaps it will be very long before 
it can be true — ^that there is absolutely no bar to any 
person on account of race; for the law and its inter- 
pretations exclude from citizenship Chinese, Japanese, 
and certain people of India not regarded as "white" — 
although the blacks of Africa are expressly admitted. 
Nevertheless it may be said broadly that, regardless of 
race, the immigrant can come to America and win his 

^ See Kate Holladay Claghom, The Immigrant a Day in Court {in 
preparaiion). 



AMERICANS BY CHOICE 

way upon his own merits into the fellowship of 
what all the world calls "Americans/* 

Now, what is "an American"? What is it that 
makes a nation of us if not a distinctive race? What 
is it that the immigrant joins, body and soul, when he 
becomes "an American"? 

Every little while somebody arises with ashes upon 
his head and bemoans the threatened disappearance 
of what he is pleased to call "the American type." 
He never describes it — ^it is exceedingly difficidt to 
learn what may be meant by the phrase. This is 
not strange, for there is no such thing if a racial type 
is meant. There never has been any such thing. 

Perhaps we know what the expression might mean 
in New England — ^a combination of English, Scotch, 
or Welsh, who in turn would be bred of Dane, Pict, 
and Scot, Saxon and Norman and Kelt, with perhaps 
a strain of French, or maybe of Dutch. In Penn- 
sylvania very likely it would be English Quaker — 
or Plattdeutsch. The French-Spanish combination 
in the Gulf region, the Scandinavian or German 
in the Middle West and Northwest, the Spanish- 
Mexican along the Rio Grande and in southern 
California, and so on, are "American" by a title as 
good as that of those who trace their descent from the 
Pilgrim Fathers. 

John Graham Brooks^ remarks that "our piebald 
miUions" are. now so interwoven with all that we are 
"that to silhouette the American becomes yearly more 
baffling." Says he: 

The early writers have no such misgivings. ... In 1889 I 
met a German correspondent who had been four times to 
the United States. ... He said he brought back from his first 
joiuney a clearly conceived image of the American. He was 



^ John Graham Brooks, As Others See Us, 1909. 

8 



OF THEIR OWN FREE WILL 

** sharp-visaged, nervous, lank, and restless/' After the second 
trip tiiis group of adjectives was abandoned. He saw so 
many people who were not lank or nervous; so many were 
rotund and leisurely, that he rearranged his classification, 
but still with confidence. After a third trip he insisted 
that he could still describe our coimtrymen, but not by exter- 
nal signs. He was driven to express them in terms of char- 
acter. The American was resourceful, inventive, and supreme 
m the pursuit of material ends. "My fourth trip," he said, 
"has knocked out the final attempt with the others. I 
have thrown them all over like a lot of rubbish. I don't 
know what the American is, and I don't believe anyone 
else knows." 

Prof. Franklin H. Giddings, in an informal address 
at Columbia University, imdertook, albeit somewhat 
casually, to point out the characteristics which should 
mark a good American. He must be loyal, must "play 
the game"; must have a local pride not only in the 
quality of his country but in his home conmiumty, 
feeling and exemplifying a moral and civic responsi- 
bility for the betterment of conditions actuated by 
a wise and constructive idealism. Recognizing, no 
doubt, in the very saying of this, that these things 
would mark the good citizen of any nation, he jmx)- 
tested that after all was said, and despite the diflS- 
culty of precise definition, there was something dis- 
tinctive, perceptible, and, in fact, perceived by the 
discerning; real, however subtle and elusive, distin- 
guishing the true American from all other folk-^^*a 
certain sensitiveness to the finer values of life; an 
admiration for these things." 

Well, certainly the ideal American is, and has, and 
does all of this; certainly all Americans ought to be, 
and have, and do all of it! But in all candor and fair- 
ness it must be acknowledged that it would be in- 
vidious and altogether insupportable to claim it or 

9 



AMERICANS BY CHOICE 

any of it as in any proper sense racially distinctive of 
America. 



THE AMERICAN HAS NO RACIAL MARKS 

We cannot isolate any physical characteristics; We 
cannot segregate any particular racial descent; one 
may search in vain for any definable hereditary men- 
tal or spiritual characteristic that will fit or typify all, 
or even many, of the "piebald millions" who inhabit 
and vote, attain success and honor, and, at need, enlist 
or be conscripted for war, in the varied jurisdictions 
of our tremendous stretch of territory between the 
ancient French-Canadian colonies of Maine and the 
Philippines; between the Virgin Islands and Alaska. 
Even local adherence to our slogans of liberty, de- 
mocracy, consent-of-the-govemed, and all the rest of 
our ecstatic vocabulary, no longer insulates or dis- 
tinguishes us in the world. The upspringing democ- 
racies of the Old World, to which we have given ex- 
ample and inspiration as well as emancipation from 
old autocracies, swear by all these phrases as ^oiber- 
antly as we, and may even outstrip us in the political 
incarnation of the ideals which hitherto we have re- 
garded as so peculiarly our own! 

H, then, we can distinguish "the American" neither 
by any physical attribute cS race nor by adherence to 
political forms and f ormube, what is there left for us 
to conserve and to boast about — as our very own? 

Let us come straight to the fact that tliis absence 
of exclusive racial marks is the distinguishing physical 
characteristic of the American. True of him as of no 
other now or ever in the past, is the fact that he is, 
broadly speaking, the product of all races. It is of 
our fundamental history and tradition from the begin- 
ning that in America all peoples may find destination, 

10 



OF THEIR OWN FREE WILL 

if not ref uge, and upon a basis of virtual race equality 
mingle^ and for good or ill, send down to posterity in a 
common stream their racial values — and their racial 
defects. Whether we like it or not, this is the fact. 
We are not a race, in any ethnic sense. At most, we 
are in the very early stages of becoming one. 

Prof. Ulysses G. Weatherly, of Indiana University, 
said:^ 

Every great historical race is a composite of originally 
separate elements merged into a miity whose ruling char- 
acteristic is an increasing integration of culture rather than 
of blood. This process of merging is believed by Gumplowicz 
to constitute the very essence of worid history. 

And he quotes Giunplowicz, in Der Rasaencampf, 
to this effect: 

Throughout the whole history of men stretches a con- 
tinuous process of amalgamation which, beginning with the 
smallest primitive synthetic groups and following a race- 
bmlding law to us unknown, binds tc^ether and amalgamates 
small, heterogenous groups into even larger unities, into 
peoples, races, and nations, perpetually bringing them into 
conflict against other similarly constituted and amalgamated 
peoples, nations, and races, and through this conflict into 
ever new fields of conquest and culture, which again con- 
solidates and amalgamates the heterogenous elements. 

The American people has been and is being made 
by exactly this process. We are in the midst of the 
making of the '"American." It does not yet appear 
what he shall be, but one thing is certain, he is not 
to be of any particular racial type now distinguishable. 
Saxon, Teuton, and Kelt, Latin and ' Slav — ^to say 
nothing of any appreciable contribution by yellow 
and brown races as yet negligible in this aspect of the 

^ Proceeding» of the American Sociological Society^ vol. v, p. 57, 
etc, paper on "The Racial Element in Social Assimilation." 

11 



AMERICANS BY CHOICE 

question — each of the races that we now know on 
this soil will have its share of "ancestorial" responsi- 
bility for the "typical American" that is to be. 



NOT RACIAL, BUT CULTURAL 

Leaving for the long future, then, the evolution of 
the hereditary type, is there so soon something "home 
grown," some "integration of culture," that is pecul- 
iarly our own? Every American knows in his heart 
that however subtle and elusive, however difficult of 
definition, there is something real that distinguishes 
"America." 

In the attempt to fix the boundaries for the new 
Poland, the Peace Conference sought in vain for some 
limits of language or of political unity on which to 
base their demarcation. It came down at last to a 
simple question: 

"Do you want to he Poles?** 

And the question was enough. 

Who doubts the answer to the question: Do you ward 
to be American? There is something more than love 
of home, something higher than the liking of a cat 
for the warm place under the familiar stove, that stirs 
the heart of every normal American when he sees the 
Stars and Stripes. The alien who declares it his inten- 
tion to become a citizen of the United States may not 
be able to put it in words, but he means, and he knows 
that he means, something real and vital, recognizes a 
substantial distinction, when he says that he wants to 
he an American! 

There must be, there is, there has been always, in 

the midst of the racial chaos which to-day constitutes 

perhaps our greatest social problem, something that 

may be called nationally even if not yet racially 

American; something indigenous on this soil as on no 

12 



OF THEIR OWN FREE WILL 

other. It belongs to us. Up to a time beginning a 
quarter of a century ago, when the so-called "new 
immigration" from southeastern Europe and southern 
Russia set in in full flood, and now anew in the experi- 
ences of the World War, it was and has again become, 
a thing shared by all of our racial groups and ele- 
ments — peculiarly American. It answers the test set 
forth by Professor Weatherly in the paper already 
quoted, of the completion of the nationalizing proc- 
ess: **. . * when the things of the spirit are held in 
common and cherished by all, even if some specific 
ethnic or linguistic diflFerences survive." Or, m the 
words which he attributes to Renan: 

To have a common glory in the past, a common will in 
the present; to have done great things together, to desire 
to do still greater — these are the essential conditions for 
being a People. 

Professor Weatherly repeatedly emphasizes the great 
point — ^that "it is not suflScient that peoples shoidd 
merely have undergone similar experiences" in order 
to be knit into a nation; "they must have undergone 
them together.** Most of the great modem nations, as 
he says, have passed through the same processes of 
social change, "but in actual adjustment to such 
change each has had its own separate career." 

Twenty-five years ago it was true that the term 
"American" meant one who, of whatever racial de- 
scent, represented something very definite, of tradition, 
experience, .and achievement— ^nd of promise, too — 
"a conmion glory in the past, a common will in the 
present"; "great things done together, and a desire to 
do still greater"; unity determined not by external 
facts alone, but by sentiment. 

Now, dimly as we yet realize it, it is true again. 

A baptism of blood and suffering, of sacrifice and self- 
is 



AMERICANS BY CHOICE 

denialy and of common experience in a vast world 
emergency, and out of it a vision of better under- 
standing and a great work before us to be done, have 
gone far to restore that unity of appreciation of "great 
things done together** and of will to do still greater 
which was our common glory — ^and was getting lost. 
We had, we have now, a right to be both proud and 
jealous of the heritage left us by our fathers of many 
races, and now watered by the blood of our own gen- 
^ation, and to look with concern, if not with dismay, 
upon what might portend a swaUowing up of this moral, 
this sentimental unity, in a great inundation of new- 
comers, who, however weU intending as individuals, 
have not shared our tradition and experience, and who 
seem not to have been fitted by any experience of their 
own to assimilate either the tradition of our past or 
our aspiration for the futiu^. 

^ ESSENTIALS OF " AMERICANISM " ^ 

There are essentials distinctively American upon 
which we can base our definition of "America" and 
typify her in the human being who by spirit, vision, 
and vigilance best represents our tradition and our 
aspiration. Such a definition will hold against the 
world — even against those of our own household who 
neither exemplify nor understand it. The sum total 
of these essentials is not paralleled iiow, nor in history, 
anywhere else on earth. For of America alone it may 
be said: 

That however lamely and insuflSciently we have 
lived up to it, our country is traditionally the refuge for 
the oppressed of every land. 

That here the individual has found a fuller 'freedom 
to seek his happiness in his own way. More than any 
other nation, America has never recognized a political 

14 



/ 



OF THEIR OWN FREE WELL 

autocracy, has reckoned Man above every considera- 
tion of property, dass, or dynasty. 

That here only has the indimdual male from the begin- 
ning been deemed the vUimate politiixd unit — ""one 
man, one vote," The countiy-wide adoption of Woman 
Suffrage extends this concept to include women. 

That however crudely we have practiced it, we have 
aspired to estimate essential justice and the commxm sense 
of right relationship— fair play between mah and man- 
as tiie final standard a^d appeal of human condu^ct^ 
over against every claim of precedent and authority. 

That from the outset of this nation,rthe distinguish- 
ing spirit of America has been a protest against Mili- 
tarism and the domination of tfie professional soldier^ 
against compulsory military service in time of peace.\ 
Our army and navy, always'^tnought of as instrumen-/ 
talities of last resort, reserved almost wholly for defense 
against aggression from 'without, have on principle 
been always under the control and direction of civilians 
as suchf and in peace^ time have been recruited by 
voluntary enlistment. (This one fact of freedom from 
nulitary conscription has been the distinction of Amer- 
ica which, more than any 'other thing, has attracted 
Europeans to our fellowship^ They have fought for us 
and with us, but always with the American motive, em- 
bodied in the final great fact, which is America's alone: 

That when we have gone to war, our civilians armed 

and fighting unth the devotion, courage, and effectiveness 

inspired only by the sense of a righteous cause, it has 

always been for liberty. At the beginning, in 1776, and 

again in 1812, we fought England to free ourselves. 

In 1845, despite the motive of the Slave Power to 

extend the area of slavery, so far as the motive of the 

people in general was concerned we were fighting 

Mexico to free our fellows in Texas. In 1861 we fought 

a great civil war to maintain our free Union and to 

15 



AMERICANS BY (CHOICE 

liberate the negro slaves. In 1898 we fought Spain to 
free the Cubans, and notwithstanding this, our sole 
sin of imperialism, in the long run we shall have freed 
also the Fnipinos. In 1917 we participated, no doubt 
decisively, in the struggle to free Europe from the 
threat of domination by the military autocracy of 
Germany. "To make the world safe for democracy" 
— ^that was ^le appeal which brought the hearts of 
the American people into the war. Of no other great 
nation can it be said that it ne^er went to war except for 
liberty. 

This is "America." This ensemble of tradition and 
significance is what makes native and newcomer alike 
want to be an American. This is what stirs our hearts 
when we see the Stars and Stripes. We prize these 
things not alone because they are ours, not alone be- 
cause in their power and glory they are peculiarly, 
exclusively American; but still more because they are 
worthy to be prized, and because they promise the 
ultimate incarnation of the dreams of men of good will 
since ever man first lifted his eyes from the ground and 
visioned Brotherhood. 



16 



n 

NEW MEMBERS AND AN OLD GAME 

It would be too much to say that the average immigrant 
from any country visions when he leaves his home the 
"America" outlined in the previous qhapter, or even 
that he perceives it when, at some time after he arrives, 
he files his declaration of intention to seek citizenship. 
Doubtless in the ordinary case he comes merely to 
improve his personal, social, and economic condition; 
to put it bluntly, to get a better job. [Nevertheless, we 
should do ourselves and our long-standing reputation 
in the world a great injustice if we did not recognize 
and take pride in the fact that the people of all races 
turn their faces hither not only with hope of oppor- 
tunity to better their condition, but with a stirring of 
soul at the thought of what they believe awaits them 
in a land of wider libe^ty.^ That they do not always 
find us living up to our bc/ast, so far as they are con- 
cerned, is the defect not of our tradition or, in the long 
run, of our intention, but of our practice, 
V At the outset the immigrant does not think about 
citizenship at all. The statistics gathered by this 
Study show conclusively that the average alien waits 
more than ten years before applying for citizenship. 
That even if he comes as early as sixteen he waits imtil 
he is twenty-eight before he files his final petition. And 
the vast majority of the men come between the ages 

(rf sixteen and thirty — ^just at the time of life when, it 

17 



AMERICANS BY CHOICE 

would seem» active participation in the political life 
of the country ought to be most appealing, j 

FACTORS IN IMBaGRATION 

The alien does not come with any direct interest in 
citizenship. He comes to improve his status. And 
this motive has two aspects; the impulse is twofold — 
a push from behind aiid a pull from in front, sometimes 
one, usually both. The statistics displaying the fluc- 
tuations of what Prof. Frank J. Wame calls "The Tide 
of Immigration'' are luminous in their reflection of this 
piu^ly human fact. In order to see it stand forth, one 
must keep it yividly in mind that these tables of sta- 
tistics are not mere exhibits of mathematical digits, 
but lists of human beings, inspired by motives precisely 
like our own. The 148,093 subjects of His Britannic 
Majesty — ^mostly Irish — ^who came to America in 1848 
were, each of them, a specific individual human soul, 
impelled by the fact that the potato famine, or what- 
not else at home, interfered with the adequacy of his 
meals; and attracted by the belief that he would 
find things better in America. The one lone Russian 
recorded in that year presumably represented precisely 
the same interplay of motives. The heavy German 
immigration in 185£, 1853, and 1854 was made up of 
men, women, and children who found conditions in- 
tolerable because of the rei»*essions ensuing upon the 
revolutionary movement of *48. And so on. On the 
other hand, the shrinkages in the figures in various 
later periods, in a general way, coincide with the times 
of industrial depression, unemployment, etc., in this 
country; things were not so attractive here as to offer 
substantial improvement upon the situation at home. 
The six sources whence we have derived the bulk 
of our new population are Great Britain and Ireland; 

18 



NEW MEMBERS AND AN OLD GAME 

the three Scandinavian countries of Norway, Sweden, 
and Denmark; Germany, Austria-Hungary, Italy, and 
Russia — ^in the seventy-eight years from 1840 down to 
and including 1918, when inunigration virtually stopped 
owing to the conditions created by the World War. 
Immigration since then has been subject to influences 
so different from those prevailing before, and as yet 
so little understood, that intelligent comparisons would 
be perilous.^ 

Students of inunigration have usually built their 
generalizations upon totals of inflow, frequently over- 
looking the striking disparity of time and numbers 
among the various racial groups. Yet there is much sig- 
nificance in this disparity. Professor Wame, for ex- 
ample, in the Annals of the American Academy of 
Political Science (1920), in an analysis generally of the 
upward and downward curves of immigration from' 
all coimtries during the century since 1820, says: 

By studying the yearly figures . . . and relating them to 
events of industrial or economic history, we are able to 
miderstand what is probably the most significant of all the 
operating forces or influences at work behind this great move- 
ment of population across the Atlantic. For illustration, 
the niunber of immigrant arrivals strikingly decreased from 
nearly 482,000 in 1854 to 200,877 the following year, a 
decrease of more than one-half. This falling off reflected 
the effects of the greatest financial panic ever experienced 
in the United States up to that time. 

Well enough for a generalization based on totals; 
but it is not to be overlooked that at that very point 
the then comparatively small immigration from Italy 
more than doubled between 1853 and 1854, jumping 
from 535 to 1,263, and remained above 1,000 with the 
exception of one year, until 1860. Again Professor 
Wame; 

^ See report of Commissioner-General of Immigration, 1920. 

19 



/ 



AMERICANS BY CHOICE 

The ensuing industrial depression was followed closely by 
the Civil War, and it was not until 1873 that the yearly 
inflow again reached as large a volume, the number being 
nearly 460,000. 

But it was precisely during the hottest and most 
critical years of the Civil War that German immigra- 
tion increased. It had been relatively low between 
1854 and 1865 (in which latter year it was 58,153), 
but jumped in 1866 to 120,218, and (with the excep- 
tion of 1871, when it fell to 82,554) remained high 
until and including 1873, when it almost touched 
150,000. It would seem that something must have 
been going on in Germany to drive these people out 
against the adverse economic conditions prevailing 
here. 

The year 1873 [continues Professor Wame] marks another 
panic, and a striking decrease the following years in the 
niunber of alien arrivals is again recorded. 

But the Austrian, Italian, and Russian immigration, 
which had been relatively insignificant up to 1869 
and 1870, was higher in 1870-75 than ever before, and 
with minor ups and downs increased more or less 
steadily up to the very high figures of the past two 
decades, which gave rise to the widely believed legend 
entitled, "The New Inunigration." 

The question of means of livelihood, of a better job, 
is doubtless the chief factor, but it is not the only 
factor. Any job at all in a free country is better, 
for any man worth his salt, than a far better-paid job 
under conditions of oppression. The man who leaves 
his homeland to adventure even under adverse condi- 
tions, because he cannot tolerate political tyranny, 
used to be regarded per se as fit for American citizen- 
ship. He is still fit, even though he belong to the 

20 



NEW MEMBERS AND AN OLD GAME 

traditional "New Immigration"; even though of late 
we have tended rather to discourage the idea that 
personal liberty is valuable in and of itself. It is still 
true that along with our fame as a land where eco- 
nomic opportunity is to be found, the men and 
women of other lands are attracted by what they 
still believe to be our atmosphere of liberty. 

POLITICS WELCOBiES THE IRISH 

The Irish immigration was earliest in the field, and first 
to profit by the hit-or-miss methods of naturalization 
which prevailed in the old shiftless days. They oc- 
cupied socially at the outset very much the same posi- 
tion that the "New Immigration" has occupied during 
the past twenty years; but the American politician, 
to whose mill any kind of a biped who might vote 
was grist, welcomed it, and quickly taught the Irishman 
the methods of the game. 

How solidly the Irish were installed before the Ger- 
mans began to arrive in large numbers appears in 
Table I, showing the two streams of immigration 
between 1820 and 1840. Prior to 1840 there was no 
appreciable inflow from any other countries. It should 
be added that it was not until 1854, and then only 
for that one year, that the German immigration over- 
took the Irish. It did not again equal it until 1867. 

THEY ALWAYS HAVE BEEN DEMOCRATS 

The traditional fidelity of the Irish to the Democratic 
party began forthwith. The elements in the popu- 
lation which were Whigs, and afterward became Re- 
publicans tended, on the whole, to be the more pros- 
perous folk of the community; also they were largely 
of the Protestant faith. Very early in our political 
3 21 



AMERICANS BY CHOICE 

history, therefore, there came to be, to some extent, 
a division in which both social standing and religion 
played a part. Most of the Irish were poor, and nearly 
all of them were Roman Catholics. The Democratic 

TABLE I 
Immigbation FBOif Ibbland and Germany Each Ybab 

FROM 1820 TO 1840 



Ybab 



1820 
1821 
1822 
1823 
1824 
1825 
1826 
1827 
1828 
1829 
18S0 
1831 
1832 
1833 
1834 
1835 
1836 
1837 
1838 
1839 
1840 



Ibbland 



Qbbmant 



3,614 


968 


1.518 


383 


2,267 


148 


1,908 


183 


2,345 


230 


4,888 


450 


5,408 


511 


9,766 


482 


12,488 


1,851 


7,415 


597 


2,721 


1,976 


5,772 


2,418 


12,436 


10,194 


8,648 


6,988 


24,474 


17,686 


20,927 


8,311 


30,578 


20,707 


28,508 


23,740 


12,645 


11,683 


23,963 


21,028 


39,430 


29,704 ^ 



party was rather the party of the poor and the foreign 
bom, and when the great influx of Roman Catholic 
Irish injected also the religious issue, it was only 
natural that a kind of racial allegiance should attach 
the Irish to the Democratic party. The Know-Nothing 
and Native American agitations of the middle of the 

22 



NEW MEMBEBS AND AN OLD GAME 

last century deepened the rift, and confirmed the Irish 
in their political faith. 

Gustavus Myers says, in his History of Tammany 
HaU: 1 

About the year 1840 . . . Tammany began to be ruled from 
the bottom of the social stratum. . . . The policy of encourag- 
ing foreigners, at first mildly started in 18128, was now de- 
veloped into a system. The Whigs antagonized the entrance 
of foreign-bom citizens into politics, and the Native American 
Party was organized expressly to bar them ahnost entirely 
from the enjoyment of political rights. The immigrant had 
no place to turn but Tammany Hall. In part to assure itself 
this vote, the organization opened a bureau, a modest begin- 
ning of what became a colossal department. An office estab- 
lished in the Wigwam, to which specially paid agents or 
organization runners brought the immigrant, drilled into 
him the advantages of joining Tammany, and furnished him 
the means and legal machinery needed to take out his 
naturalization papers. . . . Tammany took the immigrant 
in charge, cared for him, made him feel that he was a human 
being with distinct poUtical rights, and converted him into 
a citizen. How sagacious this was, each year revealed. Lnmi- 
gration soon poured in heavily, and there came a time when 
the foreign vote outnumbered that of the native-bom 
citizens. 

It is true, but irrelevant, that in an earlier day 
Tammany had been as anti-foreign as anybody — origi- 
nally it was decidedly aristocratic in tone. Myers re^ 
cites how, on the night of April 24, 1817, two hundred 
Irishmen marched to the Wigwam "'to impress upon 
the Committee the wisdom of nominating (for Con- 
gress) Thomas Addis Emmett, as well as other Irish 
Catholics on the Tammany ticket in the future." 

All this had long since become ancient history by 
1840. Long before that time the Irish devotion to 

^ Gustavus Myers, Hutory cf Tammany HaU, p. 128 et $eq, 

23 



AMERICANS BY CHOICE 

the Democratic party in general, and to TanmiABy 
Hall in particular, had become deeply rooted. 

EARLY GERMANS BECAME REPUBLICANS 

The Germans, who, as has been shown, formed the 
second great wave in the "tide of immigration," began 
to come in formidable numbers about 1836, passing 
the 30,000 mark in 1845. While they were, on the 
whole, better educated and possibly more intelligent 
than the Irish, they were handicapped, as the Irish 
were not, by difference of language; so that for the prac* 
tical purposes of the native American politician they 
were equally ignorant. And the mass of the immigrants 
of both races were peasants without experience in 
relation to political participation. 

Very many of the Germans, however, had fled from 
the repressions at home preceding, accompanying, and 
following the revolutionary movements about 1848; 
they were to a great extent Protestants, and they were 
naturally opposed to slavery — ^though this is not to 
say that the Irish ever favored it. Generally speaking, 
Germans reacted favorably to the Republican party. 

Both races took American politics as they foimd it. 
Let it not be supposed that corruption was the ex- 
clusive invention or hall mark of Tanmiany Hall! 
Even in England, at this time, politics was a dirty 
business. The Whigs did their best to beat Tammany 
at the game in which it had become expert. Myers says '} 

In the fall election of 1838 the Whig frauds were enormous 
and indisputable. The Whigs raised large sums of money, 
which were handed to ward workers for the procuring c^ 
votes. About two hundred roughs were brought from Phila- 
delphia, in different divisions, each man receiving $1212. . . • 
Ex-convicts distributed Whig tickets and busily auctioneered. 

^ Gustavos Myen, Eiitory cf Tammany Hall, p. 118. 



NEW MEMBERS AND AN OLD GAME 

The cabins of all the vessels along the wharves were ran- 
sadced, and every man, whether or not a citizen or resident 
of New York, who could be wheedled into voting a Whig 
ballot, was rushed to the polls and his vote smuggled in. 

This was the electioD which made William H. Seward 
Governor of the state of New York! 

EFFECTS OF THE GOLD CRAZE 

The whole situation was intensified during the years 
when corruption reached its greatest heights by the 
conditions ensuing upon the discovery of gold in 
California. The port of New York welcomed ships 
from the west coast bringing gold, and ships from 
across the Atlantic bringing immigrants. The '" bulge" 
in th^ curve of immigration from Great Britain and 
Ireland, Germany, and Scandinavia in the period 
1849-54 imdoubtedly represents preponderantly the 
reaction abroad to the tales of gold to be found on 
the street comers of America. 

And the immigrant stepped into an atmosphere of 
corruption in every field — ^including politics. The 
whole country was more or less money mad. The 
effect of the gold craze, as Myers (page 154) says, "was a 
still further lowering of the public tone; standards were 
generally lost sight of, and all means of 'getting ahead' 
came to be considered legitimate. Politics, trafficking 
in nominations and political influence, found it a most 
auspicious time.'' 

VAST NATTJBALI2ATION FRAUDS 

It is hard to realize now the public attitude of those old 

days on the subject of naturalization. ) There was a 

fabulous amount of virgin territory to be opened; new 

communities needed population, and especially n^uscle 

labor; lavish inducements, including the right to vote, 

25 






AMERICANS BY CHOICE 

were hdd out to an3rthing in the form of a man who 
could be brought to help m the task. It was many 
years before citizenship came to be regarded as a 
precious thing, to be guarded with scrupulous vigi- 
lance. And as both of the great political parties were 
guilty of crimes against the ballot box» it was taken for 
granted that th^r were inevitable in poUtics. 

The vexatious technicalities which now seem so unjust 
to many an applicant for citizenship are, after all, only 
reaction at the other extreme to the incredible laxity 
which characterized the process in the early years. 
The population of what was then New York City was 
only 515,547 in 1850; 813,669 in 1860; and 942,292 
in 1870; but in the eight years, 1860-67, inclusive, more 
than 67,000 aliens were naturalized in that city alone. 
The naturalizations in New York City in each year 
from 1856 to 1867, inclusive, in only two courts — ^the 
Superior Court and the Court of Common Pleas — an 
average of more than 9,000 a year is shown in the fol- 
lowing table: 

TABLE n 

Number of Auenb Naturalize]) Each Year rRoii | 
1856 TO 1867 IN Two Courts in New York Citt * 

I - 

YbaB NUMBM 

1856 (Presidential election) 16,498 

1857 8,991 

1858 6,769 

1859 7,636 

1860 (Presidential election) 13,556 

1861 3,903 

1862 2,414 

1863 2,633 

1864 (Presidential election) 12,171 

1865 7,428 

1866 13,023 

1867 15,476 



' John I. Davenport, The Wig and the Jimmy, p. If: 

26 



NEW MEMBEBS AND AN OLD GAME 

These figures^are taken from a curious pamphlety pub- 
lished in 1869 by John I. Davenport, who was United 
States Commissioner and Chief Supervisor of Elections 
for the Southern District of New York, under the cryptic 
title. The Wig and the Jimmy ^ which tells in detail the 
story of the debauching of naturalization by these two 
courts. The year 1868, however, saw the scandal reach 
imprecedented heights. Says Mr. Davenport: ^ 

. . . Notwithstanding that the yearly average of naturali- 
zations had been but about 9,000; that the greatest number 
naturalized in a single year never reached 16,500; that three 
years had elapsed since the dose of the war in which S5,927 
aliens had been made citizens, a yearly average of 11,975, 
or an excess of 8,000 per year above the annual average for 
twelve years; that the addition of such excess to the diminished 
niunbers naturalized in 1862, 1863, and 1864 would preserve 
the ratio, and account for those who from fear of being 
drafted had refrained from applying during those years of 
the war; that the rebellion had reduced the alien population 
of New York City, many of wham enlisted, were killed, 
died from disease, or after the war found homes elsewhere; 
and, finally, that the yearly average of emigration (sic) from 
and including 1847 to 1860 — a period of 18 years — ^had been 
197,435, while for the four years from 1860 to 1863 inclusive 
— and none who arrived subsequently could be legally 
naturalized in 18.68 — ^the yearly average of alien arrivals had 
be^i but 100,962, or an annual loss of one-half, yet orders 
were early in September passed along the Democratic line to 
prepare on a gigantic scale for- the naturalization of aliens 
during the coming month. The Supreme Court also deter- 
mined for the first time to engage in the work of making 
citizens. In accordance with this known determination, 
there were printed for the use of the courts ... a total of 
30,000 applications and 30,000 certificates for the Superior 
Court, and 75,000 applications and 89,000 certificates for the 
amateur court [Supreme]. 

^ John I. Davenport, The Wig and the Jimmyp pp. 12^18. 

27 



AMERICANS BY CHOICE 

The Court of Common Pleas, which save for a year or two 
previous had done the larger share of the work of naturaliza- 
tion, did but little in 1868, its total for the year being 3,145, 
o( which 1,645 were in October. Justice requires the further 
statement that there was no evidence whatever of any fraud 
in this court, although all its judges were elected as Demo- 
crats, while proof was abundant that the duty entrusted to 
it of making citizens of the United States was discharged 
throughout with marked propriety and dignity. 

In the Supreme and Superior Coiu-ts only were frauds 
proven. To what extent we will now consider. The following 
table was sworn to as being the daily number of applications 
for naturalization on file in the Supreme Court Clerk's office 
for 1868: 

TABLE m 

Appucants for Naturalization in Supreme 
Court, New York City, in October, 1868 



October 6 


6 


** 7 


8 


8 


379 


9 


668 


" 10 


717 


12 


723 


18 


901 


14 


528 


*' 15 


857 


16 


721 


" 17 


633 


*' 19 


955 


20 


944 


" 21 


773 


" 22 


675 


" 23 


587 




Total 


10.070 





The significance of these great totals of applications 
for naturalization within a few days before election 

28 



NEW MEMBERS AND AN OLD GAME 

appears in Mr. Davenport's summaiy of the behavior 
of the judges:^ 

But the essential aid rendered by these judges need not 
^ be further detailed. It was mainly comprised of one or more 

of the following derehctions of duty: 
V I. Hasty and incomplete examination of applicants and 

witnesses. 
"Ill n. Total neglect at times to examine the one class or the 
other. 

in. Through negligence, imposition, which mi^t easily 
have been guarded against, or direct compUcity, the issue 
of certificates in the names of persons who never appeared 
in Court, appUed therefor, produced a witness, or took an 
oath. 

IV. Similar issue of certificates to applicants, persons of 
assumed or fictitious names and others, upon the oath of 
residence and moral character of persons of assumed and 
fictitious names, or of known criminals and persons of im- 
moral character. 

V. Similar issue of certificates upon "minor applications" 
when the persons to whom such certificates issued were known, 
or could readily have been ascertakied to be, unentitled thereto 
on such applications. 

VI. Total neglect or refusal to commit known disreputable 
i persons and others whose business it was for pecuniary or 

other consideration to act as witnesses, and who in such 
capacity repeatedly appeared before them. 

Vn. The conducting of naturalization proceedings in a 
secret mamier, by causing citizens and others to be denied 
admission to the court-room, or ejected therefrom when 
observed. 

The Judiciary Committee of the New York State 
Assembly, in a report upon the first notorious elec- 
tion frauds made to that House of the state legis- 
lature thirty years before, or on April 6, 1838, already 
had registered the fact that this was no post-war 

^ John I. Davenport, The Wig and the Jimmy , pp. 17-18. 

29 




A 



AMERICANS BY CHOICE 

state of a£Pairs> and depicted the situation of which the 
frauds of 1868 were only cme year's fruit: 

Men vote who do not reside id the ward» often not in the 
state; aliens are frequently brought to the polls and their 
vote imposed upon the inspectors, although many of them 
have not been a week in the country; and voters are not id- 
frequently taken from poll to poll, voting id three or four 
different wards at the same election. These are the frauds 
constantly practiced at our elections, to the disgrace of the 
state, and to the manifest wrong of the country. 



It was partly the sense of the great public danger 
ying in such conditions, partly the growing anti- 
foreign feeling, and altogether an improving public 
morality, that beginning about 1870 and increasing 
as the years passed, brought about the cleansing of 
public elections and the reform embodied in the natural- 
ization law of 1906 which has totally abolished the 
situation into which the immigrants cS the mid-century 
and earlier stepped as into a swamp. ^ Still survives in 
some quarters the notion that the alien is hurried from 
the ship to the ballot box, and that he pours therein 
some corrupting influence brought with him from 
abroad. The latter never was true; he has accepted 
and taken advantage of the situation which we ourselves 
created and suffered for generations to exist. The 
former was true during three-quarters of a century, 
but it is true no longer, and has not been true for 
nearly two decades. 

FIBST CHOICE IN POLITICS 

Bear it in mind that the chief motive of the new- 
comer is the same as that which usually leads men to 
go anywhere — ^the desire to "better himself." It is 
notable that a very large number of immigrants arrive 
with the notion that the Republican party is the " party 

SO 



NEW MEMBERS AND AN OLD GAME 

of prosperity," of the "full dinner pail»" high wages* 
and the other advantages which have been the widely 
advertised slogans of that party. Without passing 
upon the question of the truth of these slogans, one may 
note that what actually happens is that the inunigrant's 
real search is for that connection, political or industrial, 
which involves employment and other advantages of 
a material kind. As soon as the conditions permit, he 
joins the penumbra of the political organization which 
has jobs to distribute, which controls public contracts 
and the wages that go with them. That means Tam- 
many and the Democratic party in New York City; 
in Philadelphia it means the Republican organization, 
which in its day has followed and in some respects 
surpassed Tammany in all the ways of political cor- 
ruption and machinism. In other cities it has been 
to this party or that, as the dominant color shifted, 
that the immigrant has swung. 

As long as the naturalization process was the sport 
of corrupt politics, the political organizations gave 
early attention to the alien. With the institution of 
the present stringent law and practice, however, and 
idso with the vast magnitude of the flood — swamping 
all the machinery which had been devised to absorb 
the inunigrants — the politicians up to a recent time 
ceased to pay any attention to them. One of the 
results of this has been a considerable increase in the 
lapse of time between the arrival of the inmiigrant and 
his first steps in the direction of citizenship. One of 
the most enterprising of the younger leaders of Tam- 
many Hall said to the present writer some months ago: 

We don't pay any attention to the alien until he comes 

to us for some favor — ^a job, a peddling license, some help 

when his boy is arrested, or assistance in getting out his 

naturalization papers. There's too many of 'em. When 

they do come, we do what we can for them, and naturally 

31 



AMERICANS BY CHOICE 

we say: "Well, how about it? Are you going to see the 
Democratic organization only when you want something? 
Why aren't you a citizen? G^t yourself naturalized and 
then come along with us. " 

All of which is veiy natural and human, and a good 
illustration of the way in which the politician gets his 
hold upon the individual voter — ^newcomer or native. 
, The war created a new interest in the alien, brought 
dew pressure upon him to become a citizen. Private 
concerns demanded at least "first papers" as a condi- 
tion for employment; labor organizations intensified 
their insistence upon citizenship, or at least declara- 
tion of intention, as a prerequisite to membership; 
laws were passed in many states increasing the dis- 
abilities of aliens*) And the political organizations 
generally have returned, but in a far better spirit, to 
the former search for voters among the foreign bom; 
creating committees and biu^aus to assist the alien 
in getting naturalization, and resuming the old "hand- 
picking" methods of getting the foreign bom into 
active participation. 

Little attention has been paid to the extent to which 
the politicians use private jobs as a part of their 
patronage. Not only the petty employments in saloons 
and even brothels have been at the disposal of the local 
leaders; but places for unskilled labor with street- 
railroad corporations and other public utilities needing 
the franchises and privileges in the public streets, have 
been utilized as the coin-current of local political 
traffic. Not infrequently a merchant finds that the 
stringency of the enforcement of ordinances regarding 
his buildings, blocking sidewalks with his merchandise, 
etc., is considerably mitigated after he has acted upon 
the suggestion of a district leader as to the employ- 
ment of some person as truck hand or watchman. 

And the writer well remembers one occasion, many 

32 



#- 



NEW MEMBERS AND AN OLD GAME 

years ago in Chicago^ when the street-railroad com- 
panies were keenly interested in an aldermanic elec- 
tion, wherein the polling places in certain doubtful 
wards wei^ blocked by long lines of obviously foreign- 
bom laborers, few if any of them voters, who did not 
attempt to vote, but monopolized the line for blocks, 
efiFectively slowing down the voting so as to prevent 
the real voters from getting to the polls at all! 

THE POLITICIAN CLOSE TO HUMANTTT 

The secret of the whole business lies in the fact that 
political machines, and the political bosses of all sizes 
and grades who make up their stafiFs, are powerful 
and long-lived in just the measure to which they grow 
out of and identify their activities with the rank and 
file of the community^ — clear down to the bottom. The 
vote of a new-made citizen bom in Galicia or Syria 
or Portugal is just as good for his purpose as that of 
a Son of the American Revolution — ^vastly more so 
if (as sometimes happens) the new voter will follow 
his "advice*' and the old one will not! Furthermore, 
their vitality, especially in the poorer sections, is 
commensurate with the constancy of their activities; 
that is, their practical utility to tl^ people all the time» 
for all purposes. As William Bennet Munro says: ^ 

The work which the party organizations lay out to do, and 
in large measure actually perform, is extensive and exacting. 
It does not, as in Europe, all fall within the few weeks which 
precede an election; it is spread over the whole year. 



« 



And he goes on to describe, aptly, ^diy this work is 
spread over the whole year," and how h; comes about 
that the boss, little or big, acquires so great an influ- 

^ William Bennet MunrOt OowmmerU cf American CUies, Mac- 
millan, 1912, p. 167 et seq, 

33 



iC 



AMERICANS BY CHOICE 

ence in his bailiwick. What he says applies most 
aptly to the so-called "poorer districts,", where the 
foreign-bom voters live in the greatest numbers: 

It seems usually to be forgotten that the evolution of the 
boss follows the law of natiu^ selection, which in this case 
secures the survival of the man who is most resourceful Id 
using to full advantage the conditions that he finds about him. 
To gain even a ward leadership and to hold this post requires 
industry, perseverance, and no end (^ shrewd tactfulness. 
He must not be content with doing the work that comes to 
him; he must look for things to do. As his work consists 
mainly in doing favors for voters, he must inspire requests 
as well as grant them. Therefore he encourages voters to 
come to him for help when they are out of work, or in any 
other sort of trouble. When a voter is arrested, the ward 
or district leader will lend his services to secure bail or to 
provide counsel, or will arrange to have the offender's fine 
paid for him. Then there are the day-to-day favors which 
the local boss stands ready to do for all who come to him, 
provided they are voters or can influence voters^ 

Picturing the boss thus as the district philanthropist, 
the description goes on to enlarge upon the more sin- 
ister uses to which the power thus gained is devoted, 
in punishing disloyalty. And this is even more eflFective 
upon those relatively unfamiliar with the niceties, the 
ins-and-outs, of public administration: 

If a word from the boss wUl get one man employment, a 
word will ako, very often, procure another employee's dis- 
missal. At a hint from him, the small shopkeeper, the ped- 
dler, the pawnbroker, the hackman, can be worried daily 
by the police or by the health and sanitary officials of the 
city on baseless or imaginary pretexts — ^tactics in which, 
as the history of almost every larg» city shows, the ma- 
chinery is unrelenting and vindictive. 

The affirmative side of the district leader's activity 
is the one that makes most impression upon the neigh- 

34 



NEW MEMBERS AND AN OLD GAME 

borhood. Almost eveiy sort of reformer, who would 
bring to the foreign-speaking district a sense of the 
need for voting for a different sort of alderman, for ex- 
ample, lives in another part of town, represents another 
stratum of society, comes into no sort of natural touch 
with his foreign-bom fellow citizen. But the latter 
knows the district leader — ^last winter he got a job, 
a little coal, a bed in a hospital for his wife; his boy 
was let ofF by the police after a piece of reckless mis- 
chief; or there was some other human favor; and all 
the return he is asked to make — cheap enough, to be 
sure — ^is that on election day he shall vote as tJie dis- 
trict leader who helped him in his need asks him to vote. 
What difference does it make to him? Show him a 
difference, convince him that something real, something 
that he can understand, is involved, and he will 
respond. But nobody shows him. "Uptown," whence 
comes the reformer whom he does not know, and 
whose motives he has no substantial reason to respect, 
does not understand his life or its problems; does not 
even live in the ward. The district leader does. He 
is his neighbor, and he sees him almost every day. 

Then, too, the political organization meets him on 
the social side, provides a dub, which in the intervab 
between elections gives entertainments, has pool tables, 
provides cigars; used to provide liquor. A spirit ot 
fellowship grows up; the new foreign-born voter gains 
acquaintance at the natural point of contact between 
his daily life and the politics into which he is being 
introduced. The result is obvious. 

POLITICAL ASPECTS OF SOCIAL CLUBS 

The spontaneous groups of foreign-speaking people of 
nearly every race, which have sprung up everywhere in 
response to the varied needs of the strangers within 

35 



AMERICANS BY CHOICE 

our gates — social, insurance, musical, athletic, etc. — 
necessarily and naturally take on political aspects. 
As President Wilson said once, ^^ politics is human 
nature"; there is nothing sinister about this fact. It 
is wholesome that groups of folk, coming together 
spontaneously about a nucleus of common interest, 
should consider together and act together, in regard 
to such public matters as they think concern them. 
The only thing that is really dangerous in a republic 
is stolid indifference; it is on that that corruption and 
injustice feed. 

In the matter of helping their fellow countrymen to 
secure naturalization, these organizations perform a 
service of value and importance both to the alien and 
to the country. Many of these racial societies devote 
much attention to old-countiy politics, and form nests 
of propaganda and even more concrete activity whose 
effects are felt not so much in this country as "back 
home." And when, as in the case of Ireland, Poland, 
Italy, and so on, the issues of foreign politics are made 
the bone of contention in American political contests, 
these German-American, Italian-American, Polish- 
American societies may become exceedingly active in 
our own affairs, and project lines of division which may 
greatly complicate the politician's task, and sometimes 
stand him upon his head: ^ 

It is not too much to say that the power of Tammany 
Hall in politics, and that of eveiy other important 
political organization in Philadelphia, Chicago, San 
Francisco, Boston, or elsewhere — ^induding those domi- 
nant in rural districts — grows out of intimate associa- 
tion with the people in their daily livesy and could grow 
out of nothing else. "Power and patronage," says 

^ These activities are well summarized by John Daniels in his 
Americanization Study volume entitled Ameriea via the Neighborhood, 
New York, Harper & Brothers, 1920, p. 98S et seq, 

86 



NEW MEMBERS AND AN OLD GAME 

Professor Munro, "provide a cyde hard to break." 
True; but "power and patronage" is only a phrase. 
Behind it lies the fact that the politician gains^ and 
holds his power because he deserves it; through his 
organization of the machinery, always "on the job," 
through which human beings, with wives and children 
to feed, clothe and shelter, get the means to do it. 
The small, unskilled job in the employ of the city, or 
of business which can be helped or harmed by political 
or official action, is the coin-current through which 
the politician controls — so far as he does control — ^the 
rank and file of the foreign-born voters. This, and the 
small and larger personal human favors that he is in 
a position to render. 

Here, with the first economic "toe-hold" that the 
inmiigrant gets in America, begins his introduction 
to our life and to our politics. 

POLITICS A GBEAT AMEBICANIZINO FOBCE 

Politics, local politics — ^the ordinary interest of the 
ordinary citizen; the day's work and the day's life, 
are great Americanizing forces, and they are working 
every minute. The immigrant generally, especially 
he of the so-called "new immigration," comes here 
without much if any experience in public affairs. 
(Ail the life of all the generations from which he comes 
^ has been passed without real participation; government 
in the old country went on over his head, in a rarefied 
stratum which he never entered and of which he knew 
little. That is one reason why, on the average, it 
takes more than ten years for him to come to the point 
of asking for citizenship. ) 

Of late some of the very people who declared that 
the immigrant comes here with only "sordid motives" 
have favored pressure upon him to become a citizen 

4 87 



AMERICANS BY CHOICE 

hy means of refiusing him employment miless he does 
become one. The great increase in declarations c^ 
intention dming the past three or fom* years has been 
dne almost entirely to the restrictions adopted f ormaify 
or informally all over the countiy confining employ- 
menty even in privately owned industries, to those who 
have at least taken out "first papers." Even in the 
Bureau of Naturalization there was for a time more 
than a tendency to pursue this policy of forcing citi- 
zenship upon aliens. It was abandoned because no 
government can kidnap the subjects or citizens of 
another without getting into diflBculty. There is still 
a good deal of confusion of thought about this matter. 
The importance of it lies in the fact — obvious to 
any right thought about it — ^that we want for our new 
citizens only those who come of their ovm accord and 
free toiU. We want, moreover, only those who are right- 
minded. The effort to stamp out the use of every 
mother tongue but one, to obliterate all affection for 
the old home in Scandinavia, Bavaria, Dalmatia, 
Bohemia, not only is futile; we do not want for our 
fellow citizens the kind of people who can turn their 
back TOthout a qualm upon the memories of childhood. 

Breathes there the man with soul so dead 
Who never to himself hath said. 

This is my own, my native land! 
Whose heart hath ne'er within him burned 
As home his footsteps he hath turned 

From wandering on a foreign strand? 

What sort of an American could be made out of one 
able in any circumstances — ^worst of all under re- 
pressive compulsion — ^to turn his back upon the tongue, 
the traditions, and the associations of his fathers? We 
are not such ourselves, and Ui our sane minds we do 
not want those who join us to be such. The process c^ 

88 



NEW MEMBEBS AND AN OLD GAME 

real Assimilation is a process slow in its nature, reaching 
not forms and words, but sentiments of the highest 
and most subtle kind. 

You cannot beat love of country into any worth- 
whfle person with a club-or with a kw. 



59 



m 

CITIZENSHIP: UNDER THIS FLAG, AND OTHERS 

There is, indeed, such a thing as a ''man without a 
country," and it is only a few years since the United 
States, even if inadvertently, legislated so that there 
may easily be now a woman without one. But the 
laws of nations make no provisions for the existence 
voluntarily of anyone who may regard himself as 
"a citizen of the world." Witi the vanishment of 
terra incognita in the final achievement of hmnan ex- 
ploration at the two poles of the earth, virtually every 
foot of the surface of the globe has come, at least 
constructively, under the dominion of some govern- 
ment. And with it every man, woman, and chUd on 
earth has acquired or had thrust upon him a legal 
nationality of some sort, from which, generally speak- 
ing, he can escape only by choosing or having thrust 
upon him another — ^however feeble or tenuous its 
grasp, however slight or contemptuous his perception* 
and recognition of it. 

The Great War emphatically registered this fact,l 
with its ruthless inclusion of friend, neutral, and foe I 
within some category of practicable citizenship. Jn \ 
the United States the Selective Service Act, and other \ 
legislation as well — ^to say nothing of the extra-l^al I 
practices indulged in under cover of the popular state I 
of mind — ^permitted no human being to regard himself j 
as immune to eflFective classification under some / 
sovereignty. The "conscientious objector," the "phil-/ 

40 / 



CITIZENSHIP IN VARIOUS LANDS 

osophical anarchist/* and every sort of philosopher, 
however much he previously may have imagined him- 
self free to abjure allegiance to government, found 
that his property, his food, his sons, his own very per- 
sonal flesh-and-blood, were, after all, not his own, 
but were subject to conscription by the state. How- 
ever much his spirit might be of fellowship with the 
saints of his cult or religion, in all material respects 
he must render unto Csesar the things that Csesar 
said were Caesar's. 

From the most primitive times this has been so, 
even if in the America of the happy-go-lucky times of 
peace it has been lightly regarded or scarcely realized 
at all. The "gang spirit," under the sway of which 
men always have held loyalty to the local clan to be 
one of the chief of obligatory virtues, is of the essence 
and fabric of group Ufe, and is the tap-root of patriot- 
ism. It embodies an allegiance both to blood and to 
locality. Through the warp of all political history are 
woven two kindred threads representing these two 
allegiances; sometimes one, sometimes the other — 
in later development something of both. The lawyers 
speak of them as the Jiis Sanguinisy the Law of the 
Blood, and the Jus Solis, the Law of the Soil, and dis- 
tinguish between them; but both represent the claim 
of the community upon the loyalty and, if need be, 
the sacrifice and bodily service of the individual. 

A classic illustration of the deeply embedded feeling"^ 
that man cannot separate himself from the virtues, the 
sins, and the limitations of his clan, his country, is 
the tragedy in the valley of Achor, related in the Old 
Testament Book of Joshua,^ wherein it was held that 
the sin of Achan the son of Zerah was ipso facto the 
sin of all Israel. And for the offense of one man. 



^Joshua vi, vii. 

41 



AMERICANS BY CHOICE 

. . Joshua» and all Israel with him, took Adhan the son 
of Zerah, and the silver, and the garment, and the wedge of 
gold, and his sons, and his daughters, and his oxen, and his 
asses, and his sheep, and his tent, and all that he had; . . . 
and all Israel stoned him with stones, and burned them with 
fire, after they had stoned them with stones. ^ 

This, with a vengeance, was a dramatization of the 
Jus Sanguinis, the Law of the Blood, by virtue of 
which an individual acquires nationality and civic 
responsibility through the blood of his ancestry, regard- 
less of the place of his birth! 

ROOTS OF POLITICAL SOCIETY 

The principle was a natural consequence upon the 
nomadic life of f amiUes and tribes, of primitive groups 
wandering often in strange and even hostile territory, 
to whom in absence of fixed abode and boundaries 
locality was of little importance, but tribal solidarity 
and unity of purpose and allegiance were vital to 
defense, to group survival. The family, and after it 
the clan or group of blood-related families, were the 
beginnings of political society. 

Throughout ancient times the Law of the Blood 
persisted; the law of citizenship in early Greece and 
Rome was based upon the idea of family inheritance. 
But with the dissolution of the Roman Empire and 
the rise of feudalism, the Jus Sanguinis gradually gave 
way to a standard of citizenship based upon locality 
— ^to Jtis Solis, under which a child became ipso facto 
a citizen or subject of the jurisdiction within which 
he was bom, more or less regardless of the nationality 
or allegiance of his parents. This was a natural con- 
comitant of feudalism; as the conflicts between military 
chieftains and groups divided the land into relatively 

^Joshua vii: 24, 25. 

42 



CITIZENSHIP m VARIOUS LANDS 

definite jurisdictions, and the tenure of territoiy and 
the stability of boundaries and peace in the reahn 
depended almost wholly upon militaiy strength, it 
was to the interest of both lord and vassal to maintain 
the largest possible forces for defense, and conserva- 
tion of population depended chiefly upon birth. Even 
to the peasant subject, maintenance of almost any 
status quo was comparatively worth while for the sake 
of the peaceful enjoyment of such home and happiness 
as were his lot. 



INFLUENCE OF EMIOBATION TO AldEBICA 

Beginning with the period immediately foUowing the 
French Revolution — ^which, it should be remembered, 
was only the most violent and impressive of the up- 
heavals of that general epoch in many parts of Europe 
— a distinct reaction toward the Jv^ Sanguinis ap- 
peared. This is variously accounted for; but most 
historians attribute it to a desire on the part of the 
older countries of Europe to offset the serious loss of 
subjects threatened by emigration to America, which 
had begun to tempt adventurous souls by the oppor- 
tunity for individual liberty and initiative and escape 
from the tyrannies of feudalism and religious autocracy. 

Whatever the reason, the nineteenth century wit- 
nessed on the one hand the return of the nations of the 
Old World to the Law of the Blood, and on the other 
the development in the New World of the Law of the 
Soil. 

This is a theoretical statement. In point of fact, 

in the designation of the mode of acquisition or loss of 

citizenship, no two of the nations of the world are 

exactly in accord; the most hopeless confusion exists; 

but with a constant and increasing effort to harmonize 

the procedure, and now with a good hope that in the 

48 



AMERICANS BY CHOICE 

coming days some measure of uniformity may become 
practicable. In matters of secondary importance, 
such as the international postal regulations, tde- 
graphic communication and sanitary co-operation, it 
has been virtually impossible thus far to bring about 
a common policy. How much more difficult must it 
be to harmonize the principles of citizenship, involving, 
as that does, intricate historical and political consider- 
ations — ^immensely complicated by the shifts of boimd- 
ary due to the war — and the very bases of national 
existence in the control by the community of the 
allegiance and the industrial and military service <rf 
subjects and citizens? 

THE RIGHT TO EMIGRATE 

Nevertheless, all countries have in some measure 
practically recognized the right of the human individual 
to emigrate, though there have persisted laws and 
decrees expressing the attempt to retain legal juris- 
dictiou and allegiance. The strength of these efiPorts 
depends largely upon whether the basic theory of citi- 
zenship has its roots in the Jus Sanguinis or the Jus 
Solis. For it may be said generaUy that the nations 
of the world are divided roughly in this regard by 
their adherence to the one theory or the other, though 
we look almost in vain for a pure example of either; 
in some coimtries there are interwoven lines of both, and 
in many it is almost impossible to determine which 
prevails. For practical purposes, and subject to such 
modifications as may be made in the era of readjust- 
ment upon which the World War has laimched us, we 
may depend upon the following general classification: 
The Jics Sanguinis dominates in Austria, China, 
Finland, France, Germany, Himgary, Japan, Monaco, 
Norway, Persia, Rumania, Serbia. 

44 



CITIZENSHIP IN VARIOUS LANDS 

The Jus Solis prevails in the canton of Greneva, 
Switzerland, and in Argentina. 

The Jits Sanguinis combined with the Jus Solis is 
found in Belgium, Greece, Italy, Luxemburg, Russia, 
Spain, Turkey. 

The Jus Solis modified by the Jus Sanguinis prevails 
in most of the states of the Americas, and in Bulgaria, 
Denmark, Egypt, Great Britain, Portugal, Sweden, 
Switzerland. 



THE SUBJECT VS. THE ACTIVE MEMBER 

In thought and writing on the subject of citizenship, 
two concepts olthe word "citizen" persist, and usually 
are treated as to such an extent interchangeable as to 
produce a fatal confusion. For they are not inter- 
changeable. They differ in essence, and it is of the 
utmost importance that they should be clearly dis- 
tinguished. In the distinction lies all the difference 
between Liberty and Autocracy. Something, if not 
all, of this difference lies in the distinction between the 
Law of the Blood and the Law of the Soil. 

The first and commonest of these concepts is that 
which must have colored the thought of the feudal 
lord as he looked upon "his" people, belonging to 
him because they belonged to the soil which his sword 
contrcJled. This concept contemplates the citizen or 
subject as invested with the character of a national 
body politic, boimd by an obligatory allegiance to it 
and its political institutions l>ecause he is there, bom 
there, or led there by the circimistances of his life. 

The other concept, which we like to think constitutes 
the basis of what we call "America," for it is of the 
essence of anything worthy of the name of Democracy, 
contemplates the citizen as a participant in the fact 
of sovereignty, one who owns an undivided and indi- 

A5 



AMERICANS BY CHOICE 

visible share in the community title, and whose right 
and duty it is to take a definite part and acknowledge 
a definite responsibility in the business of government. 
In this study of naturalization and political life of 
the foreign-bom citizen it is with this second concept 
that we have most to do. 



ESSENTIALS OP CITIZENSHIP: ANCIENT — ^AND AMERICAN 

What, then, are the essentials of that citizenship to 
which an alien aspires and addresses himself when he 
seeks to become an active member in the American 
community whose members are something more than 
mere chattels of the sovereign? 

"There is nothing that more characterizes a com- 
plete citizen," says Aristotle, "than having a share in 
the judicial and executive part of the government. • . . 
He, and he only, is a citizen who enjoys a due share in 
the government of that community of which he is a 
member." But Aristotle was speaking from the point 
of view of a community in which not all individuals 
there resident were the sort of citizens he was talking 
about. According to that great Greek the best- 
ordered states did not include in the term "citizen" 
mechanics or others who worked for wages, and utterly 
unmentionable in any such connection^ was the great 
mass of slaves who had virtually no human rights at all. 
Aristotle's "citizen" was one of the relatively few 
endowed with political rights and responsibilities. In 
the Greek city-states and in the early Roman Republic, 
citizenship was at first restricted to certain ot the older 
houses (jphylos, genles)^ but with the development of 
economic intercourse the few dominant families gradu- 
ally lost their exclusive power, and other free inhabi- 
tants were included in participation in the afiPairs of 

estate. 

46 



CITIZENSHIP IN VARIOUS LANDS 

In Rome the right of citizenship was conferred at 
first upon the leading families in allied cities, and later 
upon whole communities. By the year 100 B.C., 
nearly all Italians were citizens. But the Empire 
brought about great restrictions in this matter; a 
gradual narrowing of the limitations took place; along 
with a great extension of the name ''citizen'' came a 
great decrease in the actual participation of the ''citi- 
zen" in the business of government; so that by the 
time the Emperor Caracalla was extending something 
called "citizenship" to all Roman subjects, he actu- 
ally was doing little more than to make certain intol- 
erable taxes universal. 

So the old Greek and Roman idea of "citizenship" 
will not answer our purpose. We have, however im- 
perfect our realization oi the fact, something quite 
different to offer, something vastly greater to demand. 

In the modern world citizenship has come to mean 
membership in a political commimity. It invcdves the 
status of an individual with reference to a jmrticular 
state. And that status is determined by the laws of the 
individual states, for everywhere it is stoutly main- 
tained that the right to determine how and when a 
parson may become and remain a citizen is one of the 
first prerogatives of sovereignty. In a number of recent 
works on citizenship the question has been raised 
whether the bond of citizenship is by natUEgcontrac-^ 
tual. The affirmative is held by Prof. Andrew~T?Veiss 
of the University of Paris; he declares it to be "gen- 
erally recognized that the bond of nationality is a 
contractual one; and that the bond uniting to the state 
each of its citizens is formed by an agreement of their 
wills, express or implied." This view is rejected as 
unsoimd by various English and American publicists.^ 

^ F. T. I^ggott, NatumalHy, London, 1906, and £. M. Borchard, 
DipUymatie Protection of CUizeru Abroad^ New York, 1916. 

47 



AMERICANS BY CHOICE 

These writers assert that whatever may be the theory 
of the origin of the state, the fact is that the relation 
of the citizen to the state is a relation sui generis, 
and that the admission of a person to membership in 
a state is an act of sovereignty. The law of the state 
is supreme. 

The reasonable fact is that there is an element of 
truth in both of these contentions. The great increase 
in facilities for international communication and travel 
has made emigration a common thing, and the law 
in practice, whatever it may be in letter, has recognized 
in varying ways the fact that the human individual 
can, does abjure his "contract" with the state whiere 
he has lived, and seek admission to one which for this 
reason and that he thinks likely to be more salubrious 
for the pursuit of what he regards as his happiness. 
For, after all is said, the fact remains that men stay 
here or go there in that pursuit. A crowd goes home 
When it begins to rain not because the crowd is getting 
wet, but because each individual of it, in his separate 
personal eachness, so to speak, has water running 
down his neck and desires to find a place where he 
can get dry. Waves of emigration represent countless 
individuals each of whom believes that elsewhere, or 
in some particular place, he can be more comfortable 
in the practices and activities which constitute his 
life by day and by night, and maybe find a broader 
and richer field in which to grow and raise his family. 

The offer of just this kind of opportunity has induced 
many hundreds of thousands of human beings from 
all parts of the earth to dissolve the bond, contractual 
or what you will, between themselves and the land of 
their birth or previous habitation, and come to these 
shores. We have invited them, and devised elaborate 
machinery by which to welcome them into our fellow- 
ship. Not only has the invitation been definitely ex- 

48 



CITIZENSHIP IN VARIOUS LANDS 

pressed; we have opened wide gates in our bars, and 
placed premiums^ upon entrance therein. 

BASES OF AMEEICAN CITIZENSHIP ^ 

The bases of citizenship in this country are two, estab- 
lished in the Constitution of the United States and 
the legislation and decisions explanatory thereof: 

I. Every person, of whatever race descended, Ixwrn 
in the United States and subject to its jurisdiction, 
including children of American fathers born abroad, 
is ipso jacU) a citizen of the United States. 

n. All* other persons eligible for citizenship in the 
United States must acquire that citizenship through 
the legal process known as Naturalization. 

It was in the great case of Wong Kim Ark^ that 
the Supreme Court, in 1897, established the right of 
citizenship by birth on this sail, regardless of race or 
descent. The question in this case involved a child 
bom in California, of Chinese parents who, because 
of their race, could not themselves become citizens. 
In this decision, a classic in the law of American citizen- 
ship, the court set forth the following fundamental 
principles to be observed in determining citizenship 
by birth iff the United States: 

1. The Constitution of the United States must be 
interpreted in the light of the Common Law, imder 
which every child bom in England, even though of 
alien parents, was a natural-bom citizen. 

2. The qualifying words in the Fourteenth Amend- 
ment^ "and subject to the jurisdiction thereof," ex- 
clude two classes of persons — children bom of alien 
enemies in hostile occupation, and children of diplomatic 
representatives ci a foreign state. (The latter, from 



1 United SUtes vs. Wong Kim Aik, 169 U. S., 649. 

49 



AMERICANS BY CHOICE 

the earliest times, both under the laws of England and 
in decisions of American courts, had been recognized 
to be exceptions to the f imdamental rule of citizen-* 
ship by birth within the national jurisdiction.) 

The Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution,^ 
adopted in 1868, incorporated no new rule or principle 
into American law. Neither did the Civil Rights Act, 
passed in 1866 as a Reconstruction measure, although 
it was the first statutory definition in the United 
States of citizenship by birth« That Act says: 

All persons bom in the United States, and not subject 
to any foreign power, excluding Indians not taxed, are citi- 
zens of the United States and of the States where they reside. 

COMMON-I4AW DEFINITION TAKEN FOB GBANTED 

The English Common Law, then, is the original source 
of our definition. That definition^ taken over with 
the formation of the American Republic out of the 
English colonies, was so familiar, so much a part of the 
nature of 'things political, that nobody thought it 
necessary to formulate it — or a new one. 

By the Common Law of England, every person bom within 
the dominions of the Crown, no matter whether of English 
or of foreign par^tits — and in the latter case whether the 
parents were settled or merely temporarily sojourning in the 
country, was an English subject; save only children of fordgn 



1 Fourteenth Amendment — 1. AH persons bom or naturalized in 
the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof* are citizens 
of the United States and d the State wherein they reside. No State 
shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or 
immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State 
deprive any person of life, Uberty, or property without due process 
of law, nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal pro- 
tection of the laws. 

50 



CITIZENSHIP IN VARIOUS LANDS 

ambassadors ... or a child bom in hostile occupation of any 
part of the territories of England.^ 

When the Constitution of the United States was 
made, a "citizenship of the United States" was recog- 
nized but nowhere defined, and it was nearly a cen- 
tury before it found specific statutory expression in 
the Civil Rights Act and the Fourteenth Amendment. 
Meanwhile, not only the courts, but the Executive, in- 
variably recognized the validity of the Common Law 
Rule, and the Wong Kim Ark decision of 1897 merely 
restated it once for all.* 



CONCEBNINO AMERICANS BORN ABROAD 

There are certain elaborations and modifications of 
the two great principles mentioned above, serving both y 
to confirm and circumscribe them. Children bom ^ 
abroad of American citizens in the foreign service of 
the United States government are citizens of the 
United States, and like citizenship comes by birth 
to children ^'born out of the limits and jurisdiction, 
whose fathers were or may be at the time of their birth 
citizens thereof." • But the father must have been 
a citizen at the time of the birth of the child, and must 
have resided actually in the United States; that is, 
it will not do for him merely to have acquired citizen- 
ship abroad by the fact of iJie citizenship of his father 
without ever having resided in this country. 
If the father loses his citizenship after the birth 

^ Cockbum, yaitUmcMtyt p. 7. 

*See Murray V8. The Charming Betsey* 2 Cranch, 64; Inglis ««. 
SaOors' Snug Harbor, 8 Pet, 99; M'Creery va, Somarville, 9 Wheat, 
854; see also Instruction of Marcy, Sea«tary of State, to Mason 
(1854), quoted in Moor*s Digest qf Intemaiional Law, iii, p. 276. 

'Revised Statutes, sec. 1993. See House Document 826, Fifty- 
ninth Congress, Second Session. 

61 



*-• 



/ 



AMERICANS BY CHOICE 

of the child, it has been held that such child upon 
attaining his majority may revive his right to citizen- 
ship by establishing residence here. And by virtue 
of legislation enacted in 1907, these foreign-bom chil- 
dren of American parentage are required, upon reaching 
the age of eighteen, to register their intention to be- 
come residents, and to remain citizens, of the United 
States, and upon attaining majority to take the Oath 
of Allegiance to the United States. 

The Department of State has been very liberal in 
interpreting this provision, allowing the declaration 
of intention to be made at any time after the person 
concerned has reached the age of eighteen, and before 
he has taken the oath, which may be at any reasonable 
time after his majority. The main question raised 
is that of good faith. Arises here the principle of 
"election of nationality"; many countries accord to 
a person thus in danger of what might be called "'dual 
nationality" the right to choose. This is the case in 
France, Spain, Belgium, Greece, Italy, Portugal, 
Mexibo, Chile, and Costa Rica. In Portugal, Italy* 
and France, failure to exercise this choice operates 
as a choice of citizenship there; in Spain, on the other 
hand, silence is construed as a choice of the foreign 
nationality. This is the purport of the American 
practice.^ 

CHILDREN BORN AT SEA 

It is commonly believed that children of foreign par- 
ents bom on. the high seas under the American flag 
J \ are as a matter of law "bom in the United States and 
subject to the jurisdiction thereof,*' but this is not 
clearly the case. As Borchard puts it, the child "is 

^See discussion of this question by Borchard — The Diphmadc 
Protection of CiHssens Abroad, p. 583 et seq., and footnotes. 

52 




CITIZENSHIP IN VARIOUS LANDS 

probably an American citizen under our law and may 
also be a foreign subject jure sanguinis. Hence he 
would, upon attaining majority, have a right of 
election. 



QUESTION OP DUAL NATIONALITY 

Can a person gain a new citizenship without losing the 
old? (The aspirant for American citizenship is required 
in boUi his declaration of intention and his final petition 
for naturalization to abjure in most specific fashion 
not merely all other allegiances, but most particularly 
that from which he has come.\ But the sovereignty 
thus repudiated is not always willing to be abjured, 
and international diplomacy has been in the past much 
occupied with the tangles growing out of the question 
of "dual nationality." For one not unconmion ex- 
ample, the child of alien parents bom in the United s. 
States and thereby under our law a citizen of this ' 
coimtiy, may be taken in childhood back to his father's 
native land, and upon reaching military age may be 
summoned to military service. The United States has 
not been prone to defend such persons when their 
actual residence in the old country was clear, but 
it has been maintained that upon the attainment of 
his majority such a person has the right to elect and 
re-establish his American citizenship. 

The most common difficulties arise practically, how- 
ever, from the fact that under the terms of his declara- 
tion to become a (Citizen of the United States, the alien 
repudiates his allegiance to his fatherland and its 
sovereignty, but does not gain, and cannot gain, for 
at least two years in any circumstances, a new citizen- 
ship. He has in most specific fashion flouted the govern- 
ment he had, but the government he desires to have 

will not protect him. For his practical uses, it is a 
5 ^3 



AMERICANS BY CHOICE 

question whether he has now ttvo nationalities or none! 
Moreover, there have been countries and times in 
which the right to change allegiance was altogether 
denied. 

In their attitude on the subject of voluntary expatri- 
ation the nations differ widely, and are divisible in this 
matter under three heads: those which deny the right 
altogether, those which permit it under certain condi- 
tions, and those which place no bar in the way./ 

COUNTRIES DENYING THE BIGHT OF EXPATRIATION 

Under the old regime, the Russian imperial govern- 
ment laid a heavy penalty upon the Russian subject 
who returned to Russia alter having been naturalized 
abroad without the imperial consent.^ 

Turkey, under a law proclaimed in 1869, prohibited 
the naturalization of its subjects abroad without the 
permission of the Turkish government. The penalty 
provided was imprisonment or expulsion.* In prac- 
tice, however, expulsion has been the only penalty 
inflicted, and the United States has contented itself 
with an occasional protest. 

The practice of Greece is not entirely clear-cut or 
consistent. A law enacted in 1914 requires the per- 
mission of the government before naturalization 
abroad; in practice this is not given to those who have 
not discharged their legal obligations as to military 
service.* The practical effect of this attitude on the 
part of Greece has been shown chiefly in the failure 



^ See Department of State, Circular notice, January 9, 1914. 

'In former times, even the American-bom child of parents of 
Turkish birth has gone to that country at his peril. This was under 
the old conditions; what the postwar reconstruction will effect in 
this regard remains to be seen. 

' See HaU, Intemaiumal Law, 7th ed., p. 247. 

54 



CITIZENSHIP IN VARIOUS LANDS 

of Greeks in this country quite generally to seek 
naturalization. 



CONDITIONAL RECOGNITION 

The obligation which these countries commonly require 
as a prerequisite to permission is that of military service 
for the required period. Perhaps the best example of 
this group is France, which has provided by law that 
its nationals may divest themselves of their French 
citizenship provided they are thirty-one years of age, 
and thus may be presumed to have complied with the 
conditions of military service.^ The other countries 
requiring similar conditions are Italy, the Netherlands, 
Serbia, and Switzerland; the usual penalty being 
liability to arrest upon return, and the compulsory 
fulfillment of the military requirements. But Switzer- 
land provides for an annual tax in lieu of the military 
requirement. 

The United States government has repeatedly sought 
through diplomatic channels to secure mitigation of 
penalties inflicted by these countries on its naturalized 
citizens; in many cases with a greater or less measure 
of success; but it has been unable to secure by treaty 
with any of these countries an unconditional recogni- 
tion of the right of expatriation. 

NATURALIZATION TREATIES WITH THE UNITED STATES 

The first naturalization treaties which this government 
n^otiated embodying recognition of the right cl ex- 
patriation were the so-called "Bancroft Treaties** of 
1869, with the states of the North Grerman Cotifeder- 
atiop — Bavaria, Hesse, Baden, and WUrttemberg. In 



^ See Hall, Intemational Law, p. 246. 

65 



AMERICANS BY CHOICE 

the four years following similar treaties were concluded 
with Belgium, Great Britain, Sweden, and Norway, 
Austria-Hungary, Denmark, and Ecuador. Since then 
ti'eaties of like import have been eflFected with Haiti, 
Portugal, Peru, Honduras, Salvador, Nicaragua, Uru- 
guay, Brazil, and Costa Rica.^ (These treaties provide, 
in substance, for expatriation at will, but stipulate that 
subjects liable for offenses committed prior to emigra- 

V. tion shall continue liable for the same, and that two 
years' continubus resimiption of residence in the coun- 
try of origin shall be presumptive evidence of renewed 
citizenship in the old country. Under oiu* own law, 
this loss of acquired citizenship by two years' con- 
tinuous residence in the country of origin is specifically 
recognized, j And it is also generally provided that 
upon return to his former country a naturalized Amer- 
ican shall be liable to punishment for the "evasion of 
an existing or accrued liability to military service"; 

f but he is protected against the exaction of what was 
at the time of emigration merely (by reason of youth) 
a future liability to serve.*N 



GREAT BRITAIN 

Until the year 1870, England held tenaciously to the 
doctrine of the indelibility of national allegiance. 
Everyone was free to emigrate at will and live where 
he pleased, but wherever he went, and whatsoever he 
might do in the attempt to acquire another citizenship, 
he was an Englishman still, in the eyes of the British 
law inalienably a subject of the British crown. Al- 

^ These treaties may be found in Malloy's Treaties, 1910-lS; also 
see Edwin M. Borchard, The Dij^omatic Protection of Citizens 
Abroad, p. 548 et seq, 

* Edwin M. Borchard, The Diplomatic Protection of Citizens Abroad, 
p. 549. 

56 



CITIZENSHIP IN VARIOUS LANDS 

though the author probably did not realize it, there was 
a certain grimness underlying the lines in ''Pinafore": 

But, in spite of all temptations 
To belong to other nations. 
He is an Englishman! 

And although the War of 1812 between the United 
States and Great Britain was chiefly provoked by the 
insistence of England upon her slogan, ''Once an Eng- 
lishman always an Englishman," and her refusal to 
mitigate her policy with regard to British-bom saUors 
naturalized by the United States, the theory continued 
to be stoutly declared as a matter of principle, though 
perhaps with diminishing emphasis. Hall says, how- 
ever,^ that by 1876 it "had become an anachronism." 
And after the report of a British royal conmussion 
on the subject. Parliament enacted a statute providing 
that a British subject might lose his British nationality 
by naturalization in another country. / This long- 
maintained attitude of Great Britain imdoubtedly goes 
far to account for the failure of many persons of Eng- 
lish birth, long resident in this country, and for all 
practical purposes except political participation Amer- 
icans, to seek formal adoption into our body politic. 



GERMANY 

Most of the discussion of our citizenship relations with 
Germany has centered latterly about the German 
Citizenship and Nationality Law, better known as the 
"Delbriick Law," enacted in July, 1913 — a year before 
the outbreak of the Great War. Attention has focused 
especially on Section 25 of the statute, which reads as 
follows: 



^ Hall, InUmaHonul Law, 7th ed., p. 241. 

57 



AMERICANS BY CHOICE 

A German who has neither his residence nor permanent 
abode in Germany loses his citizenship upon acquiring foreign 
citizenship, provided the foreign citizenship is acquired as 
a result of hb own appHcation therefor or the application of 
the husband or legal representative; but in the case of a 
wife of one having a legal representative, cuoly when the 
conditions exist under which expatriation may be appUed 
for according to Sections 18 and 19. 

Citizenship is not lost by one who, before acquiring foreign 
citizenship, has seciured on application the written consent 
of the competent authorities of his home state to retain his 
citizenship. Before this consent is given the German consul 
is to be heard. 

The Imperial Chancellor may order, with the consent 
of the Federal Council, that persons who desire to acquire 
citizenship in a specified foreign country may not be granted 
the consent appUed for in paragraph 2. 

It was charged, and widely believed in this and other 
countries at war with Grermany, that this law was a 
device, deliberately conceived by the Grerman autoc- 
racy with the war in view, to enable Grermans living in 
other countries malevolently, or with ulterior motives 
and mental reservations, to acquire naturalization 
there and go through the forms <^ alliance, without 
in &ct ever losing, or being able to lose, their German 
citiaenship. The text <^ the statute certainly gives m<NPe 
than {Jausible color to sudi an inteixnetation. 

It may well be doubted wheth^ in normal condi- 
tioDs, and apart from the suspicion of G^mai^r's 
evny motive, whidi is justified by bar conduct prior 
to and during the war, this statute would have recdved 
any sudi interpr^^on in the eyes of the rest of the 
world; it is difficult to divorce thou^t of things Ger- 
man frtxn the worid's state of mind for wfaidi Germany 
has only li»sdf to thank. Nevertlidess, it is {wobable 
that the law was of normal origin, and apologists for 
it assot that its design was to meet oonditioDs emtrng 



CITIZENSHIP IN VARIOUS LANDS 

with reference to Russia, Italy, and France, all of which 
in some measure denied the right of expatriation in 
absence of specific treaty. Section 86 of the Delbriick 
Law definitely declares that '* existing treaties are not 
afiFected by this Act." And when the law was under 
consideration in the Reichstag, the representative of 
the Grerman government, upon being interrogated as 
to the effect of Sections 25 and 26 upon the Bancroft 
treaty between the United States and Germany, re- 
plied, in so many words, that the German government 
was obliged to look Upon every German naturalized 
in the United States as an American and nothing else.^ 
Space is not available here for further discussion of 
the real significance of the Delbrttck Law; suflSce it 
to say that it is the subject of considerable difference of 
opinion among the authorities.' But it may be said, 
in general, that the best American authorities seem 
to be of the opinion that the specific renunciation of 
each and every former allegiance required by our 
naturalization process makes it substantially impos- 
sible for the disputed section or any other enactment 
to operate as creating a dual allegiance. Such alle- 
giance could exist only in theory at most ; in no practical 
way could any foreign government enforce it as against 
any person living in America. The United States, 
under the Bancroft treaty and its own naturalization 
law, would not tolerate such an interpretation, and 

^See Dr, jur, A Bomen, ReidiM und Staataangehorigkeitagesets^ 
GuUeniag Sammlung, No. 111. 

* A notable discussion of the Delbriick Law is to be found in an 
article by T. H. Thiesing, "Dual Allegiance in the German Law of 
Nationality and American Citizenship." Yale Reviev}, 27:4 (February* 
1919). See also R. Floumoy in American Journal of IntematUmal 
Law, 8:480 (July, 1914), and the Meyer Reichs-undrStaatsangehorig^ 
keiUgesetz vom S2 Juli, 1913. Berlin, 1918, p. 168-E.; also Edwin M. 
Borchard, The Di'pUymaiie Protection cf CiHssena Abroad, p. 576; also 
HalL IntematUmal Law, revision by A. Peaice Higgina, pp. 245-£46. 

59 



AMERICANS BY CHOICE 

as the "War Encyclopedia" of the American Commit- 
tee on Public Information said, "it would be impossible 
for a German applicant for citizenship in the United 
States to avail himself of this section [Section ^ of 
the Delbriick Law] without committing perjury." 
/So far as the "declarant" of any nationality is 
concerned, it should be added that our Department of 
State has always sought to maintain that a declarant 
is in a position different from that of the ordinary 
X alien, has extended a limited degree of protection^ and 
now issues passports under the authority of an Act 
passed March 2, 1907 — ^provided he has resided in the 
United States for three years;] at the same time pro- 
tecting itself from imposition by such persons by limit- 
ing the validity of such passports to a term of six 
months, and providing that an extended residence or 
domicile abroad shall be construed as an abandonment 
of the declared intention. Moreover, the naturalizing 
judges and the Bureau of Naturalization examine with 
great strictness the reasons for any absence whatever 
from the country after the declaration, and usually 
construe "intention" with regard to continuous resi- 
dence with emphasis against the applicant. \Many 
judges permit no absence, however brief, some going 
. so far as to rule against any absence from the very 
county in which the applicant resides.^ And dining 
the European War the issuance of such passports to 
natives of the belligerent countries was altogether 
suspended.^ 

y The United States was early conunitted not only 
by specmc utterances and practices, but by the whole 
psychology and tradition of its being, to the principle 

^ The status of declarants in this and other relationships is fully 
discussed by Edwin M. Borchard, in The DipUmuxHc Protection of CiH- 
sens Abroad, pp. 501 d aeq. and 568 el seq,, with elaborate footnotes 
citing authorities and precedents. 

60 



CITIZENSHIP IN VARIOUS LANDS 

of free expatriation; nevertheless, great confusion ex- 
isted in the interpretation of the right as it related to ^ 
efforts of American citizens to become citizens or sub- 
jects of other countries. The policy was finally crystal- 
lized in the Act of March 2, 1907^ which provides / 
definitely that ^^any American citizen shall be deemed^ 
to have expatriated himself when he has been natural-! 
ized in any foreign state in conformity with its laws,' 
or when he has taken an oath of allegiance to any 
foreign state." This is the Act which, in the same sec- 
tion, provides for the extension of naturalization by 
presumption upon two years' residence in "the country 
from which he came," or upon five years' residence 
"in any foreign state." But it is provided that "such 
presumption may be overcome on the presentation of 
satisfactory evidence to a diplomatic or consular officer 
of the United States, under such regulations as the De- 
partment of State may prescribe." /^It is stipulated, 
however, that "no American citizen shall be allowed to r 
e^cpatriate himself when the country is at war.^ ^^ 

f During the Great War many American citi^ns im- 
periled, and in fact technically lost, their American 
citizenship by entering the military service of the X, 
various belligerent nations. After the entry of the 
United States into the conffict this was remedied by 
the enactment of Section 12 of the Act of May 9, 1918, 
in which it is provided that , 

• i . any person who, while a citizen of the United States 
and during the existing war in Europe, entered the military 
or naval service of any country at war with a country with 
whidi the United States is now at war, who shall be deemed 
to have lost his citizenship by reason of any oath or obliga- 
tion taken by him for the purpose of entering such service, 
Tmay resume his citizenship by taking the oath of allegiance 
to the United States prescribed by the naturalization law 
and regulations;\ . . 

1 61 



4^ 



AMERICANS BY CHOICE 

such oath to be taken here or abroad, before any state 
or Federal court authorized to naturalize aliens, or 
before any United States consul. 

CITIZENSHIP TAKES NO ACCOUNT OF SEX 



( 



^s 



Basic citizenship in the United States takes no account 
of sex.\ Every child^^male or female, white, black, brown, 
red, or yellow, *(bom in the United States and subject 
tb the jurisdiction thereof," is ipsofddo a citizen\ And 
every unmarried woman of that nativity is, aiia con- 
tinues to be such, as long as she remains unmarried. 
U pon marriage she takes forthwith, whether she will 
orn5, so far as our law is concerned, the nationality of 
her husband — even if he be an alien. It is the unbroken 
tradition of our law, and of the laws of nearly all other 
nations — ^in so far as they recognize women as being 
individual citizens at all — ^that the nationality of a 
wife follows that of her husband. Of that tradition 
was bom a section of the law of 1907 which seeks to 
confer upon any American woman marrying a foreigner 

f the nationality of her husband. (When an alien man 
becomes a citizen of the United States by naturaliza- 
tion, hi fiL-wifg , in ordinary circumstances, becomes a 
citizen with him; the law says specifically that "a 
woman who is now, or may hereafter be married to a 
citizen of the United States, and who might herself be 
lawfully naturalized, may be deemed a citizen.'' But, 
generally speaking, she must, unless herself American 
bom, be resident in this country :\ The practice in 
this regard has not been wholly consistent; the State 
Department has held repeatedly that the naturalization 
of a husband does not reach the wife if she continue 

V to reside in the old country; but a very uniform line 
of decisions is to the effect that her husband's natural- 
ization makes her a citizen wherever she may be, and 

6« 



CITIZENSHIP IN VARIOUS LANDS 

that she remains a citizen even after his death unless 
she takes action to repatriate herself. The Act of 1907 
makes it necessaiy for such a foreign-bom widow 
resident abroad to roister with a United States consul 
within a year after the termination of her marriage; 
otherwise her citizenship lapses. ) 

The phrase, "who might heraelf be lawfully nat- 
uralized/' has given rise to much controversy, and its 
significance has not been definitively declared. Some 
authorities hold it to apply only to the Oriental races 
excluded as such from citizenship; others hold that 
it should be interpreted to call for an examination 
of the wife as to her views on the subject of anarchism, 
polygamy, etc. But the general tendency seems still 
to hold that the family is one, and the husband thai one; 
that, therefore, any sort of wife comes into citizenship 
automatically with the naturalization of her husband. 

"a woman without a countby" 

(The nonresident American-born wife of a foreigner 
may, upon his death or the termination of the mar- 
riage in any other legal manner, resume her American 
citizenship by registration with a United States consul,^ 

v^.But«what of the woman, bom an American citizen, 
married to an alien who continues to live? The United 
States statute of 1907 undertakes to expatriate her — 
"any American woman who marries a foreigner shaU 
take the nationality of her husband." But, in absence 
of specific treaty, or of legislation in the husband's 
country to that effect, that pronouncement is without 
force or validity outside of the United States; Con- 
gress has no power to confer or inflict the citizenship 
of any other nation upon anybody. "The operation of 
this statute might easily deprive a woman of her 

American citizenship — even if she had it by right of 

68 



V^ 



AMERICANS BY CHOICE 

birth — ^and leave her with none." ^ It seems rather 
extraordinary that of all the judges of American 
naturalization courts replying to the questionnaire of 
the Americanization Study, whose results are discussed 
elsewhere in this voliune,- not one referred directly 
to this aspect of the citizenship of the American woman. 
The person without a coimtry is an alien everywhere 
his foot may fall — no matter under what roof or flag 
he may seek shelter. He is subject to the local laws 
and limitations governing aliens; but he has no home- 
land whose flag he may call his own; no government 
anywhere to which he may appeal for protection; he 
is dependent without recourse upon the hospitality, 
grace, and mercy of the public authorities and the 
people of the land where he chances to make his 
habitation. 



THE AMERICAN UNDER THREE JURISDICTIONS 

In notable contrast with this dismal prospect, (the 
American citizen, native or naturalized, is quite other- 
wise. He is subject to three concmrent jurisdidbions.j 
This fact is a source of great puzzlement to many an 
applicant for citizenship, and constitutes one of the 
stumbling-blocks which beset him in his initial under- 
standing of our system of government. 
(^First, the nature of his relation to the United States) 
In the case of Minor vs. Happerstett,^ decided in 1875, 
the Supreme Court of the United States said: 

Before its adoption, the Constitution of the United States 
did not in terms prescribe who should be citizens of the 
United States, yet there were necessarily slich citizens with- 

1 See Edwin M. Borchard, The Diplomatic Protection of Citvsena 
Abroad, pp. 19, 591. 
• See chap, vi, p. 148 et seq, 

< 21 Wallace, 162. 

64 



( 



CITIZENSHIP IN VARIOUS LANDS 

out such provision. There cannot b^ a nation without a 
people. The very idea of a political community, such as 
a nation is, implies an association of persons for the promo- 
tion of their general welfare. Each one of the persons asso- 
ciated becomes a member of the nation formed by the asso- 
ciation. He owes it allegiance and is entitled to its protection. 
All^iance and protection are, in this connection, reciprocal 
obligations. The one is a compensation for the other; alle- 
giance for protection and protection for allegiance. 

For convenience it has been found necessary to give a 
name to this membership. The object is to designate by a 
title the person and the relation he bears to the nation. For 
this purpose the words "subject," "inhabitant," and "citi- 
zen" have been used, and the choice between them is some- 
times made to depend upon the form of government. "Citi- 
zen" is now more commonly employed, however, and as it 
has been considered better suited to the description of one 
living under a republican government, it was adopted by 
nearly all of the states upon their separation from Great 
Britain, and was afterward adopted in the Articles of Con- 
federation and in the Constitution of the United States. 
When used in that sense it is understood as conveying the 
idea of membership of a nation, and nothing more. 

To determine, then, who were the citizens of the United 
States before the adoption of the pPourteenth] amendment 
it is necessary to ascertain what persons originally associated 
themselves together to form the nation, and what were 
afterward admitted to membership. 

The eflFect of this decision, and of the Fourteenth 
Amendment whose meaning it declared, was to de- 
termine definitively that National Citizenship is para- 
mount to State Citizenship^ But it did not entirely 
absorb the latter into the former. In the famous 
"Slaughter House Cases''^ the Supreme Court three 
years before had held that there might be citizens 

^ Butchers' Benevolent Association ««. Crescent City live Stock 
Company, 16 WaOace, S6. 

65 



AMERICANS BY CHOICE 

of the United States who were not citizens of any 
state, and that the Fourteenth Amendment applied 
particularly, if not solely, to the privileges and im- 
mimities of citizens of the United States, as such, 
and did not necessarily limit the right of a state to 
inflict disabilities upon its own citizens. 

The distinction between the two citizenships was 
thus stated in the Slaughter House cases :^ 

The distinction between citizenship of the United States 
and citizenship of a State is clearly recognized and estab- 
lished. Not only may a man be a citizen of the United 
States without being a citizen of a State, but an important 
element is necessary to convert the former into the latter. 
He must reside within the State to make him a citizen of it, 
but it is only necessary that he should be bom or naturalized 
in the United States to be a citizen of the Union. .It is 
quite clear, then, that there is a citizenship of the United 
States, and a citizenship of a State, which are distinct ft*om 
each other, and which depend upon different characteristics 
or circumstances in the individual. 

It is therefore decided that while a State may no longer 
decide the question of, who shall be or become its citizens, 
the citizen of the United States must, before becoming a 
citizen of a State, take up his residence within the State. 
The term of residence is nowhere fixed, but a permanent resi- 
dence or dcmiicile is understood, ''with intent that it shall 
continue until subsequent removal with the intent of aban- 
doning such residence and acquiring another." 

These momentous adjudications did not, however, 
address themselves to the matter of political partici- 
pation. Although a state might not determine who 
should constitute its citizen body, there was no cur- 
tailment of its full authority to determine what polit- 
ical privileges should exist, or who should enjoy them. 
Neither Federal nor state citizenship, per se, entitles 

^ McCIain, ConsHtuHonal Law in the Untied States, p. 276. 

66 



CITIZENSHIP IN VARIOUS LANDS 

a man or woman to vote or to hold office; these are mat- 
ters of state legislation and a number of states have 
accorded, and two still accord, to aliens who have 
merely declared their intention to seek citizenship, 
the right to vote. Moreover, respected authorities^ 
hold the opinion that, while no state can prevent a 
citizen of the United States from becoming a citizen 
of the state, a state may grant its own citizenship to 
one who is not — ^perhaps to one who cannot become — 
a citizen of the United States.* But the Act of Con- 
gress, May 6, 1882, expressly prohibits the naturaliza- 
tion of any Chinese person. 

The courts from the beginning have recognized the 
existence of two concurrent, if not more or less sepa- 
rable, citizenships. In the Cruikshank case in 1875,' 
the Supreme Court said: 

The people of the United States resident within any State 
are subject to two govemmeDts; one State and the other 
national; but there need be no conflict between the two. The 
powers which one possesses the other does not. They are 
established for different purposes, and have different jurisdic- 
tions. Together they make one whole, and furcish the people 
of the United States with one government, ample for the 
protection of all their rights at home and abroad. True, it 
may sometimes happen that a person is amenable to both 
jurisdictions for one and the same act. . . . This does not, 
however, necessarily imply that the two governments possess 
powers in common, or bring them into conflict with each 
other. It is the natural consequence of a citizenship which 
owes allegiance to two sovereignties and claims protection 
from both. The citizen cannot complain because he has 
voluntarily submitted himself to such a form of government. 
He owes allegiance to the two departments, so to speak. 



^ See T^oughby on the Constitution, i, p. 272. 
* See in re Wehlitz, 16 Wisconsin, 44S. 
> United States vs. Cruikshank, 02 U. S., 542. 

67 



AMERICANS BY CHOICE 

and within their respective spheres must pay the pen- 
alty which each exacts for disobedience to its laws. In re- 
turn he can demand protection from each within its own 
jurisdiction. 

There is still another jurisdiction to which citizens 
must give attention, and to the foreigner it is an added 
perplexity in the understanding of our system: the 
purely local laws, ordinances, and rulings of city, 
health, police; of coimtry, town, and village; Trad 
sometimes these seem to run counter to one another, 
and leave him in a maze of fear and uncertainty — ^to 
say nothing of those mysterious exceptions, exemp- 
tions, and immunities which seem to be accorded for 
the benefit of those who, by political loyalty or sub- 
serviency, favoritism — ^and even cash payments upon 
occasion — ^have got themselves "in right," as the 
saying goes. 

The problems of national solidarity and loyalty 
raised so acutely all over the country by the exigencies 
and conflicts of the war have made the mass of the 
people of the United States keen as never before about 
the standards and technical tests of citizenship. The 
tendency, very marked now, is to establish and uphold 
the uniformity of conditions which beyond a doubt 
shall represent the spirit, if not the letter, dF the law. 
We are now to consider the machinery and the process 
which the aspirant for citizenship confronts as he 
knocks at our wicket. 



08 



IV 

DEVELOPMENT OF THE NATUBAUZATION LAW 

( Natukalization, the legal ceremony by which the 
iiative or adopted citizen <^ one country acquires 
citizenship^ another^ is in its significance and essen- 
tials very ancient — ^it goes back to the blood transfu- 
sion and other primitive cer^oionials by which those 
of other kin were admitted as brothers to full standing 
in family, dan, or tribal membership. It registers and 
eflFectuates two distinct things — a divorce and a new 
marriage, so to say. (ThCTe are two parties to the two- 
fold process: the petitioner, who on his own account 
renoimces the old allegiance and professes his desire 
and his intention to assume the new; and the adopting 
government which, on its part, accepts the applicant 
and upon him confers the standing and privileges and 
imi>oses the responsibilities and obligations attaching 
to citi2^nship under its protecti(Hi and authority.^) 
This is precisely the na^ire of the process through 
which must go every foreign-bom person who becomes 
an active member of the United States. 



OUB "CHABTEB ICEMBEBs" 

As in the case of other new organizations, we had at 
the beginning what might be called 'Xharter Mem- 
bers." We were not fussy about it. There was no 
prejudice then against the newcomer — ^we "needed 
him in our business!" The Constitution of the United 
6 60 



AMERICANS BY CHOICE 

States in its inception took in as a matter of course 
everybody then resident here who by any color of 
law could be construed to be entitled to membership. 
Even the provision requiring native birth for the 
Presidency limited it only to one natural bom, ^*or 
a citizen of the United States at the time of the adop- 
tion of this Constitution." ^ Martin van Buren was 
actually the first President bom an American citizen. 
The seven who preceded him all ware bom subjects 
of the British crown. 

Prior to 1700, few immigrants who were not British 
subjects had sought homes in the American colonies; 
the few of other nationality found no difficulty in 
being accepted as feOow citizens with thode who pre- 
ceded them. For obvious reasons, the Colonial gov- 
ernments were liberal in granting civil rights to new- 
comers of almost every sort. It was absolutely vital 
to the preservation of the new civilization here that 
there should be an increasing number of men to assist 
in conquering the wilderness and in defending the 
fringe of settlements against attack. How could the 
pioneer nation have maintained itself, much less have 
advanced and spread westward until its feet were 
stopped by the Pacific, without these adventiu*ous 
souls of every race? 

So the sieve was of coarse mesh. 



FIBST NATURALIZATION LAWS 

Generally speaking, except where a colony had legis- 
lated independently in the matter, the British law 
was in effect. Under this, an alien might be natural- 

^ This exception is said to have been included prindpally to aUow 
digibility to Alexander Hamilton, who was bom in the West 
under the British flag. 

70 




THE NATURALIZATION LAW 

ized by the Act of Parliament, or given partial rights 
by grant of the king, in ^'Letters of Denization/' 

Prior to 1740, a number of naturalization laws were 
passed by Colonial legislatures. General laws were 
passed by New York and Pennsylvania in 1683, South 
Carolina in 1696, and Virginia somewhat later. The 
use of the private Act of Naturalization was veiy com- 
mon, especially in Penni^lvania and New York. The 
graieral Act of Pennsylvania was in fact revoked by 
Queen Anne, and from that time until 1840 all nat- 
uralizations in that colony were by private or special 
ilation. 
Probably the first naturalization of aliens in the 

few World was the collective acceptance of the Dutch 
inhabitants ot New Amsterdam (New York) by the 
articles of capitulation in 1664} by which they with 
their territory passed under the British flag. (Two 
years later Augustine Herman of Prague, with his 
family, was naturalized by Act of the Maryland As- 
sembly. This appears to have been the first naturali- 
zation law enacted in America.^ 

vThe rights conferred by all of these Colonial Acts 
were limited strictly to the colony in which each was 
passed. ^ Political rights varied in the different colonies, 
chiefly according to voting qualifications in force in 
each. But since most of them provided for a property 
qualification, the permission to foreigners to own land 
usually carried with it the right of suffrage. However, 
in some of the colonies the naturalized citizen was not 
digible to public office. For all practical purposes 
of social standing, the ownership of land sufficed, and 
since that could be passed down by inheritance, and 
it was always admitted that a child bom on this soil 
was a citizen regardless of his racial descent, the re- 
strictions were hardly irksome at that time. 
I In 1740 the English Parliament passed an Act for 

\ 71 



( 



AMERICANS BY CHOICE 



providing tw naturaUzatioB in the American colonies^ 
of "foreign Protestants." Persons natiu*alized under 
tiiis statute might enjoy all civil rights except that of 
holding certain offices. A residence of seven years 
was required, and certain oaths and rites were imposed, 
including partaking of the sacrament of the Hdy 
Communion in accordance with the ritual of the Church 
<rf England. Quakers, and Jews, howev^, were the 
r subject of exemption; Quakers were permitted to 
affirm, rather than to swear, and Jews were permitted 
to omit the words, "on the faith of a ChristianV* /This 
Act remained the basic law of the American pFOvmces 
until the Revolution, when all British statutes were, 
at least constructively, superseded by Acts <rf the 
Congress of the United States of America.* ] 

Among the grievances recited against the govern- 
ment of George III was the treatment of this subject 
of naturalization. It is thus set forth in the Declara- 
tion of Independence: 

He has endeavored to prevent the population of these 
States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturali- 
zation of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage 
their migration hither, and raising the conditions of new 
Appropriation of Lands. 

Under the Articles of Confederation, which served the 
new republic until the adc^ion ot the Constitution, 
no specific action was taken by the Congress to pro- 
vide for the naturalization, although certain provision 
was made for an oath ot allegiance for office-holders, 
and to facilitate desertion from the British ranks by 
offers of land and of citizenship. After the Revoluticm 

^ 18 George II, cbap. 7 — ^Ruffhead's Statuies-^tt^Large, vi, p. 384. 

*See Chanjiing's Higtory of the United States, vol. ii, pp. 413-416; 
also A. H. Carpenter, '^Naturalization in En^^and and the Colonies*" 
American HiHorical Review, vol. ix, p. £88. 

72 



THE NATURALIZATION LAW 

a number of individual states enacted naturalization 
statutes: Massachusetts, 1783-89; Delaware, 1788; 
Maryland, 1779; New Ywk, 1789; South CanJina, 
1784; Virginia, 1779-85, These Acts generally pro- 
vided very easy methods for the acquisition of citizen- 
ship — usually requiring only an oath of allegiance, 
without any specific length ci residence; though Vir- 
ginia required a f(»*mal declaration ot intention to 
remain h^re, and South Carolina insisted upon a previ- 
ous residence of at least one year. 

EFFORTS TOWABD TJNIFORMITT 

( The obvious and constant embarrassment arising from 
different requirements under diverse jurisdictions was 
recognized and discussed before the making of the 
Federal Constitutioii^ James Madison, for example, 
in 1782, urged the necessity of a uniform practice./* So n( 
general was the recognition of this need that the Con- 
stitutional Convention took it fo|* granted, and almost 
without discussion adopted the provision)which still 
stands, and under which all subsequent legislation 
has gained its authority: ^ 

Congress shall have power ... to establish an uniform 
rule oC naturalization . . . 

And almost immediatdif (1790), President Washing- 
ton having urged it in his message in January of that ^ 
year. Congress enacted a general Naturalization Act.' ^ 

The considerable debate in Congress concerning this 
measure not only throws an interesting light upon the 
policies prevailing at that time, but shows that while 
the new government realized the importance of desir- 
able immigration, there was full realization of the 

^ ConsHMum cf the United Statee, art i* sec. 8, 4. 
* United States Statutee-at^Letrge, vol. i, pp. 108-104. 

7S 



AMERICANS BY CHOICE 

diflSculty of so adjusting the process oi naturalization 
as to facilitate this while at the same time protecting 
the essentials of the American spirit and institutions 
from the insidious influen^ces feared from certain types 
of newcomers. ( The conflicting attitudes of the highly 
liberal Quakers in Penn^lvania and the austere Puri- 
tans of New England — ^visible in many ways in all the 
legislation of the early years in the contrasting juris- 
dictions of the northern Atlantic colonies, appears 
clearly in the debates, from which emerged the Act 
of 1790, whose essentials were as follows: 

I. Naturalization to be conferred by any court of record. 

n. A requirement of two years' residcDce in the United 
States, and one year within the State. 

m. Proof required of good moral character, and oath to 
support the Constitution of the United States. ^ 



( 



This Act was repealed in 1795 by another^ intro- 
ducing the declaration of intenti<m to become a citi- 
zen, and extending the period of required residence from 
two years to five. This Act has been the basis of our 
naturalization system ever since. Its main provisions 
were these: 

I. A preliminary dedaration of intention to become a 
citizen of the United States, to be made at least three years 
[the present law specifies two years] before final application 
for citizenship. 

n. Naturalization jurisdiction was vested in any ''su- 
preme, superior, district or circuit court'* of the states or of 
the territories northwest or south of the River Ohio, or a 
a circuit or district court of the United States. 

m. Five years' residence in the United States, and cme 
year's residence in the state in which the application was 
made. 

IV. An oath of allegiance. 

1 Unikd States SUOuUHoi-Large, vol. i, pp. 414-441. 

74 



^ United States Statutee^i^Large, voL ii, pp. 153-155. 

75 



\ 



THE NATURALIZATION LAW 

Aliens then lesidmg in the United States might be 
naturalized after iwo years' residence. ^ 

This Act was fathered by James Madison, then a 

Timber of Congress. ) 
President Jefferson, in his first message to Congress, 
advocated a revision of the Naturalization Law, to 
the end that ''the general character and capabilities 
of a citizen be safely communicated to everyone mani- 
festing a bona fide purpose of embarking his life and 
fortunes permanently with us.*' 

Accordingly the Jeffersonian Congress of 1802 re- 
pealed the Act of 1795, and enacted one^ which re- 
mained substantially in force for more than a century. 
Its provisions, in the main, were as follows: 

I. Naturalization jurisdiction was vested in the supreme, 
superior, district and circuit courts (a district court meaning 
any court of record having common-law jiuisdiction) in the 
states and territorial districts and in the circuit and district 
courts of the United States. 

n. The Declaration of Intention was still required, with 
the three years* interval before final application. 

m. Five years' residence in the United States and one 
in the State was still required. 

rV. Oath of allegiance to the United States, with specific 
renunciation of former allegiance. 

V. Pioof of good moral character and attachment to the 
principles of the United States. 

Under this Act the children of persons duly natu- 
ralized were, if resident in the United States, to be 
considered citizens, and those bom elsewhere were to 
enjoy the same status, provided that the citizenship 
should not descend to children whose fathers never 
resided in the United States. 

An Act passed in 1804 slightly modified the regula- 



/ 



AMERICANS BY CHCHCE 

tioh in favor of aliens isesiding in the United States^ 
between 1798 and 180d> and provided also that in case 
a '* declarant" should die before his naturalization 
had been consummated, his widow and miuOT children 
should be deemed citi2sens upon taking the prescribed 

rtiJ ) 
During the second war with England^ in 1818, an Act 
was passed requiring the five years' residence to be 
absolutely unbroken by any absence whatever from 
the United States, and prescribing penalties for forgery 
or sale of naturalization certificates.* Later in the 

y same year another law was passed to permit the 
naturalization of alien enemies (then Englishmen) 
who had declared intention prior to June 18, 1812.' j 
Another important amendment was made in 1816.^ 
( In 1824, following a period of agitation for earlier 
naturalization. Congress passed an Act, the most im- 
portant provision of which^ reduced from three to two 

y years the minimum interval between the declaration 

f( of intention and final naturalization.^ It is interesting 
to note that this agitation for more liberal conditions 
came, as might be expected, at the time of the initial 
influx of aliens to the East^n cities, and the b^in- 
nings of the political exploitation of th»'' foreign vote." 
Further slight changes were made in 1828,* and 

\ after twenty years more, in 1848, Congress abolished 
the restriction of 1813 which f^bade any absence what- 
ever from the country during the five years' period of 
''continuous residence.^' ^ Biit during all of the period 
between 1820 and the Civil War there was an increasing 
''Native American" agitation for narrower, rather 
than more liberal, restricti<»is, even to the pmnt of 
abolishing naturalization altogether. Innumerable bills 

^ United States Staiutes-aJtrLarge, vol. ii, pp. 292-298. 
« /Wd., p. 811. » Ibid,, vol. iii, p. 53. * Ibid,, voL iii, p. 269. 
• lUd,, vol. iv, p. 69. • Ibid,, vol. iv, p. 810. ' Ibid,, vol, ix, p. 240. 

70 



THE NATURALIZATION LAW 

were introduced reflecting this agitation; but, owing 
both to the increasing importance of the foreign-bom 
element in politics, and to the underlying realization 
that the nation must have a constant accretion of 
population, no such legislation reached the statute 
books. The three minor amendments enacted during 
and immediately after the Civil War were designed 
to meet conditions arising out of the state of war.^ 
fin 1876 the Act of 180^ was amended so that the 
dedaration of intention could be made, as it is now, 
before the derk of any of the courts having naturaliza- 
tion jurisdiction.^ And in 1872 and 1894 provision 
was made for the easier naturalization of the United 
v)^ States soldiers, sailors, marines, and merchant sea- 
men, about whose permanency of residence there was 
embarrassment.^ 



r 



BABS UP AGAINST ALIEN ANARCHISTS 

The assassination of President McKinley, in 1901, 
by a professed anarchist brought to a head the feeling 
against foreign ultra-radicals, and resulted in the enact- 
ment in 1903 ^ of the restricti<m against the admission 
to this country of persons believing in the abolition 
of organized government or the removal of public 
officers by violence.^ This test is widely applied now 
by judges and by the Naturalization Service in the 
examination of applicants for citizenship. 

VARIOUS PRESIDENTS DISCUSSED NATURALIZATION 

The impcHtance of the subject of the absorption of 
foreign-bom persons into our life is reflected all through 

^ United States 8tatute9-<xt-Large, vol. zii, p. 597. 
* Ibid., vol. xix, p. it, 

* ' Ibid,, vol. xvii, p. 268, and vol. zxviii, p. 124. 
« Ibid., vol. xzxii, pt. 1, p. 1222. 

77 



AMERICANS BY CHOICE 

the records of the government; allusions to it may be 
f omid in a large proportion of the messages of the Presi- 
dents to Congress. John Adams found occasion to 
erpress abhorrence of '' intrigues of foreign agents to 
alienate the affections of the Indians and to arouse 
them to acts of hostility." 

The liberal sentiments of Thomas Jefferson appeared 
in his early recommendation of a revision of the law 
requiring fourteen years' residence: "Shall we refuse 
the refuge extended to our fathers," said he, in sub- 
stance, "to the unhappy fugitivies from distress arriv- 
ing in this land? Shall oppressed humanity find no 
asylum on this globe?" But at the same time he re- 
marked that for admission to certain offices of trust, 
a residence should be required sufficient to develop 
character and an appreciation of the design of our 
institutions. 

James Madison's interest in the Subject was ex- 
hibited throughout his administration, and especially 
in his activities on the floor of Congress. 

President Buchanan insisted upon the full status for 
naturalized citizens. 

Our Government is bound [said he] to protect the 
rights of our naturalized citizens everywhere to the same 
extent as though they had drawn their first breath in this 
country. We can recognize no distmction between our 
native and natiualized citizens. 

Abraham Lincoln and Andrew Johnson touched upon 
the question of the French and Russian claims upon 
immigrants who came here merely to escape military 
service; Lincoln pointing out that there should be 
a time limit beyond which the United States would not 
attempt to protect persons who came here for that 
reason and then returned to their native countries 
claiming to be American citizens; Johnson, on the 

78 



THE NATURALIZATION LAW 

other hand, emphasizing the effect ci naturalization 
in absolving the individual from all former allegiance. 
President Grant urged Congress to define the condi- 
tions of expatriation, and to regulate by law the status 
of children of aliens becoming naturalized, and that ot 
American women manying noncitizens. He also drew 
attention to the growing evil of fraudulent naturaliza- 
tion, and urged the establishment of a ^stem of uni- 
form certificates and records. 

President Arthur also called for a central bureau of 
registry, and for a general revision of the naturaliza- 
tion law, pointing out that much of it now had only 
historical interest, that the provisions regarding chil- 
dren of naturalized parents were ambiguous, and that 
the constitutional authority to establish ""an uniform 
rule'' called for a dear definition of the status of 
^'persons bom within the United States subject to a 
foreign power, and minor children of fathers who 
have dedared their intention but have failed to perfect 
their naturalization." 

( President Cleveland devoted a good deal of atten- 
tion to the subject. He, too, emphasized the need 
of centralized Federal control over the records, and re- 
-peatedly called for a general revision of the law, insist- 
ing that the ^* privilege and franchise of American 
dtizenship" should be granted with scrupulous care. 
He gave warning against *'the ea^ and unguarded 
manner in which certificates of naturalization can 
now be obtained,'' and the growth of a dass of 
persons who availed themsdves of it tor political 
purposes. ) 

^ Benjamin Harrison emphasized the need of an in- 
vestigation of the moral character of the applicant for 
dtizenship, to make more certain the existence of a 
"good disposition toward our government"; calling 
also for a more particular ^stem of court hearings, with 

79 



( 



-I 



AMERICANS BY CHOICE 

proper opportiinity for representatives of the govern- 
ment to appear. He declared that '^ avowed enemies of 
social order" dbonld be denied not only citizenship^ 
but even domicile here. He also adverted to the evils 
of fraudulent naturalizaticm. 



DEFINITE REFOHM AT LAST 

It was the growmg reaUzation of this general condition, 
of the notorious ease with which naturalization could 
be acquired; the wholesale issue and sale of fraudulent 
certificates; the debauching of elections through the 
manipulation of the "" foreign vote/' and the general 
cheapening of the franchise, that brought the subject 
to a head.) It was common knowledge that these 
frauds were^ prevalent wherever there were large num- 
ber of foreign-born people, and that both of the great 
political parties vied with each other in exhausting 
ingenuity to devise methods for the exploitation of 
the alien population. Which party excelled in the 
business d^>ended almost entirely upon which was 
dominant in ai^ particular community. The situation 
was a scandal in any event, and the sober sentiment 
of the nation realized increasingly that something 
must be done about it. 



NATURALIZATION COMMISSION APPOINTED 

/ It was not until the administration of President Roose- 
velt, however, that definite steps were taken. During 
the years 1903-05 the Department of Justice became 
very active in unearthing and prosecuting violations 
of the naturalization laws. Hundreds of cases of 
fraudul^it naturalization were discovered, and nearly 
seven hundred convictions were obtained?^. A special 
examiner of the Department of Justice, /A. C. van 

80 



THE NATURALIZATION LAW 

Deusen, made an extensive report oo the subject in 
1905.1 

By Executive Order, March 1» 1905» Presid^it 
Roosevelt created a special conunission, consisting 
of Milton D. Purdy, Assistant Attorney-General 
representing the Department of Justice, chairman; 
Gaillard Hung, chief of the Bureau of Citizenship 
in the Department of State, representing that depart- 
ment, and Richard K. Campbell, attorney fo^ the 
Immigration Bureau in the Depaitment of Commerce 
and Labor (now Commissioner of Naturalization in 
the Department of LabcH*), ^Ho investigate and report 
on the subject of naturalization in the United States,'' 
and ta recommend changes in the naturalization laws.* 
The conunission's report is invaluable in any study 
of the subject of Naturalization Law and Procedure. 
( The average citizen scarcely realizes how comjdetely 
the Naturalization Law of 1906, which was the fruit 

^ of the labors of this commission, has revolutionized 
the whole business. ^Whatever may be the defects of 
the law, or of the practice which has grown up under 
It, they are in the main due to "leanii^ over backward" 
in the honest effort to dean and keep clean the flow 
of new blood into our citizenship. (Generally speaking, 
it is to be said that the enforcement of this statute has 

. SL abolished most c^ the evils of fraud and exploitation 
which before that were a scandal and a menace in 

rnerican political life.) 
By this act the Naturalization Service ^as estab- 
lished and an absolutely new era initiated. As Mr. 
Campbell, who forthwith became chief of the Division 

^ Extracts from tliis report may be found in the Reffort cf the 
President's Commission on Naturalizationt Ftfty-ninth Congress, First 
Session, House Document 46. 

' The report of this commission is available as House Document 46» 
Fifty-ninth Congress, First Session. 

81 



AMERICANS BY CHOICE 

of Naturalization in the Bureau of Immigration,^ said 
in his report tor the fiscal year ending June 30, 1908, the 
process of becoming natiuralized as an American citizen 

. . . has acquired (even after so short an <q>eration of the new 
system) a formality and dignity which is in some measm^ 
commensurate with the importance of the Act and the gravity 
of its consequences; it is no longer possible to *' railroad" 
aliens in groups to the naturalization courts, in defiance of 
the law and in disregard of even an appearance of propriety; 
the courts which have jurisdiction are no longer such as are 
*' devoted largely to the trifling and indecent affairs of the 
community," and the conferring of citizenship is, in this re- 
spect, no longer '* ranked with disturbing the peace or keeping 
an unlicensed dog," as it was expressed by a judge of a court 
in describing the conditions under the old law. 

And in his seventh report, for 1913-14, to the Sec- 
retary of Labor, Mr. Campbell remarked that 

To those who will take the trouble to compare the chaotic 
and disorderly conditions which characterized the pro- 
cedure for more than a century of our national existence with 
4- the dignity, uniformity, and regularity of the present system, 
it must appear to be a matter of inexplicable carelessness 
that the reform should so long have been delayed. 

In the same report, the Commissioner of Naturaliza- 
tion points to one reform embodied at least potentially 
in the present sfystem, which alone would have justi- 
fied it: 

There is, too, for the person naturalized, a security of 
title to his political or national status never b^ore enjoyed 
by him. The title to citizenship is the recorded order of the 

^ yfiik the creation of the Department of Labor, in 1918, out of 
the former Department of Commerce and Labor— Commerce becom- 
ing a 8q>arate d^artment — ^the Naturalization Service became a 
Bureau of that department, headed by a Commissioner responsible 
to the Secretary of Labor. 

82 



f 



THE NATURALIZATION LAW 

court. * The certificate is simply the conclusive evidence of 
such order. If there was no written record made, as was 
often the case, or if that record was destroyed, as happened 
not infrequently, the title to citizenship hung by the slender 
thread of a piece of paper carried by the owner and subject 
to all the risks attendant upon such possessions. If lost, 
to all practical intents his citizenship was also lost. Now the 
duplicate ?mtten record, one in the court and one in the 
Bureau [of Naturalization]* is an ample defense against all 
such acddents. 

It would he, indeed; but what if in course of time 
these records in the Bureau should have come into 
such condition* owing to inadequate clerical force and 
increasing absorption of the Bureau in other activities, 
that the record there could not be traced! 

However, any criticism or consideration of the present 
system, to be intelligent or fair, must take into account* 
first, the incredibly chaotic conditions which formerly 
prevailed, and second, the fact that never — ^not even 
now — ^has the naturalization system* as a problem in 
public administration, received even sup^cial atten- 
tion of the public. 

WHAT THE LAW BEQUIBES 

Before we proceed to consider the naturalization proc- 
ess as in action it has affected annually upward of one 
hundred thousand human beings seeking admission 
to citizenship in the United States* let us see the prin- 
cipal provisions of the law with which they come into 
contact. Section 4 of the Naturalization Law^ pro- 

^ Act <^ June 29, 1906 (84 United States Statutes-^it-Large, pt. i, 
p. 596), as amended by Act of March 4, 1909 (S5 Stat., pt. i, p. 1102), 
as further amended by Act of June 25, 1910 (86 Stat., pt. i, p. 880), 
as further amended by Act of March 4, 1918 (87 Stat., pt. i, p. 786), 
as further amended by Act of May 9, 1918 (Public No. 144, Sixty- 
fifth Congress, Second Session). 

88 






AMERICANS BY CHOICE 

vides that an alien may be admitted to become a 
citizen of the United States in the following manner 
"and not otherwise." 

First. He shall declare on oath before the clerk of any 
court authorized IBy this Act to naturalize aliens, or his 
authorized deputy, in the district in which such alien resides^ 
two years at least prior to his admission, and after he has 
reached the age of eighteen years, that it is his bona fide 
intention to become a citizen of the United States and to 
renounce forever all allegiance and fideUty to any foreign 
prince, potentate, state, or sovereignty* and particularly, by 
name, to the prince, potentate, state, or sovereignty of which 
the alien may be at the time a citizen or subject. And such 
declaration shall set forth the name, age, occupation, per- 
sonal description, place of birth, last foreign residence and 
allegiance, the date of arrival, the name of the vessel, if 
any, in which he came to the United States, and the present 
place of residence in the United States of said alien: Pro- 
vided, however, that no alien who, in conformity with the law 
in force at the date of his declaration, has declared his inten- 
tion to beccmie a citizen of the United States, shall be re- 
quired to renew such declaration. 

Second. Not less thaaJbdL^eai^* nor more than seven 
rears, after he has made such declaration of intention he 
shsoT make and file, in duplicate, a petition in writing, 
signed by the appHcant in his own handwriting and duly 
verified, in which petition such applicant shall state his full 
name, his place of residence (by street and number, if pos- 
sible), his occupation, and, if possible, the date and place <^ 
his birth; the place from which he emigrated, and the date 
and place of his arrival in the United States, and, if he enta*ed 
through a port, the name of the vessel on which he arrived; 
the time when, and the place and name of the court where he 
declared his intention to become a citizen of the United States; 
if he is married he shall state the name of his wife and, if 
possible, the country of her nativity and her place of residence 
at the time of filing his petition; and if he has children, the 

name, date, and place of birth and place of residence of 

84 



THE NATURALIZATION LAW 

each child living at the time of the filing of his petiUon: 
Promdedy That if he has filed his dedaration b^ore the pas- 
sage of this Act he shall not be required to sigh the petition 
in his own handwriting. 

The j>ejjtiQnj3halLafit forth that he is not aiUahfiliever in, 
or oppose d to.^ orjp nized government, or a member of or 
affiliated with any organization or body of persons teaching 
disbelief in, or opposed to, organized government; a polyg- 
amist or believer in the practice of polygamy; and that it 
is his intention to become a citizen of the United States and 
to r**nf^iim»<> ftt^fl/^|jj^i>ly and f orevcr all allegiance and fidelity 
to any foreign prince, potentate, state, or sovereignty, and 
particularly by name to the prince, potentate, state, or 
sovereignty of which he at the time of filing <^ his petition 
may be a citizen or subject; and that it is his intention to 
reiude permanently within the United States; and whether or 
not he has been denied admission as a citizen of the United 
States, and, if denied, the ground or grounds of such denial, 
the court or courts in which such decision was rendered, and 
that the cause for such denial has since been cured or removed ; 
and every fact material to his naturalization and required 
to be proved upon the final hearing of his application. 

The petition shall also be verified by the .affidavits of at 
least t wo credible w itnesses, who are citizens of the United 
States, and who shall state in their affidavits that they have 
personally known the applicant to be a resident of the United 
States for a period of at least five years continuously, and 
of the State, Territory, or the District of Columbia, in which 
the application is made, for a period of at least one year im- 
mediately preceding the date of the filing of his petition, and 
that they each have personaT knowledge that the petitioner 
is a person of good moral character, and that he is in every 
way qualified, in their opinion, to be admitted as a citizen 
of the United States. 

At the time of filing his petition there shallbe filed with 

the clerk of the court a cfiili^cate from the^epuiment of 

Labor,lrChe petitioner arrives in the United States alter the 

passage of this Act, stating the date, place, and manner of 

his arrival in the United States, and the declaration of inten- 
7 85 



AMERICANS BY CHOICE 

ticrn of such petitioner, which certificate and dedaraticm 
shall be attached to and be made a part of said petition. 

Tliifd. He_^ball, before he is admitted to citizenship, 
declare on oath iiLopeQ co urt that he will suppor t tiie C on- 
stitution of the United States, and that he absolutely and 
entirely renoynceajUEld abjiires all alje^ance and fidelity to 
any foreign prince, potentate, state, or sovereignty, and par- 
ti(Hilarly by name to the prince, potentate, state, or sover- 
eignty of which he was before a citizen or subject; that he 
will s uppOT t and defend- the Constitution and laws of the 
United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic, 
and bear true faith and allegiance to the same.^ 

Fourth. It shall be made to appea r to the satisfaction 
of the court admitting any alien to citizenship that immedi- 
ately-preceding the date of his application he'Eas resided 
continuously within the United States five j^^^sTtTeasl, 
and within the State or Territory where such court is at the 
time held one year at least, and that during that time he 
has behaved as a maoual.gQod moral character, attached to 
the principleauitJjie^CoastitutJon sjj. the United States, and 
well disposed to the good order and happiness of the same. 
In addition to the oath of the applicant, the testimony of 
at least twi^witnesaeiy citizens of the United States, as to 
the facts of residence, moral character, and attachment to 
the principles of the Constitution shall be required, and the 
name, place .of residence, and occupation of each witness shall 
be set forth in the record. 

Fifth. In case the alien .applying to be admitted to citi- 
zenship has borne any hereditary title, or has been of any 
of the orders of nobility in the kingdom or state from which 



^The Oath of Allegiance usually imposed in these proceedings 
reads as follows: 

I hereby dedare on oatkp thai I absoltUely and entirely renounce and 
allure all aUegianee and fidelity to any foreign prince, potentate, etate, or 
sovereignty, and particidarly to [name of sovereign of country] of whom 
I hate heretofore been a subjeat; that I will support and defend the 
Constitution and laws of the United States of America against all 
enemies, foreign and domestic, and that I will bear true faith and 
allegiance to the same, ^ 

86 



THE NATURALIZATION LAW 

be came, he shall, in addition to the above requisite, make 
an express renunciation of his title or order of nobility in 
the courtTorwhteh~hlS"appli<5ati6n is made, and his renuncia- 
tion shall be recorded in the court. 

Sixth. When any alien who has declared his intention to 
become a citizen of theTTmted States dies before he is actu- 
ally naj^ijgcalizfidJl^.widow and minor diildren pf jsruch aUen 
may, by complying with the oiler provisions of this Act, 
be naturalized without making any declaration of intention. 

Section 8 of the Naturalization Law gives still further 
requirements: 

That no alien shall hereafter be naturalized or admitted 
as a citizen of the United States who ^nnnt °pp«»ir *h^ F.i^g- 
lish language: Provided, That this requirement shall not 
apply to aliens who are physically unable to comply there- 
with, if they are otherwise qualified to become citizens of the 
United States: And provided further. That the requirements 
of this section shall not apply to any alien who has, prior to 
the passage of this Act, declared his intention to become a 
citizen of the United States in conformity with the law in 
force at the date of making such declaration: Provided 
further. That the requirements of section eight shall not apply 
to aliens who shall hereafter declare their intention to becx>me 
citizens and who shall make homestead entries upon the 
public lands of the United States and comply in all respects 
with the laws providing for homestead entries on such lands. 

The final hearing must be public, in open court, and 
the judge must pass upon the petition personally: 

Section 9. That every final hearing upon such petition 
shall be had in open court before a judge or judges thereof, and 
every final order which may be made upon such petition 
shall be imder the hand of the court and entered in full upon 
a record kept for that purpose, and upon such final hearing 
of such petition the applicant and witnesses shall be examined 
under oath before the court and in the presence of the court. 

Attention needs to be drawn especially to the fol- 
lowing section, which, however innocuous in appear- 

87 



AMERICANS BY CHOICE 

ance, has given rise to a vast deal of vexation and in- 
justice, and has caused the exclusion from citizenship 
of a large number of persons otherwise perfectly quali- 
fied and desirable: 

Section 10. That in case the petitioner has not resided 
in the State, Territory, or the District of Columbia for a period 
of five years immediately preceding the filing of his petition 
he may establish by two witnesses, both in his petition and 
at the hearing, the time of his residence within the State, 
provided that it has been for more than one year, and the 
remaining portion of his five years' residence within the 
United States required by law to be established may be 
proved by the depositions of two or more witnesses who are 
citizens of the United States, upon notice to the Bureau of * 
Naturalization. 

It will become evident as we proceed that the inter- 
pretation which has been placed by the courts and the 
Naturalization Service upon the distinction between 
the phrases, "two witnesses," "at least two witnesses," 
and "two or more witnesses," has in practice caused a 
palpable absurdity from the point of view of common 
sense, and inflicted crying hardships and wrongs from 
the point of view of bare justice. Upon the humanity 
and good sense of the court, interacting with the same 
on the part of the representatives of the government, 
has depended to a very great degree the sensible inter- 
pretation of these and other provisions of the law; 
but in general both are bound by its letter, and in 
niany instances they have been forced to reject peti- 
tions which, on the sane merits of the case, should have 
been accepted. 



88 



THE LAW IN OPERATION 

CoMBOssioNER CABiPBELL» in his annual report for the 
fiscal year ending June SO, 1914» described in some 
detail the operations of the field service of his Bureau 
in the handling of the applicant for citizenship: 

The headquarters of the various districts are located in 
the large cities, where the greatest number of aliens apply 
for naturalization, and in the public buildings or in dose 
proximity to the courts.^ In many of the cities where the 
examiaers are in the same building with the court, it is the 
practice of the alien to appear with his witnesses first in 
the office of the chief examiner. Here an examination is 
made in advance of any work in the office of the clerk of 
court The examiners, specially trained in the work, first 
ascertain whether the alien arrived in the United States 
prior to the passage of the Act of 1906. If he arrived prior 
to the passage of the Act, the examiner then ascertains, 
before assisting him in taking the second step in the process 
of naturalization, whether the alien has a declaration of 
intention that has matured.' If he has arrived subsequent 



^The division offices are located in Boston, New York, Phila- 
ddphia, Pittsburgh, Chicago, St. Louis, St. Paul, Denver, San Fran- 
cisco, Seattle, and Washington, D. C, the last named being a divisi<m 
field headquarters, with a chief examiner in charge, as well as the 
site of the general headquarters of the Naturalization Bureau itself. 

' That is to say, has been extant for at least two years, and, pre- 
sumably, whether it has not expired by reason of having been extant 
for more than seven years — ^in which event it would be invalid l^ 

ixpiration. 

89 



AMERICANS BY CHOICE 

to the passage of the Act, he ascertains whether the alien 
has been notified by the Bureau that the certificate of arrival 
required by law to be filed with the clerk of court at the time 
of filing the petition for naturalization has been placed there 
by the Bureau. It may be stated here that when an alien 
applies for a certificate of arrival, the Bureau notifies him 
when it has been obtained and forwarded to the cleric of 
the court selected by the alien in which to file his petition for 
naturalization, and he is directed to proceed with the filing 
of his petition at the earliest practicable moment. 

Upon learning that the certificate of arrival has been ob- 
tained, the examiner interrogates the candidate to learn his 
qualifications for citizenship and records the results of his 
examination. He then examines the witnesses to be reason- 
ably certain that they are American citizens, that they are 
credible and of good character, that they have personally 
known the applicant for the statutory period, and can intel- 
ligently testify both as to his residence and good behavior 
during the period required by the statute to be ascertained 
and shown to the satisfaction of the court. 

The examiner also sees that the blank form furnished by 
the Bureau for setting forth the statements required to be 
embodied in the petition for naturalization is correctly pre- 
pared. When the examiner finds affirmatively in all of these 
respects, he marks the filled-out blank with his initials and 
sends it with the petitioner and his witnesses to the office 
of the clerk of the court, where nothing further is to be done 
than the simple clerical work of filling in the petition, origi- 
nal and duplicate, from the blank, securing the signatures and 
affidavits of the petitioner and his witnesses, filing the tripli- 
cate copy of the declaration of intention and the certificate 
of arrival with the petition, and notifying them as nearly 
as may be of the date of the hearing. 

This method prevails in large cities where the examiners 
are located in the buildings with the courts. The advantage 
to the residents of these large cities, in the saving of time and 
money to the petitioners and their witnesses, is readily dis- 
cerned when it is considered that probably fifty thousand 

applicants for citizenship annually might follow this course 

90 



THE LAW IN OPERATION 

if the conditions in each large center admitted of its bdng 
done. The advantage to be derived from having the candi- 
date and his witnesses appear before the naturalization 
examiner in advance of his appearance before the clerk of 
court were early recognized by one of the United States 
district courts, where a large number of petitions for natural- 
ization are filed annually, and an order of court was entered 
accordingly. In other courts, while the practice has not 
received this formal recognition, the consistency with which 
it is observed is none the less definite. This practice prevails 
in at least one city where the office of the chief examiner is 
not located in the building with the court. 

Further emphasizing the advantages of this practice, 
the Commissioner remarks that it enables the examiner 
to dispose of a large number of cases, and tends to 
obviate denials on such grounds as ''that the petitioner 
is aheady a citizen"; "incompetent witnesses," "in- 
sufficient residence," "no certificate of arrival," "decla- 
ration invalid," "premature petition," etc. — "unless, 
as is sometimes the case, a petitioner is obstinate and 
insists on taking his chance of admission by the court 
against the advice of the examiner." The Commis- 
sioner goes on to say: 

In some cities, by reason of the lack of proximity of the 
oSSice of the examiner to that of the clerk of the court,* the 
system does not prevail of having the candidate appear first 
before the examiner, . . . but efforts have constantly been 
made to augment the prevalence of the practice, and since 
the great bidk of the naturalization work is in the large 
centers . . . the plan described, with the restricted means pro- 
vided therefor, admirably accomplishes the effective dis- 
posal of the mass of work arising under the operation of the 
law wherever it has been adopted. 

Referring to the work in regions apart from the great 

cities, the Conmiissioner said, in his report for 1912-13: 

91 



X. 



AMERICANS BY CHOICE 

In a few of the districts there are what may be called 
sub-stations, where an examiner is located by his chief to 
attend to work in the vicinity of such sub-station, ... to re- 
duce the travel expense and to bring the service in actual 
personal contact with the public and the courts as intimatdy 
as possible. 

For the rest, and the far-outlying, sparsely-settled 
regions, where a person d[esiring citizenship must 
travel with his witnesses perhaps even hundreds of 
miles not once, but twice in any event, and in some 
cases several times, to and from the court having juris- 
diction over the territory in which he lives, the situ- 
ation is not so simple. To persons completing by 
the essential of American Citizenship their title to a 
homestead on the public lands — ^necessarily and char- 
acteristically in such sparsely settled regions — this 
item of travel, expense in both money and time for 
three persons, to say nothing of other hardships and 
exasperations involved in the meticulous technicalities 
of the law and practice, not infrequently is a raw 
tragedy. Neither provision by Congress nor adminis- 
trative arrangement or concession in enforcement by 
the Naturalization Bureau or the courts has materially 
mitigated the hardships involved in such cases. 

RESTRICTIONS OF RACE 

(Not every alien, whatever his character or good disposi- 
tion toward the "good order and happiness" of the 
United States, or his willingness to "support and 
defend the Constitution and bear true faith and 
allegiance to the same,'' can become a citizen of the 
United States. He, or she, must be either white, or 
black — or, in the case of the American Indian, red. 
And if black, he, or she, must be of African descent. 

A long series of decisions has been necessary to define 

92 



X 



THE LAW IN OPERATION 

exactly what races are excluded; with the result that 
( it is now» for practical purposes, well established that 
naturalization cannot, under existing laws, be granted 
to Chinese, Japanese, Hawaiians,^Burmese, or the 
black or brown natives of India, y t 

It is not our province here to discuss the merits 
either of the racial limitation or of the somewhat 
vague definition that has been arrived at; it must suffice 
to outline the situation. The Naturalization Law of 
1870 limited natiu*alization to ^'aliens being free white 
persons; and to aliens of African nativity and to per- 
sons of African descent." This was enacted in the 
tense days of Reconstruction after the Civil War, and 
was a natural but wholly unnecessary fling at the 
South. All American negroes are citizens of the United 
States by virtue of their birth in this coimtry, and 
those who come here from Africa are likely to be in- 
capable of passing the naturalization tests. (Congress 
never has enacted a clear definition of the term, 
^* white person,'' and endless confusion has existed. 
Hawaiians, Afghans, Chinese, Syrians, Turks, and 
^ Kji Islanders, all have been admitted by some courts 
and excluded by others.) The Commissioner of Natu- 
ralization at one time directed the field force to oppose 
vigorously the admission of any Asiastic. A non- 
Mongolian Turk, married to a white woman literally 
Caucasian, would be surprised to have his son excluded 
as not a white person; but such folk, and many others 
white by any common-sense definition, were excluded, 
the courts usually accepting as the judgment of experts 
the contention pf the naturalization examiners; imtil 
QnaUy the ruling was rescinded/ and the matter has 
since then been left largely to the discretion of the 
courts, which have substantially settled the question 
so far as it may be settled in absence of a clear con- 
stitutional or legislative definition^\ such as exists 



93 



'; 



AMERICANS BY CHOICE 

specifically in the Act of 1882 excluding the Chinese 
by name. As the law and decisions stand now» the 
same definition which will admit an African deck- 
hand or cook excludes a Japanese prince or a Hindu 
university graduate.^ 

As for the Filipinos, it was held, in 1915, by the 
Supreme Court of the District of Columbia, that a 
Filipino is neither an alien nor an African, and that, 
therefore, he did not come within the provisions of the 
law limiting naturalization to white aliens, or black 
ones of African descent; that the Filipino then before 
the court could and would be naturalized imder the 
section providing: 

That all the applicable provisions of the naturalization 
laws of the United States shall apply to and be held to author- 
ize the admission to citizenship of all persons not citizens 
who owe permanent allegiance to the United States, and who 
may become residents of any State or organized Territory 
of the United States. 

In another case (not, however, involving clearly the 
question of racial color) a native of the Philippine 
Islands, of full Spanish paternity, but of half-breed 
blood on his mother's side, was admitted by the same 
court.* 

There was a dubious situation regarding Porto 
Ricans; for it was held at first that, when the United 
States acquired Porto Rico and the Philippines by 
the Spanish War, these peoples came under the "pro- 
tection" of the United States, but did not thereby 
acquire status as citizens. The Act of Congress, March 

^ See Van Dyne, Naturalization, pp. 42-50; Moore, Digest of Inter- 
national Law, vol. iii, p. S29. 

* In re Lopez, imrepoFted; Supreme Court, District of Columbia, 
December 18, 1915. In re Fernandez, unreported; same court, 
September 24, 191S. 

94 



THE LAW IN OPERATION 

2, 1917, cleared up this situation, however, declaring 
permanently resident Porto Ricans to be citizens, 
unless they owed allegiance to a foreign coimtry, or 
within six months after the passage of the Act specifi- 
cally refused American citizenship. This Act created 
the judicial "district of Porto Rico," and definitely 
vested natiu*alization jurisdiction in the United States 
District Court for that district, declaring residence in 
Porto Rico to be tantamount, for naturalization piu'T 
poses, to residence anywhere else in the United States. 
The Act of May 9, 1918, which swept into eligibility 
for immediate citizenship upward of two hundred 
thousand aUens serving m the army, navy, marine 
' corps, and merchant marine, definitely extended the 
privilege to several classes, including Filipinos and 
Porto Ricans, regardless of every consideration other 
than miUtory service, and it has been interpreted in 
favor of even Chinese and Japanese in those branches 
of the national war employ.^ 

LIMITATIONS REGARDING AGE 

\The present law says clearly that an alien may not 
make a declaration of intention imtil he is eighteen 
years old.'j The old law contained a provision to the 
eflFect that anyone who arrived in the United States 
before the age of eighteen could, after he had been 
here the required five years, become naturaUzed by 
virtue of one proceeding, which was held to constitute 
both declaration and final petition. Otherwise, noth- 
ing was said in the old law regarding the age required 
for declarat]on( an alien must be twenty-one, however, 
in order to be naturalizecL There was a good deal of 
uncertainty and confusion on this point, both the 



^ See chapter iz, on Military Naturalization. 

95 



AMERICANS BY CHOICE 

Naturalization Service and the courts taking varying 
and inconsistent positions from time to time and in 
various jurisdictions. This is of only academic interest 
now; but the situation is still somewhat dubious, 
I because an alien can file his declaration at the age of 
^eighteen, and in a strict construction of the law he 
can file his petition two years later at the age of twenty. 
Some courts have so construed it. ) It is generally cus- 
tomary, however, for the courts to insist upon the age 
of twenty-one before granting citizenship ;^lthough one 
should bear in mind that citizenship does not neces- 
sarily involve the suffrage, andfall states of the United 
States require attainment of twenty-one years b^ore 
the citizen can vote. ^ 

THE DECLARATION OF INTENTION 

So far as anything in the law goes to prevent, the 
immigrant can make his way immediately from the 
vessel that brings him, after the immigration authori- 
ties have admitted him to these shores, or across the 
Canadian or the Mexican border, to the clerk's oflSce 
in ""any court having a clerk, a seal, and jurisdiction 
over actions at law or equity, or law and equity, without 
limit as to amount," and within an hour of arrival file 
his declaration of intention to become an American 
citizen. Of coiu'se, he doesn't do that — ^unless in very 
rare instances. The available statistics go to show 
that, in the average case, he waits nearly seven (6.8) 
years,^ But whenever he files it, it will be good (unless 
some blimder of the clerk, or some technical defect 
whidi the clerk overlooks, makes it invaUd from the 
outset) for seven years. It cannot be made the basis 
of a petition for citizenship until two years after its 



^ See p. f237, this voliime. 

96 



THE LAW IN OPERATION 

date, and there must have been, before or after its 
date, at least three years' additional residence in the 
United States to make up the required five years, and 
the last year of the five must have been passed *' con- 
tinuously'' within the state or territory in which the 
filial petition is filed. 

Mr. Alien would better be very careful that his 
declaration is properly made out, on the identical 
printed form furnished by the Bureau of Naturaliza- 
tion; he must file it in the office of the clerk, and not 
deliver it to him at his house or on the street comer. 
He may not hear anything about this at the time; 
but seven years afterward he may be brought up 
standing by the fact that it is. invalid because of just 
such a defect. In the case in re Brefo (217 Fed., 
131-184} it was held, in 1914, that a declaration other- 
wise correct, but in typewriting, not on "the form fur- 
nished for that purpose by the government," was a 
"l^al nullity." Were such an enormity permitted, 
the court said, there would be "an end to uniformity"; 
government control and supervision could not exist! 
And in the case in re Langtry (31 Fed., 879), as 
long ago as 1887 the court declared that the clerk had 
no authority to take acknowledgment of declaration 
oS intention at the home of an alien. Numerous other 
cases in Pennsylvania, Illinois, Kentucky, North Caro- 
lina, Florida, have settled the fact that the clerk's 
office, or open court, is the only place where a valid 
declaration can be filed. 

If the clerk is without the proper blank forms, 
because he neglects to keep himself supplied, or be- 
cause the Naturalization Bureau at Washington fails 
to heed his request for them, there is nothing for the 
would-be declarant to do but go home — ^perhaps many, 
or in some cases as much as two hundred and fifty 

miles — and subsequently try again. 

97 



AMERICANS BY CHOICE 

As has been said, he must be very particular about 
the words that he or anyone else writes on the blank 
when he does get it. IS he files his declaration in a 
court which has much naturalization business, it is likely 
that the clerk or his deputy will see that it is letter- 
perfect; but if it is his fortune to reside in a district 
where naturalizations are few, or where the clerk 
regards the whole transaction as a nuisance, he may 
be permitted to make a fatal mistake or omission and 
remain in blissful ignorance of that fact for anywhere 
from two to seven years — until he goes before the 
court with his final petition and finds that because his 
f declaration was from the beginning technically defec- 
y tive he must file a new one and wait at least two years 
more. \ 



"declaration invalid" 



^ 



^ \This, in fact, has been a very common occurrence./ 
During the period 1908^-18, 8.5 per cent of all denials 
of naturalization petitions in the United States were 
on the ground of "declaration invalid"; that this 
percentage is made up of figures* tragically high in 
some districts may be recognized in the fa^t that in 
Nebraska it was 23.8, in Indiana £1.3, in Oregon 18.7, 
in Kansas 18.6, in Massachusetts 14.4, in Montana 
1S.2, in Iowa 12.5, in Arkansas and Idaho 11.3, in 
Washington 10.9, in Oklahoma 10.4. The petition 
of an Englishman applying for citizenship in Colorado 
was denied upon motion of the government's represent- 
ative, because in his declaration seven years before he 
had renounced "King Albert," when, in fact, the name 
of the then potentate of Great Britain was "Albert 
Edward*'!* As the court in that case truly said: 

^ Compiled from the reports of the Commissioner of Immigration. 
' District Court for Washington County, Colorado: In re William 
Wallace Mackey (1914). Unreported. 

98 



THE LAW IN OPERATION 

The act of renouncing the allegiance which one owes to a 
government or sovereign, and taking upon himself a new 
allegiance, is too solemn and important an act to be loosely 
performed, or to be surrounded by any imcertainty or doubt. 
No presumptions are indulged with respect to it. . . . The 
declaration of intention must in all material matters comply 
with the strict letter of the Act. 

The court may not rectify nunc pro tuncy as in most 
other kinds of litigation, technical blunders made in 
good faith or inadvertently by the declarant, or even 
by the clerk of the court in which the declaration was 
filed. All the responsibility lies upon the alien. 

In the unreported case of John Pollock, in the Phila- 
delphia Court of Quarter Sessions, in 1915, the peti- 
tioner had honestly believed himself to have acquired 
Cierman nationality from the flag of the Oerman ship 
on which he was bom, en route to the United States, 
of Russian parents coming here with intent to abandon 
their Russian nationality, and in his declaration had 
forsworn the German sovereignty; but the court held 
that the honesty of his mistake could not avail him — 
^* Unfortunately it is impossible to amend his declara- 
tion; . . . the application must be denied.'' Through 
a misunderstanding of the intricacies of political geog- 
raphy in the then Austria-Hungary, a petitioner who 
actually was bom under that sovereignty erroneously 
renounced the Grerman Emperor. In that case, when, 
three years later, upon his final petition for naturaliza- 
tion, the court undertook to amend the declaration, 
its power to do this was denied upon the government's 
appeal.^ 

Five Austrians went in a body to the office of the 
clerk of the Court of Common Pleas in Hudson County, 
New Jersey, to file declarations of intention. Doubt- 



1 In re FriedL 202 Fed., 800. 

99 



AMERICANS BY CHOICE 

less they were very glad, and very grateful, to have 
the clerk on duty fill out the required blanks for them! 
Two years or more later, when they marched proudly 
and anxiously into court to complete their citizenship, 
their petitions were denied — "declaration invalid,*' 
because, forsooth, as the court in its decision ex- 
plained: 

. . . The dark who filled out their papers assumed them all to 
be Germany and noted this in the declaration accordingly. 
The applicants contend that the error was a clerical error on 
the part of the clerk, and that their renunciation also in- 
cluded other sovereigns, rulers, or potentates. This, however, 
is not sufficient imder the statute. 

There are many other cases, in widely separated 

jurisdictions, to similar effect, showing, in general, that 

the courts sustain the contention of the Naturalization 

/Service that the law does not permit the rectification 

Y^ of even innocent blunders in the declaration, no matter 

by whom or in what circumstances they are made^ 

Who, then, is to see that the technicalities tnus 
insisted upon in the enforcement of the law as it reads 
are duly and truly observed? Surely not the alien! 
His care of his own interests is, in the nature of the 
case, ill-informed, and under the existing conditions, 
improved as they are in comparison with those pre- 
vailing in former times, he is at the mercy not only 
of the sometimes careless, begrudging, or perhaps 
well-intending, but better-informed clerk of couji:, 
but of many kinds of extra-legal assistants who, 
whether with good or with sordid motives, imdertake 
to give, or maybe to sell, advice or instruction — ^to 
say nothing of pretended "influence" which, any- 
where up to seven years later, when the mischief can- 
not be remedied, may turn out to have been worse 
than worthless. 

100 



. , ' ,• •' 



THE LAW IN 0PEitAii<3N'- 






Of vital importance and significance, far beyond what 
would be gleaned from a superficial reading of the 
words» becomes in this connection what the Com- 
missioner of Naturalization said in his annual report 
of July 1,1912: 

The great bulk of the work of the Division [now the Bureau 
of Naturalization] consists of the examination of the natural- 
isation papers filed in or issued out of the courts. It has 
never been possible, with the clerical aid supplied, to keep 
abreast of this work. Concluding the first year with a large 
number of papers not examined, that condition has grown 
more and more serious. ... At the present time it must be 
stated that no examination of declarations of intention has 
been made since October, 1910, and not more than 80,000 
certificates have even been examined. Correction of errors 
in the latter papers, [final] certificates of naturalization, are 
perhaps less necessary, but the declarations are used as the 
basis of petitions for natmalization, and defects in them may 
result in the denial of such petitions and a further delay oi 
two years to the applicants for citizenship. Beginning with 
October, 1912, declarations which have not been examined 
wHl mature, and these aggregate 298,000 in number.^ 

That the Bureau of Natiu*alization is aware of the 
desperate importance of this matter to the aliens 
appears not only in so many words in the Commis- 
sioner's own utterances, but in legislation proposed by 
the Bureau which would tend to remedy it. In the 
same report (1912), after describing tiie strenuous 
efforts of the clerical force to catch up in particular 
cases with the dates of final hearings. Commissioner 
Campbell said: 

To any easy assumption that errors in a declaration may 
be corrected at the hearing of the petition, the answer is 

^ By July 1, 1919, this total number of dedarations unezamined 
had grown to 1,011,676. (See Commi8sumer*s Annual Report for 
fiscal year ending June SO, 1919, p. 25.) 
8 Wl 



AMERICANS BY CHOICE 

plain — ^that no change can be made if the declaration was 
filed, as it frequently is, in a court other than that in which 
such hearing is held. It has also been decided judicially 
that a declaration, complete in every respect, cannot be 
changed because of even conceded error in its averments. 
It is therefore important that the discovery by prompt 
administrative examination, of a defect, either in the way 
of omission or error, be brought to the attention of a declar- 
ant and the clerk of the court in which his declaration is 
filed, so that either the paper may be corrected or the declar- 
ant may file a new declaration, and thus save time, expense* 
and ultimate disappointment. 

All of which has the color of mockery in the light of 
the fact that at the date of that report there lay in the 
files of the Bureau nearly three hundred thousand un- 
examined declarations, all of which would mature within 
the ensuing three months! 

The legislative proposals to remedy conditions so 
far as inadvertent errors in the declaration are con- 
cerned, include, for instance, a proposed amendment ^ 
to Section 4 of the Naturalization Law» providing that 

any averment required to be made in the declaration of inten- 
tion that may be shown to have been made erroneously, but 
with no intention to violate or evade the requirements of the 
naturalization law, may be corrected by order of the court 
in which the declaration was filed, or by the court in which 
it is presented as a basis for a petition for naturalization. 

SHOT7LD DECLARATION BE ABOLISHED? 

Some belated survival of Commissioner Campbell's 
earlier belief, as a member of the Naturalization Com- 
mission of 1905, that the declaration of intention should 
be abolished as superfluous and as a prolific source of 

^ See biU (H. R. 9949) of Representative Johnson of Washington, 
Sixty-sixth Congress, First Session. October 15, 1919. 

102 



THE LAW IN OPERATION 

etroTSy appears in his concluding paragraph under this 
head, wherein, after alluding to the increasingly urgent 
appeals for more clerical assistance, which had char- 
acterized virtually every one of his reports since the 
establishment of the Naturalization Service, he adds: 

If the object to be obtained does not justify the additional 
expenditure that it involves, then the declaration, as a mat- 
ter of conunon justice to applicants for citizenship, if not 
for the practical reasons stated ... in the Report of the Com- 
mission of Naturalization to the President, dated November 
8, 1905, should be stricken from the law. It may be suggested 
that the effect of such action upon the exercise by alien de- 
clarants of the elective franchise in certain states would be 
merely to cut off future supplies of such voters. 

It is indeed true that many careful, experienced, 
and judicious students of the naturalization problem 
have on many grounds favored the abandonment of the 
declaration of intention. The arguments in this behalf 
are plausible while there are states in which aliens 
holding "first papers" (declarations of intention) are 
entitled to vote. As for the others, the reasons to 
the contrary seem to the present writer to outweigh 
them. Regardless of the suffrage, in many states 
the declaration entitles the holder to certain property 
rights; many employers, and even municipalities, re- 
quire at least the declaration before they will permit 
employment. The best reason of all, regarded by a 
majority of the naturalizing judges as of vital impor- 
tance, is that the declaration, and the interval of at 
least two years which must elapse before the declar- 
ant can file his final appeal for admission to citizenship, 
afford a period of probation, not only of substantial 
psychological value as affecting the alien himself, but 
giving the government opportunity to observe the 
conduct of the individual and to investigate his ante- 

103 



AMERICANS BY CHOICE 

cedents, and the person's neighbors and the public 
generaUy due notice that he is an aspirant for active 
membership in the community. 

On more than one occasion Mr. Campbell, who 
more than perhaps anyone else might be regarded 
as an expert on the subject of naturalization, favored 
the abolition of the declaration of intention. As late 
as 1910, testifying before the Committee on Immigra- 
tion and Naturalization of the House of Bepresenta- 
tives, he said: 

I think I am on record as advocating the abolition of the 
declaration of intention, anyhow. 

That this is no longer his view, or that of the Bureau, 
appears somewhat emphatically in the following ex- 
cerpt of the annual report bearing his signature, for 
the fiscal year ending June 30, 1917: ^ 

Many theorists in the United States, when there was no 
Federal supervision of the naturalization law, conceived the 
idea that the declaration of intention was a purely super- 
fluous act; that the certificate of the declaration of intention 
was a superfluous dociunent. Many of them still retain that 
idea, having made no advance in their studies, or being 
unacquainted with the experience of the Federal adminis- 
trative force. There is nothing that has arisen in the experi- 
ence of the Bureau of Natiu*aIization, in the ten years of 
Federal supervision, that justifies this idea that the declara- 
tion of intention should be abolished. 

The Americanization work of the Bureau, based as it is 
upon the declaration of intention, is the only point of con- 
tact .the Federal Government has with the individual alien 
from the time he lands upon our soil. The use of the declara- 
tion of intention by the Bureau in sending the names to 
the public schools and bringing the aliens of ev^ry com- 
munity into close relationship with them has forever settled 
the question of the value of the declaration of intention. 

^ Report of Commissioner qf itaturalizaiion, 1917, p. 75. 

104 



THE LAW IN OPERATION 

This is only a new use to which this "first paper" (an 
instrument which is peculiarly an American institution)^ has 
been put. If this were the only use to be made of it, it would 
justify its continued existence. As it is» it is used and inter- 
woven into the administrative fabric of the Government in 
its contact with aliens throughout the United States. It 
is a means of identification by which the alien makes known 
his right to take up Government land; by which he may 
secure employment in municipalities and in State improve- 
ment work; by which membership in many organizations 
may alone be secured. It is the indication of the announced 
purpose of the alien to forswear his allegiance to his sover- 
eign and to choose the Constitution of the United States 
as his new allegiance. It is woven throughout the warp and 
woof of our national laws and our social and economic 
organizations. 

NATURALIZATION JUDGES FAVOR ITS RETENTION 

Of 323 judges of naturalizing courts all over the United 
States who answered definitely on this point the ques- 
tionnaire of the Americanization Study, 241 opposed, 
more or less emphatically, the abolition of the decla- 
ration of intention, only 82 favoring its abolition on 
one ground or another, but principally because they 
were aware of no good purpose served by it. 

One United States district judge rather picturesquely 
described its function: 

This country cannot afford to have it said that we are 
urging citizens of other countries to renounce their allegiance 
and take up citizenship with us. That would be wrong from 
evety standpoint. On the other hand, if they do want to 
become American citizens, it is our duty ... to help them fit 
themselves. If you take away the declaration of intention 
you will destroy our opportunity in that regard. The 
young lady who meets a young man and likes him, would be 

* Mexico appears to be the only other country in which any such 
prdiminary declaration and extended period of probation is required. 

105 



AMERICANS BY CHOICE 

very much out of place if, without any other tie between 
them, she began to tell him what she wanted him to do, 
what she wanted him to study, and how she wanted him to 
study, what she wanted him to drink, and how she wanted 
him to dress. It would be very immodest and impolite, 
to say the least. If that young man had made her a proposal 
of marriage, and she were considering it, these suggestions 
from her would be entirely proper, and she would be perform- 
ing her duty to the young man and to herself. This illustrates, 
I believe, the proper limits within which our country can 
guide, advise, and direct aliens who through the declaration 
of intention have made, as it were, a proposal of marriage, 
with reference to preparation for citizenship. 

Sound objections to abolition of the declaration 
appear also in connection with the property rights as 
regards homestead entry and other matters under both 
Federal and state laws — ^a complicated matter in addi- 
tion to the great confusion existing by reason of the 
laws of those states which conferred the right to vote 
upon holders of so-called "first papers." With the re- 
moval of this right, much of the objection to the 
declaration of intention disappears. As it was, under 
such laws, an alien might file a declaration of intention 
every seven years as they expired seriatimy and, without 
any proper inquiry, judicial approval, or supervision 
whatever, retain his right to vote — citizenship for all 
practical purposes. 

Many of the judges would permit no renewal of a 
declaration after the expiration of the first; some would 
substitute registration upon entry, annual, or even more 
frequent reports by the alien regarding his whereabouts 
and behavior, and constant governmental espionage. 

The declaration of intention, particularly if it be 
properly guarded and solemnized, puts everybody, at 
least constructively, upon notice that a new member is 
applying, and requires the declarant himself to keep 
that application in mind for two years. He cannot 

106 



THE LAW IN OPERATION 

suddenly decide, by reason of some special condition 
or inconvenience, to apply for citizenship and con- 
summate the process in three months, as he could do 
if the declaration were abolished without extending 
the interval between petition and certificate. The 
defects in the present system are found in the fact 
that he can file his declaration anywhere at will, in a 
form so defective that two years or more later it nulli- 
fies his petition; he can be grafted upon and bled ad 
libitum by all manner of exploiters claiming to be able 
to assist him. However valuable in theory, in practice 
it is far too hit-or-miss. 

The declaration should be surrounded by a very 
much greater degree of care and solemnity than at 
present. Not only should it be made under oath 
and on properly guarded printed forms; when it is 
filed it should be scrutinized and accepted as to sub- 
stance, apd by no means be subject long afterward to 
rejection because of clerical or other technical errors 
which ought to have been detected at the outset. 

The St. Louis office of the Naturalization Service 
has taken a long step in this direction, by securing 
the co-operation of many of the courts in that district 
in the estabUshment of a custom by which the declara- 
tion is accepted for filing only after it has been vis6d 
by the naturalization officers. This has no authority 
in law, but it nevertheless is a wholesome practice, 
chiefly in the interest of the aUen declarant; incidentally 
it goes far to put out of business the various kinds of 
parasites who exploit the ignorance and helplessness 
of the aspirant for citizenship. 

THE SEVEN-YEAR LIMITATION 

The law of 1906 limited the life of a declaration of 
intention to seven years. Prior to that there was no 

107 



AMERICANS BY CHOICE 

limit, and even after the passage of that Act it was 
held in practice that it did not apply to declarations 
made previously. But in 1913 the question was 
raised, in the United States Court in New York City, 
whether it was not the intent of Congress to apply the 
seven-year limitation to all declarations. In 1914 the 
court ruled that it was. The effect of that decision 
was to invalidate all declarations made prior to Septem- 
ber 27, 1906, notwithstanding the express provision 
in the law that "no aUen who, in conformity with the 
law in force at the date of his declaration, has declared 
his intention to become a citizen of the United States, 
shall be required to renew such declaration.*' 

This decision was soon aflSrmed by the United 
States Circuit Court of Appeals; but even then it was 
not uniformly observed, until January, 1919, when the 
United States Supreme Court put an abrupt stop to 
the practice of accepting "old-law declarations" by 
affirming the decision of the District Court at New 
York. 

The effect of this iBnal ruling by the highest comrt 
in the land was tragic. Hundreds, if not thousands, 
of pending petitions, of aUens altogether fit from every 
other point of view, forthwith became invalid simply 
because bas^ upon "old-law declarations" blighted 
by the newly applied seven-year restriction. In one 
session of the State Supreme Court in New York 
Coimty a batch of more than seventy otherwise accept- 
able petitions was denied for this reason alone. TTie 
question of the effect of the decision upon certificates 
of naturalization granted theretofore between its date 
and September 27, 1913, was met by Congress in the 
Act of May 9, 1918, by the following provision: 

Section 3. That all certificates of naturalization granted 

by courts of competent jurisdiction prior to December SI, 

1918, upon petitions for naturalization filed prior to January 

108 






THE LAW IN OPERATION 

31, 1918, upon declaration of intention filed prior to Septem- 
ber, 97, 1906, are hereby declared to be valid in so far as the 
declaration of intention is concerned, but shall not be by 
this Act further validated or legalized. 



THE CERTIFICATE OP LAWFUL ENTRY 

Assuming, now, that our alien is of the proper racial 
descent, the accepted age, and that his declaration of 
intention will pass muster; that he has lived in the 
United States for at least two years since the declaration 
was filed, and at least three years besides that — ^a total 
of not less than five years in all, including the final 
fifth year in the state — ^what must he do, and what 
may be done to him, when he comes up at last with 

is request for admission to Active Membership? 
If he arrived in this country since Juqe 29, 1906, 
he must produce a Certificate of Arrival. ^jQi theory, 
at least, all arriving aliens are registered at the port 
of entry by the Immigration Service of the Department 
of Labor. [Under existing law they cannot get in at 
all if they are of certain excluded races and classes; 
if they are imder contract to get a particular job; if 
they are insane or afflicted with certain diseases; if 
they are recognizable as anarchists, pojlygamists (or 
believers in either anarchy or polygamy), criminals, or, 
in the opjuiion of the immigration authorities, likely 
to become a pubhc charge — a burden upon the com- 
munity. They must, with certain exceptions for age 
and family relationship, be able to read and write in 
s^e language.^ 

vAliens may properly enter the United States only 
through some officially designated port of entrj^)* 
designated by the Commissioner of Immigration; if 
an alien enters elsewhere along our enormous border 
line he is deemed to be "unlawfully present," is subject 

109 



/ 



AMERICANS BY CHOICE 



to deportation, and when he tries to become a citizen 
he must give a very good excuse for having "climbed 
up some other way." A good many Canadians and 
Mexicans have found very embarrassing, eventually, 
the fact of their ignorance or evasion of this requirement. 
The Act of Congress, approved June 29, 1906, went 
into eflFect in most respects on the 27th of Septem- 
ber following, but this provision was to take eflFect 
immediately: 

That it shall be the duty of the Bureau of Immigration 
to provide, for use at the various immigration statiors 
throughout the United States, books of record, wherein 
the Commissioner of Immigration shall cause an entry to be 
made in the ease of each alien arriving in the United States 
from and after the passage of this Act of the name, age, 
occupation, . . . and the date of arrival of said alieu, etc. 

Unfortimately for the aliens subsequently embar- 
rassed by the fact, the books for record of entries wctc 
not promptly installed, and in some instances since 
they were instaUed the immigration officials at the ports 
of entry have not always been scrupulous in the making 
of the required entries. 

No certificate is given to the alien at the time of 
his an?val, even if he is properly registered; nothing 
of the sort is required of him anywhere; he does not 
have to show it when he makes his declaration of inten- 
tion to become a citizen, nor at any other time or for 
any other purpose — ^until after he has been here at 
least five years and comes to the point of filing his 
petition for final naturalization. Then he must have 
it — unless he arrived before June 29th, 1906; in that 
event it is not required of him. 

, He is not to go for it to the Immigration Service. 

^He must get it in the most roimdabout fashion. He 

must address a written application, through the clerk 

110 



THE LAW IN OPERATION 

q{ the court in which his petition for naturalization is 
to be filedy to the Commissioner of NaturaUzation, ^^ 
who in turn requests it of the Immigration Service. 
The Immigration Service, if it can find the original 
witry (and sometimes — quite frequently in fact — ^it 
cannot), sends the certificate to the Conmiissioner of 
Naturalization, who sends it to the clerk of the court, 
at the same time notifying the alien that now he may 
proceed to file his petition. 

But what if the arrival entry cannot be found? 
What if the alien cannot remember the name of the 
vessel, or other important facts relating to his entry, 
and thus give the necessary clews for the search? 
What if it was his misfortune to arrive at a port after 
the law took effect and before the registry system was 
in operation? Both the Immigration and the Natu- 
ralization Service take a good deal of pains to care 
for such situations; but frequently without success. 
All this involves delay, not only vexatious and dis- 
couraging, but likely to prove fatal in the case of an 
alien whose declaration is at the edge of expiration. 
Not infrequently an appUcation for certificate of 
arrival is bandied back and forth between the two 
Bureaus for months. 

There was a case in 1919 in which the aUen described 
himself as having arrived on a certain date and vessel 
at New York; the immigration records showed no 
such arrival, and, what was worse, no such vessel enter- 
ing New York at that time. After long delay it turned 
out that the aUen did arrive on that date and vessel, 
but at Boston, whence, upon admission, he came by a 
domestic coastwise vessel from Boston to New York. 
Many other cases are by no means so simple. 

A petition accepted for filing without the requisite 

certificate of arrival is regarded as incomplete, and 

may not be completed subsequ^itly by attachment of 

111 



AMERICANS BY CHOICE 

the certificate, but must be marked "spoiled"; the 
four dollars paid as fee may be returned to the peti- 
tioner by the clerk, or can be applied to the filing of a 
new and suflEicient petition. It has been the practice 
of the Bureau of NaturaUzation, after it appears im- 
possible to find record of the applicant's admission to 
the country, to refer him to the nearest immigration 
inspector for what is known as a nunc pro tunc in- 
spection, for the pmpose of satisfying the inspector 
that the aUen should not be deported as "unlawfully 
present." If the inspector is satisfied, he issues what 
is known as a "provisional certificate of arrival," 
whose acceptance as suflScient for purposes of natu- 
ralization is subject to the discretion of the court. 
This would appear a reasonable way out; but in the 
case of petitioners living a very long distance from the 
office of an immigration inspector, it involves an extra, 
and perhaps prohibitively expensive, journey to the 
distant city for that purpose alone, and this difficulty 
has in fact been to some extent reheved by permission 
to handle such cases by correspondence and affidavits. 

THE VEXATIOUS QUESTION OF NAMES 

Another obstruction goes to the question of our treat- 
ment of the foreign-born laborer in industry — especially 
if he bear what we choose to regard as a "queer" 
name, difficult for us to spell or pronoimce. The coiuls 
have, properly, no doubt, no patience with assumed 
names — ^particularly in a case where the alien cannot 
remember the name imder which he entered the coun- 
try. But it is a very common practice, in concerns em- 
ploying a large number of immigrants, for the minor 
officials of the company, superintendents and foremen, 
to attach a name to a job, and insist upon calling the 

man who occupies it, "Mike Murphy," or what not 

112 



THE LAW IN OPERATION 

else, because that was the name of the first incumbent, 
and it is easier to pronoimce than "Bahaoud," "Beh- 
rensmayer," or "Przybykki." This, and the even 
more common practice of calling a man by a number, 
rather than a name, results in a vast deal of confusion, 
in a substantial discouragement of self-respect, and 
in the ultimate establishm^it of the neighborhood 
identity of a polysyllabic Greek or Armenian, perhaps,' 
with a fine old Irish name. This will not do in the 
naturalization court. The petitioner must come in 
under at least the same name that he bore when he 
entered the country, and there must be no suspicion 
as to its not being his own. 

But he does not have to keep that name. It is pre- 
scribed as lawful for the court in its discretion, "at 
the time and as a part of the naturalization of any 
aUens, . . . upon the petition of such aUen, to make a 
decree changing the name of said alien." The fact 
of which the court must be convinced is that the peti- 
tioner is not attempting to conceal his real identity 
for the purpose of escaping payment of just debts or 
punishment for crime. Many aliens do thus change 
theh- names, and there have been cases in which the 
judge virtually compelled them to do so. 

A naturalization judge said to the writer: 

I have heard of a high-handed old judge, somewhere in 
the Northwest, who was in the habit of ''suggesting" to 
every alien who came before him with a complicated mouthful 
of name that he change it to ''Abraham Lincoln," "Benja- 
min Franklin," "Greorge Washington," or "Grover Cleve- 
land." No doubt you could find many a Pole or Swede 
naturalized as "Thomas Jefferson" or "Alexander Hamilton," 
whose father, living in the same town, was known as "Kon- 
rad Kowalewski," or "Die Johanssen." 

Each nationality has in this country name-compU- 

cations of this character peculiarly its own. The 

113 



AMERICANS BY CHOICE 

Swedes, for an example, have a habit of taking for 
their own surname the Christian name of a favorite 
aunt, imcle, or other relative, upon reaching the age of 
twenty-one years. Sven Svensen — ^which means " Sven, 
the son of Sven"— may imdertake to compliment his 
uncle Olaf by calling himself Sven Olafsen. Suppose 
he came to this country under the name of Sven 
Svensen, before he was eighteen; but for several years 
before filing his declaration came to be known to every- 
body — ^including himself — ^as Sven Olafsen, and re- 
garded his old name as a ^'childish thing" of no con- 
sequence to anybody. He applies as Sven Olafsen 
for his certificate of arrival, the inmiigration and 
naturalization bureaus have great difficulty in finding 
it, and when it does come along it is in the name of 
Sven Svensen. Often names are adopted in aflFec- 
tionate memory of the town from which the alien 
comes. Many ItaUans, for convenience, drop oflF a 
couple of syllables of awkwardly long names. Among 
the Greeks a typical case would be that of one, "Har- 
ris," whose old-coimtry name was Harralabopoulos. 

Another kind of complication appears in the case 
of an alien whose true name was Isaac Brody; but he 
came on a steamship ticket issued to, and in the name of , 
his uncle, Isaac Boovris, and was recorded imder that 
name by the immigration authorities. When he filed 
his declaration of intention he was advised to file under 
the name Boovris, to facilitate his certificate of arrival 
when that should be required. When he filed his final 
petition, after living and doing business for several 
years in this country imder his true name of Brody, 
he asked to be naturalized imder that name. The court 
refused, requiring him to file a new declaration as 
Isaac Brody and wait two years longer, calling atten- 
tion to the penal statute which makes it an offense to 

apply for naturalization under an assumed or fictitious 

114 



THE LAW IN OPERATION 

name; remarking that the court might have changed 
the name or amended the petition "if the error in the 
original d^laration had been clerical, or had been 
innocent." * 

A Pennsylvania court said in the case of one Wicenty 
Pilipos, who after arrival informally changed his name 
to William PhiUips: 

We may concede that any person may change his name, 
and be naturalized under his new name; yet, if he does so, 
he must petition the court for that purpose, so that the 
record will show the whole transaction, and identify him 
as the person who has discarded his original name, under 
which he landed in this country. This is especially necessary 
to prevent any other person from perpetrating a fraud, by 
being naturalized und^ the discarded name.' 

THE PETITION FOR NATURALIZATION 

There are other technicalities with which the alien 
occasionally collides — such, for example, as the question 
of jurisdiction where there is a difference of definition 
m the term "judicial district," or where boundaries may 
conflict between states, counties, or other distinct 
municipaUties, with reference to the aUen's place of 
residence; or where the court to which he could natu- 
rally and conveniently repair by the shortest Hne of 
travel is in another jurisdiction, and he and his witnesses 
must journey perhaps even hundreds of miles to the 
court to which the letter of the law compels him to go. 
Such cases are numerous, but comparatively uncom- 
mon. Let us assume that he has reached the right 
court, has successfully unearthed, through the clerk, 
the NaturaUzation Bureau and the Imnugration Serv- 

1 In re Boovris, 205 Fed., 401. 

>/n re William Phillips (1918), Court of Common Fleas for 
SchuyDdn County, Pennsylvania. Unreported. 

115 



AMERICANS BY CHOICE 

ice, his proper certificate of arrival, and has a valid 
declaration of intention. What next? 

In large cities or other places reasonably convenient 
in respect of distance, the clerk is Ukely, as the Com- 
niissioner of Naturalization says in his report already 
/quoted, to send the aUen to the oflSce of the Naturaliza- 
^ tion Service; there is filled out the "^actsji^rm," as it 
is called, on which the final petition for naturalization 
is to be based. The petitioner is closely interrogated 
as to his general eUgibility , and the principal business is 
under way. If the naturalization office is far distant, 
the petition is filled out by or in the presence of the 
clerk. 

As required by the law quoted at the beginning of 
this chapter, the petition must set forth the full name, 
residence, occupation; date and place of birth; port of 
emigration; name of vessel, if any; port of arrival; date 
and court of declaration of intention; whether married, 
single, or widowed; wife's name, nativity, and present 
residence; number, names, birthplaces, and residences of 
minor children; assurances that the applicant is not a 
practicing or believing anarchist or polygamist; inten- 
tion to renounce former national allegiance and make 
permanent residence in the United States; attachment 
to the principles of the Constitution; ability to speak 
the English language; dates upon which began residence 
in the United States and in this state or territory; 
assertion that this is his first petition for citizenship, or, 
if a former petition was denied, the reasons for denial 
and the fact that these reasons have since been cured or 
removed. 

In addition there must be the affidavit of two wit- 
nesses (each of whom must swear that he is himself a 
citizen of the United States), who must declare on his 
oath that he knows the petitioner to have been a resi- 
dent of the United States at least since a certain speci- 

116 



THE LAW IN OPERATION 

fied date five years ago, and of the particular state at 
least since a certain specified date not less than a year 
ago; and that he personally knows the petitioner to be 
k person ci good moral character, attached to the prin- 
ciples of the Constitution, well disposed toward the 
good order and happiness of the same, and generally 
qualified in every way to be admitted as a citizen of the 
United States. 

To the petition at the time of filing (that is rigidly re- 
quired by the law and the decisions of many courts) 
must be physically attached the declaration of intention 
made at least two years before, and the certificate of 
arrival. 

For filing the declaration of intention the ali^i will 
have paid to the clerk a fee of one dollar; upon filing 
his final petition he has to pay another fee of four 
dollars. There are strict penal provisions in the law 
for the pumshment of clerks who charge or collect any 
more. Under the law* one-half of each fee is retained by 
the clerk, ostensibly for the purpose of reimbursing him 
for such additional clerical assistance as the naturaliza- 
tion business may necessitate, but not always used for 
that purpose. This subject is discussed elsewhere. 

The petitioner, with certain exceptions noted below, 
must sign his petition in his own handwriting. It is, 
however, usually permitted him to sign it by "his 
mark," properly witnessed, and even this was not 
required of those who filed their declarations of inten- 
tion before the passage of the Act; but lapse of time has 
made that no longer a practical exception. It has 
usually been held that a signature, even in another 
bnguage, such as Arabic, is sufficient. There has often 
been controversy as to .whether the extraordinary 
arrangement of marks constructed by the petitioner 
is in fact a signature, the author insisting that he has 

achieved one when it is utterly illegible to both judge 
9 117 



AMERICANS BY CHOICE 

and naturalization examiner. In this, as in a host of 
other details, the fate of the petitioner hangs upon the 
intelligence and humanity of the judge, who has to 
choose between a strict insistence upon the technicality 
and a more generous adjudication — ^in a case, for ex- 
ample, in which a poor old deaf woman homesteader 
might lose all she has in the world simply because he 
cannot see an intelligible "signature" in the con- 
glomeration of hieroglyphics which she intends to 
represent her name. 

The law requires the petitioner to state the name, 
nativity, and residence of his wife, if any, and each of 
his minor children. The wife, if she herself can lawfully 
be naturalized, becomes ipso facto a citizen of this 
country by virtue of the naturalization of her husband. 
It is the practice of many naturaUzing courts to decline 
to admit to citizenship men whose wives are still in the 
old country, seeing danger in conferring the status 
upon women who may never come to the United States, 
or who, coming, may turn out to be imdesirable. 

The petition must disavow belief in the so-called prin- 
ciples of anarchism; under the law no one can be nat- 
uralized who himself believes in or teaches or belongs 
to any organization or groups believing in or teaching 
"the duty, necessity, or propriety" of abolishing organ- 
ized government, or "the lawful assaulting or killing of 
any officers, either of individuals or officers gener^^Uy, 
of the government of the United States, or of any other 
organized government, because of his or their official 
character." Some judges of naturalizing coiuls recog- 
nize Uttle distinction between "anarchy" and "Social- 
ism." The United States Circuit Court of Appeab, 
however, was more discriminating, reversing the nat- 
uralizing court in the somewhat famous case of Leonard 
Olsen at Seattle, who was rejected, ostensibly, on the 

ground that he was not "attached to the principles of 

lis 



THE LAW IN OPERATION 

the Constitution," but really because he avowed him- 
self a Socialist. There had been a somewhat similar 
case in Texas, in 1891, but the Olsen decision settled the 
question of the lawfulness of Socialist views as affecting 
naturalization.^ 

Both the declaration of intention and the petition for 
naturalization are made out in duplicate; the original 
becomes a part of the record of the court in the clerk's 
office; the dupUcate is sent to the Naturalization 
Bureau at Washington. 

NINETY days' INTERVAL BEFORE HEARING 

Notice of each petition must be posted in a public and 
conspicuous place in the office of the clerk for at least 
ninety days before the hearing is had in open court. 
The Naturahzation Biureau will have been informed 
directly by the clerk; the purpose of the posting is, of 
course, to give the public notice, so that anyone who 
desires to do so may appear with objections. In actual 
effect, the posting is without much value, because the 
public does not visit the clerk's office except upon busi- 
ness of its own, and there is no other publication of the 
petition, save in such rare cases as local newspapers 
make it a matter of news. It may be injurious to the 
petitioner, because a good many hearings have been 
postponed simply because the clerk forgot to post the 
notice at all! 

THE FINAL HEARING IN COURT 

Petitions may be heard only upon stated days, fixed by 
rule of the court, so that the government and the public 

*See ex parte Sauer, in note to 81 Fed., 855 (District Court, 
Uvalde County, Texas, 1891). See also United States m. Olsen 
196 Fed., 562. 

119 



( 



AMERICANS BY CHOICE 

may attend the open hearings which are required by 
the law. This works smoothly and well enough in the 
great cities, where most naturalizations take place; but 
there are districts, in sparsely settled regions, where 
there is but one term of the court in a year; whidi, in 
practice, means that the judge cannot be sure of being 
at any given point on any days determinable in advance, 
except the opening day. In such cases a great many 
courts will have but one hearing period in a year — 
usually on the first, and perhaps the second, day of the 
term. Two hardships may arise from such a situation; 
the alien and his witnesses may be uncertain as to the 
length of time they must wait after a long journey to 
the county seat, and if the clerk is careless and fails to 
notify the petitioners that their cases are to be heard 
(a thing which happens all too often) the judge and 
examiner are on hand, but no one appears to be natural- 
ized, and another year is lost before the cases can be 
disposed of. Th^t this can be a matter of very serious 
import to the alien may be illustrated by the fact that 
a group of Poles were classed as "nonresident aliens," 
and subjected to the very heavy income tax collected 
of such, simply because the clerk of the court in which 
their petitions for naturalization were pending failed 
to notify them of the hearing day. 

MUST "speak" the ENGLISH LANGUAGE 

The applicant must be able to "speak the English 
language^' — ^this is required by the law. It is enforced 
with a great variety of degrees of strictness. Many an 
alien can understand what is said to him in English long 
before he has gained facility in speech. Also, in the 
majority of cases, especially where he is confronted by 
a stem and perhaps hostile judge, or one disposed to 
treat immigrants with contempt or ridicule, and a 

120 






THE LAW m OPERATION 

fiercely zealous naturalization examiner bent upon 
having the petition denied if possible, he is promptly 
tongue-tied by stage fright. It is common for the peti- 
tioner to tell the court, through his witnesses or the inter- 
preter, that he kdows what a certain question means 
and the answer to it, but cannot express it in English. 
Many of the questions call for a simple "Yes" or 
"No,'* but a frightened or unintelligent applicant, who 
has learned certain things by rote, may glibly answer 
Yes" to the questions which ought to be answered by 
No," and vice versa. There was a fellow in Lead- 
ville, Colorado, who for a long time occupied the status 
of witness for nearly all the Austrians who applied in 
that place for naturalization, and who to a large degree 
superintended their training for the examinations. After 
a while it was discovered that he had a system by which 
he dictated the answers to the questions, kicking the 
petitioner in the ankle when the answer should be 
"Yes," and nudging him with his elbow when it should 
be "No." 

Both judges and examiners vary greatly in their in- 
terpretation of what constitutes ability to "speak 
English." Some give the petitioner the benefit of doubt 
and make large allowance for natural embarrassment 
and fright. Others, as one judge frankly says, "con- 
strue everything against the applicant," on the ground 
that citizenship is a precious privilege which should be 
accorded to as few as possible, and only to those about 
whom there can be no question. The court may accept 
a grunt, a shrug, a gestiure, a shake of the head, as in- 
dicating a sufficient understanding of the question. 

Generally the judge is humane. There was a case in 

Arizona in which a mild-looking Mexican insisted that 

he was both an anarchist and a polygamist — plainly 

showing that he imagined the terms, about which he was 

sharply asked, to represent qualities which he must 

121 



AMERICANS BY CHOICE 

possess. The judge knew the man; that he was of good 
conduct, conventional ideas, and married to one wife. 

"How many women are you married to?" he asked. 

"Oh, only one!" cried the man, adding for good 
measure, "maybe one is too many!" 

"Would you kill a man you didn't like? Would you 
blow up a house, or shoot a sheriff? " 

"No, no, no! Me never kill nobody! Me never blow 
up nobody's house ! Me never hurt nobody ! " 

Between the morning and afternoon sessions of the 
court the Mexican was quietly interrogated and read- 
justed, and the court admitted him. In thousands of 
cases, not so picturesque, the applicant called upon for 
relatively elaborate views about theories of government, 
and even more abstruse matters, is either bewildered or 
on general principles deems it safer to remain silent; in 
which case the impression of the court, and his action 
upon it, depend very much on the personal equation, 
the humanity, and common sense of the judge. 
/ A deaf-mute is exempt from the requirement of 
ability to "speak" English; so is an aUen who has made 
entry for a homestead on the public lands. The latter 
can make his entry immediately upon filing his declara- 
tion of intention; but he cannot complete his title until 
he is fully naturalized. A few courts virtually ignore 
this exemption, and require the homesteader to speak 
English and pass the other educational tests. Generally 
the judges are lenient with such people. 
/ The law does not require the applicant to be able to 
read English; but there is an increasing tendency in the 
courts to require it regardless of the law. After all, the 
judge is the final arbiter; he must be satisfied that the 
applicant is "in all respects qualified to be a citizen," 
and, if he chooses to regard a person who cannot make 
sense out of a current newspaper as not thus qualified, 
he can deny the appUcation on general principles. The 

122 



THE lAW IN OPERATION 

whole matter of educational qualifications varies widely 
in different jurisdictions, largely because of the absence 
of a definite standard of knowledge, intelligence, and 
general ability established either by Act of Congress or 
by the Naturalization Service. 

ATTACHED TO THE CON8T1T UTION 

The applicant must be '* attached to the principles of 
the Constitution," and "well disposed toward the good 
order and happiness of the United States/' Can a man 
be "attached to the principles of the Constitution" 
without having read it? If not, then the vast majority 
of the native-bom citizens of the United States are not 
so "attached," for it is a matter of the most notorious 
fact that very few Americans, not professional lawyers, 
ever have read it or could pass the most rudimentary 
examination upon its substance. There is, however, a 
widely prevalent tendency on the part of the courts to 
require petitioners not only to swear that they have 
read the document, but to pass a pretty stiff examina- 
tion, either before the naturalization examiner who may 
certify the fact, or even in open court. And it is upon 
the phrase "attached to the principles of the Constitu- 
tion" that the Naturalization Bureau has erected its 
whole elaborate and ambitious campaign of education 
for citizenship. But its interpretation is so vague and 
unsettled, so subject to the whims, theories, prejudices, 
and intellectual limitations of the individuals upon 
whom its enforcement devolves, that it seems highly 
desirable for Congress to establish by law definite and 
simple requirements embodying the minimum quali- 
fication to be demanded of applicants for citizenship 
to demonstrate both their understanding of our form 
of government and their "attachment to the principles 
of the Constitution." 

128 



AMERICANS BY CHOICE 

One of the classic anecdotes of the Naturalization 
Service has to do with this matter of attachment to and 
widerstanding of the Constitution. In the court of a 
judge who insisted upon every petitioner having at 
least read it, an Irish petitioner at the morning session 
of court was ordered to read the Constitution, or have 
it read to him, and to come back in the afternoon for 
further hearing. 

"Well, did you read the Constitution to him?" demanded 
the judge of the citizen who was acting as mentor of the 
petitioner. 

"I did, your Honor; I read it to him — all of it." 

"Is he ready to swear that he b attached to the principles 
of it?" 

"He is, your Honor; when I got through readin' it to him 
he said he thought it was a blame fine Constitution." 

What more could be asked — even of a native? 

An Italian petitioner in one of the Southern courts 
exhibited a good knowledge of current political history, 
and at the same time a realization of his own limitations. 

"Who is the President of the United States?" asked the 
judge. 

"Mist' Wilson." 

"Who is the Vice-President?" 

"Mist' Marsh'." 

"If the President should die, who would take his place?" 

"Mist' Marsh'— he's ready for that job." 

"vVery good, Tony, and quite correct. Now, let me ask 
you something else. Could you be President of the United 
States?" 

"Oh, no! no! Judge, please! " cried the dismayed petitioner, 
"you have to excuse me! I'm too busy!" 

IN THE BiATTEB OP "CONTINUOUS RESIDENCE*' 

The fact of continuous residence within the United 
States for five years, and within the particular state for 



THE LAW IN OPERATION 

<me year next preceding the filing of the petition, must 
be established to the satisfaction of the court. To the 
layman this would seem simple enough; but there is 
hardly anything connected with the process of natural- 
ization about which there has been so much variety of 
interpretation. What constitutes ** continuous resi- 
dence" ? It is said that a court in Utah disqualified an 
applicant because once during the five years he stepped 
across the Canadian border far enough and long enough 
to buy a sandwich! Shall a man lose his "residence" 
because of a walk across the International Bridge at 
Niagara Falls? Suppose he is a carpenter, or a farm 
hand, and goes over into Canada, or Mexico, for the 
summer months, or long enough to build a house? Sup- 
pose there is an estate to be settled up in the old 
country, or that the alien's aged mother is dying in 
Copenhagen or Buda-Pesth, and yearns to see her son 
once before she goes. Shall that invalidate his resi- 
dence? There are many judges who will not tolerate any 
absence whatever from the coimtry, on any pretext. 

In the great bulk of practice, however, it has sim- 
mered down to the question of "intention." Reason- 
ably carried out, as in other matters, it meets the aver- 
age case. If the petitioner always, and everywhere, 
during the five years maintained his intention in good 
faith to become a citizen, and especially if he preserved a 
specific residence, both the courts and the Naturaliza- 
tion Service on the whole have waived the literal words 
of the requirement. But within that general situation 
there are degrees. There are judges who will permit an 
absence as long as two years, if "intention" is clear; 
some set a limit of one year, others of six months. 
Generally speaking, any absence in excess of six months 
is viewed with suspicion. 

Th»« are two reasons, as the law stands, for insistence 
upon residence virtually continuous. In the first place 

125 



AMERICANS BY CHOICE 

there is the wcmling and evident intention of the law, 
which must be obeyed in spirit, anyway. In the second 
place, in case of any protracted absence, the witnesses 
hardly can know what he has been about, and certainly 
cannot swear, as they must under the statute, to the 
fact of continuous residence. If the petitioner has been 
out of the ken of his witnesses in some other part of the 
United States, he can prove good conduct and American 
residence by depositions; but the law does not con- 
template depositions regarding his conduct on any 
foreign soil, however legitimate his reason for being 
there. And if he has been in other parts of the same 
state^ he cannot prove anything about it, by witnesses, 
depositions, or otherwise. 

THE ABSURDITY OF THE "INCOMPETENT WITNESS** 

This brings us to one of the most extraordinary pro- 
visions of the law — ^that regarding the proof of eligi- 
bility by witnesses and depositions — ^a provision re- 
sponsible for the exclusion of thousands of perfectly fit 
persons, and for a vast deal of wholly unnecessary 
hardship and injustice. 

During the eleven years 190&-1918 inclusive, accord- 
ing to the statistics given in the annual reports of the 
Commissioner of Naturalization, of 107,484 petitions 
for naturalization denied, more than one in four — 
£8,262, or 26.3 per cent — ^were denied on the ground of 
"mcompetent witnesses." The percenta^ in many 
states is very much larger than that: Illinois, 38.3; 
New Jersey, 37.2; Michigan, 36.5; Iowa, 36.4; Ne- 
braska, 36.0; Kansas, 35.9; Colorado, 32.8; Arkansas, 
32.4; Oregon, 32.2; North Carolma, 31.9; Indiana, 
31.1; Wisconsin, 31.0; Missouri, 29.5; New Mexico, 
29.3; Kentucky, 28.8; Montana, 28.4; Utah, 27.0. 
The low states in this respect are few — ^Rhode Island, 

126 



THE LAW IN OPERATION 

5.9; New Hampshire, 8.0; Connecticut, 9.0; Vermont, 
9.1; Massachusetts, 9.2; South Carolina, 11.4; 
Florida, 11.5. 

Now, what does this mean in human terms? To 
begin with, a petitioner for naturalization may not prove 
his eligibiUty, as he would prove any other set of facts 
in court, by such an exhibit of evidence of various 
kinds as would satisfy a reasonable judge or jury. He 
cannot bring a group of neighbors who have known him; 
his employer, his priest or pastor; the village school- 
teacher who teaches his children; a sheaf of affidavits 
from people who have known him in various places 
where he has lived in the state. His exhibit of evidence 
is rigidly and most absurdly restricted, and the restric- 
tion is of no benefit to anybody — except, perhaps, the 
Naturalization Service in somewhat simplifying their 
work of investigation. 

His petition must be accompanied by the affidavits 
of precisely two witnesses, who must accompany him 
personally when he files his petition, and must accom- 
pany him again, ninety days or more later, when his 
case comes before the court for hearing. Ttoo^ only ttoo, 
and the same two. Only in case one of them dies, or 
moves out of the jurisdiction of the court, is he allowed to 
substitute. Each witness must be a native or natural- 
ized citizen of the United States, and must swear to 
that fact. And each must swear that he has known the 
petitioner during the whole period of five years of 
residence within the state, or of one year in the state if 
he lived previously in other states, and satisfy the 
court that he has seen the petitioner frequently enough 
to know that his residence has been continuous and his 
conduct such as to warrant his admission to citizenship. 
Some judges require the witnesses to have seen the 
petitioner virtually every day, "constantly, as a 

neighbor'*; "at least once a week," for five years. The 

127 



i^ 



AMERICANS BY CHOICE 

examination of the witnesses is frequently more severe, 
if possible, than that of the petitioner himself; for the 
law requires them to be "ciedible." If a witness can 
be shown by the naturalization examiner to be of 
dubious moral character, the court probably will deny 
the petition verified by him, and leave the petitioner 
with only one witness. He must have two, and he can- 
not substitute a better one! 

In a state which has allowed aliens to vote upon their 
declaration of intention, innumerable foreign-bom per- 
sons have in good faith believed themselves to be citi- 
zens. If such a person appears as a witness for a peti- 
^ tioner, thS'petition is denied — ^properly enough, except 
that the petitioner might easily produce a substitute 
who could not be objected to; but no, he must have 
not only exactly two, but the same two, throughout the 
proceeding. Or, if one or both of these particidar 
witnesses turn out to be honestly mistaken in thinking 
they have known the petitioner for the whole five years; 
if, for example, it turns out that they could not have 
known him more than four years and nine months — 
the petition is denied; "incompetent witnesses.'* In 
the fiscal year ending June 30, 1918, more than 2,300 
petitions were denied for this cause, and it is safe to say 
that, in a very large majority of the cases, the witnesses 
were acting in perfect good faith. 

The practice cuts very close. In re Welch (159 Fed., 
1014), decided in 1908, reports a case in which it was 
shown that a witness had not known the petitioner 
for five years at the time of the filing of the petition, 
but had known him for five years by the time the hear- 
ing was had. In that case the court permitted amend- 
ment of the date of the petition, but required a fresh 
posting. 

Congress took note of the difficulty an alien might 
labor under if he were obliged to move about from 

128 



THE LAW IN OPERATION 

state to state during the five years' period, and provided 
that four years of the time, in the event of inability to 
bring witnesses who could swear to knowledge of the 
whole period, the applicant might prove residence, etc., 
in other dates by deposition. This helps a good deal, 
as far as it goes; but in any event the last year, the 
year of residence required to be within the state 
where the petition is filed, must be covered by "two 
witnesses" — twoy only twoy and the same two. Suppose 
the case (and there have been many such) of a Metho- 
dist minister, an EngUshman if you please, who, during 
the five years preceding his petition, has been assigned 
to two or more pastorates within the same state at 
points more or less distant from each other. He could 
produce almost any desired array of witnesses to cover 
his residence in each of the several places, and affi- 
davits galore; but he must not. There is virtually no 
chance at all of his being able to find two, only two, 
and the same two, who can testify to personal, neigh- 
borly knowledge of his residence in all places. What, 
then, of an average immigrant who has been obliged 
to shift about in search of employment, resident all 
through the year in the state, but never staying long 
enough in one place to establish intimate relations with 
possible witnesses under such restrictions? 

JUDGES DENOUNCE THE ABSURDITY 

The judges are all but unanimous in their denimciation 
of this system. The comment of a United States dis- 
trict judge in the Middle West represents the senti- 
ments of most: 

I do not think it tends to raise the standard of citizenship 
or to do anyone any good to have the requirements such 
that, if a petitioner has lived in the state for the full five- 
year period, he must prove that entire residence and his good 

129 



AMERICANS BY CHOICE 

character and reputation during that entire period by the 
two petitioning witnesses. The two petitioning witnesses 
should have known him for at least a year, and be able to 
make a showing for at least the last year of the period. I 
know of nothing so sacred about a state line that this great 
diifference should be made between the petitioner who moves 
here from another state and the petitioner who moves here 
from a distant part of the same state. 

A Michigan judge gives a striking example of the in- 
justice of the discrimination: 

The greatest copper mines in the world are in the Upper 
Peninsula of Michigan. The greatest automobile factories 
in the world are in the city of Detroit in the same state. 
These sturdy miners of Houghton and Keweenaw counties 
in the Upper Peninsula hear of the automobile industry in 
the city of Detroit, and after three or four years' residence 
up there, move to Detroit and take up residence there. Under 
the present law, they must find two witnesses who have 
known th^n for the entire five years. You will recognize 
how difficult it will be for them to find two witnesses who 
knew them in the Upper Peninsula, moved to Detroit when 
they did, and have known them ever since. The copper 
mines of the Upper Peninsula are five or six himdred miles 
from Detroit. Can anyone suggest any good reasons why these 
petitioners in Detroit should not be permitted to prove their 
Detroit residence by two witnesses who sign their petitions, 
and their Upper Peninsula residence by depositions or other 
witnesses? Why pimish so unnecessarily the man who con- 
tinues to reside for the full five years in the same state, 
while we justly permit another man, who moves here from 
another state, perhaps a distance of fifty or a hundred miles, 
to make his proof as to that state by deposition? 

Mind you, I would make them prove their residence in the 
particular city or county ... for the full period of their resi- 
dence there, by the two witnesses who signed the petition; 
and, of course, I would require them to have resided in such 

municipality for at least a year. 

130 



THE LAW IN OPERATION 

Says one judge: 

In the far West, wh^« the distances are so great and the 
expense of travel such a hardship, the matter might readily 
be handled on a mileage basis, so that the petitioner would 
prove a year's residence by the witnesses who attest his 
petition, and a previous residence within the same state more 
than, say fifty miles, from the place of holding court, by 
depositions. 

Of 334 judges of naturalizing courts in all parts of 
the country who specifically addressed themselves to 
this question in reply to a questionnaire of the Amer- 
icanization Study in the summer of 1919, only 34 were 
content with the present system; 289 specifically fa- 
vored amendment of the law for the reasons, and to the 
ejSfect, substantially as suggested above. 

A clerk of court in Arizona who handles the natural- 
ization business, and in his letter displays a keen and 
intelligent interest in the human aspects of the ques- 
tion, says: 

I have had numerous petitioners who, for ordinary pur- 
poses, could prove every day of their residence in this state; 
but for naturalization purposes were unable to prove their 
residence, even though the entire five years may have been 
— and in some instances has been — in this one county! 
I consider it inequitable for the reason that the man who 
travels from mining camp to mining camp may reside four 
or more years in any number of states, and at any number of 
camps in each state; but, if he then removes to another state 
and resides in that state one year, he may obtain citizenship. 
Yet the rancher who resides five years in one state, or even 
in one county, but during the five years resides in two dif- 
ferent localities of the state, or even on two different ranches 
in one county, may be (and under the present law frequently 
is) deprived of citizenship for the reason that two witnesses, 
only two, and each of these two, must prove the continuous 

five years' residence. 

131 



AMERICANS BY CHOICE 

I some time ago became convinced that tins provision of 
the law was not equitable, and in January* 1919, wrote to 
our Congressman in the hope of convincing him and getting 
a bill introduced to remedy it. He thought it too late in 
the session to attempt it, and that it would be useless to 
attempt it without the approval of the Department of Labor, 
which approval was withheld. 

Nevertheless, it is to be presumed that the Bureau of 
Naturalization did approve (since the proposal was 
embodied in the same bill containing one of its attempts 
to secure a notable extension of its powers)^ a measure 
of concession in the matter of witnesses.' A proposed 
amendment to Section 10 of the Naturalization Law 
would provide: 

That in case the petitioner has resided in two or more 
parts of the county in which he resides at the time he files 
his petition, and for this cause is unable to procure two wit- 
nesses, who are citizens of the United States, who are qualified 
and competent to establish the entire period of his residence 
in such county, he may establish his residence at eadi of 
the places in such county by the affidavits and testimony 
of at least two witnesses, citizens of the Umted States, to 
each place of residence, both in his petition and at the hearing. 

The same bill would have mitigated and, so far as it 
went, humanized the restriction upon substitution of 
witnesses by adding to Section 4 a subdivision providing 
that 

Where either or both of the original subscribing witnesses 
to a petition for naturalization, or those giving evidence by 
deposition in support thereof, shall be found to be incompetent 
or not qualified to establish the proof of residence, good moral 



T. 



^ These efforts of the Bureau to augment its scope and authority 
are discussed in this volume, p. 180 ti seq. 

'See H. R. 9949, introduced by Mr. Johnson of Washington, 
Sixty-sixth Congress, First Session. 

132 



THE LAW IN OPERATION 

character, or other evidence required by law, the petitionet^ 
may substitute other qualified and competent witnesses at» 
or prior to, the final hearing. The hearing of the petition 
may be continued for this purpose and the names of the 
substituted witnesses may be ordered publicly posted, in the 
discretion of the court, if such posting shall be deemed 
necessary. Any petition for naturalization may be amended 
to correct manifest errors appearing therein and made in 
good faith. 

DEPOSITIONS OF WITNESSES 

Mr. Raymond P. Crist, then Deputy Commissioner of 
Naturalization, in testimony before the House Com- 
mittee on Immigration and Naturalization, prior to 
the enactment of the Act of May 9, 1918, stated that 
the Naturalization Service was habitually represented 
at the taking of the depositions by which a petitioner 
is permitted to prove his residence in states (^her than 
that in which the petition is filed. This must have been 
a slip of the tongue, for it is very far frcmi being in 
accordance with the facts. Such a course would be a 
physical impossibility, especially in the present and 
past short-handed condition of the field service. As a 
rule the notaries public who attest these depositions are 
designated by the several chief eicaminers; but many 
of them are in small places, to which examiners never 
go. In point of fact, in most cases, the depositions are 
not visM in any way whatever, so far as the naturaliza- 
tion machinery is concerned, or eicamined at all until 
the judge reaches the particular case. They go direct 
from the notary to the court in which the petition is to 
be heard, in a sealed envelope which is not expected to 
be opened imtil the day of the hearing — ^unless the 
court has, by specific order, authorized the naturaliza- 
tion officer to open and examine them, A very con- 
siderable number of them — one person f amifiar with the 
practice estimated the percentage as high as 75 per 
10 l«8 



AMERICANS BY CHOICE 

cent — ^are defective in some particular; the same au- 
thority thought at least 40 per cent of them would be so 
defective as to render them^ under strict construction, 
inadmissible as evidence. For example, they will fail 
to assert that the deposing person has known the peti- 
tioner during the required period of time; or will not 
say, categorically, that the affiant is himself a citizen 
of the United States. As a rule, it is not until the affi- 
davits are examined in open court by the judge or ex- 
aminer that their insufficiency is disclosed, for the first 
time, to the petitioner. He may not be admitted until 
the papers have gone back for correction, or a new set 
prepared. That sometimes means a delay of six 
months, a year, or even longer — ^a very serious matter 
to a petitioner upon whose naturaUzation may depend 
his title to a homestead. There is nothing in the law 
prescribing the method of handling this matter; it is 
subject to regulation by the Bureau of Natiuralization 
in its discretion; and inasmuch as the NatiuraUzation 
Service declares itself, and ought indeed to be, the 
friend of the petitioner, guardmg him agamst errors 
which may invaUdate his whole effort and lead to the 
cancellation of his certificate even after he gets it, it 
ought to devise some procedure for examining every 
deposition. No petitioner should be allowed to come 
into court until his papers have been scrutinized, at 
least for technical defects. In certain districts of the 
NaturaUzation Service this has indeed been the practice 
in an informal way and to a limited extent. It would 
seem that it ought to be invariable. The Service has 
done excellent work in shutting out all manner of 
runners, professional witnesses, and other kinds of 
pseudo-assistants to the aUen; this has left him in the 
matter of depositions, as a general rule, without well- 
informed, disinterested, or inteUigent guidance, with 

the result that he has no adequate warning against 

134 



THE LAW IN OPERATION 

defects, either important or trivial, which may vitiate 
his application. When he comes into court, all of his 
papers should be perfect, and all the facts cleared of 
technicaUties, so that the judge may pass exclusively 
upon the merits of the case. 

An applicant for naturalization must state in his 
petition whether or not he ever has filed a previous 
petition, and if so, what became of it. There have been 
instances in which a former petition was granted, but 
for some reason the record of it cannot now be found. 
In such a case the petitioner would have the greatest 
difficulty in getting proofs of his citizenship. His new 
petition may be denied on the ground that he is "al- 
ready a citizen," but it leaves the record in an unsatis- 
factory condition; although his copy of the order of 
denial, stating that he is a citizen, serves fairly well for 
most purposes to certify his citizenship. 

"good moral character" 

It is customary for naturalizing courts, in denying 
petitions, to add some phrase governing a later renewal; 
such as "without prejudice to renewal" ; or "with 
prejudice to renewal brfore the expiration of five years 
from the date of this order of denial." In absence of 
such a phrase the court passing upon the second peti- 
tion — especially if the former denial was on the ground 
of "immoral character" — ^requires the lapse of at least 
five years and exceedingly good proof of reform. The 
law requires that the petitioner must show affirmatively 
not only that during the whole period of five years 
immediately preceding the date of his petition he has 
behaved as a person of good moral character, attached 
to the principles of the Constitution, etc., but that he 
is at the time of the petition such a person. Courts 
have been known to deny petitions for acts committed 

135 



AMERICANS BY CHOICE 

brfore the beginning of the five-year period, on the 
ground that they involved ineradicable moral turpitude. 
Judges have shown much liberality on this point, how- 
ever; there was a case of an old homesteader who had 
spent several years in the penitentiaiy; but the judge 
inquired far enough into the history <^ the matter to 
learn that the man was convicted as the result of a con- 
spiracy on the part of certain neighbors who wished to 
get his homestead. 

The latitude of the courts in this respect is very wide, 
and interesting slants are to be found in the decisions. 
There was a saloonkeeper in Chicago who participated 
in the then general custom of keeping liquor saloons 
open on Sunday in violation of the law, the policy of 
the city administration at that time being that of non- 
enforcement. There came a time when public senti- 
ment required enforcement of the Sunday-closing law, 
and thereupon this man promptly obeyed the orders of 
the police to that effect. When his petition for natural- 
ization came up, it was held that the consent of the 
authorities to his disobedience of the law was no excuse; 
a person who would accept the benefit of an evasion of 
the law could not be of "good moral character." 

Said the court: 

If a rule were laid down that it is inmioial to knowingly 
and willfully violate the law in a community where public 
sentiment approves the law, but not immoral in a community 
where public sentiment does hot approve the law, it would 
be most disastrous to the good order and well-being of society. 
. . . That public officers charged with enforcement of the law 
do not do so cannot change the effect upon the moral char- 
acter of a man who willfully and habitually violates it. ^ 

This was a case in which the government succeeded 
in canceling a certificate already granted, and it shows, 

^ United States V9, Gerstein. 

136 



THE LAW IN OPERATION 

as do many others, what a severe gantlet the petitioner 
must nm, and how his past is combed over before he 
can show that he is altogether quaUfied. Gerstein was 
required to wait before filing a second petition; the 
court said: 

The order and decree of naturalization of the Superior 
Court [of Cook County, Illinois] is reversed and the applica- 
tion of appellee for citizenship denied, without prejudice 
to his right to file another application when time Juu removed 
the disqtudificaHon, 

THE FINAL CEBEMONY — OATH OP ALLEGIANCE 

The law requires that the Oath of Allegiance shall 
be taken in open court as the final act of the petitioner 
before being formally admitted to citizenship; thereupon 
the decree is entered and certificate issued; but the 
Naturalization Service is forbidden by its regulations 
to issue the certificate until the judge's signature is 
upon the order. Sometimes the clerk rattles oflf or 
mumbles the oath very indistinctly, and the petitioners, 
often a large number of them, hardly understand a 
word of the solemn ritual. It is becoming more common 
for the judge to require everyone in court to stand 
while he delivers the text of the oath loudly and clearly. 
In some courts where there are many applicants, and all 
concerned are pressed for time, the persons to be nat- 
uralized are kept in one part of the room until the 
docket is cleared, whereupon the oath is administered 
to them in groups of nationality; each nationality 
group standing with upraised right hands while the 
clerk or judge reads the words, and names the par- 
ticular "prince, potentate, state, or sovereignty," alle- 
giance to whom, or to which, is to be abjured. Some- 
times this ceremony is a very hurried, perfunctory, and 

undignified performance; sometimes a very solemn 

137 



AMERICANS BY CHOICE 

and impressive one. During the high-pressure process 
of naturalizing great numbers of soldiers in the army 
encampments during the war, it was sometimes the 
custom to have all nationalities stand at once, the 
clerk naming all the sovereignties concerned in one 
series, with the presumption that each individual 
would mentally isolate the one which he was supposed 
to have in mind. There were occasions when this 
helter-skelter method was pursued for the benefit of 
as many as 1,200 petitioners together. 

CEREMONIES OF INITIATION 

There is a growing movement in favor of having 
pubUc ceremonies of "initiation," in which the whole 
community is represented, to welcome the new citizens; 
to impress upon both the newcomers and the people to 
whose fellowship they are being welcomed, the impor- 
tance and solemnity of the occasion. An increasing 
number of judges are carrying out this idea in their 
naturalization proceedings; adding to the formalities 
required by the law a speech either by the judge himself 
or by some representative citizen, or both, in which 
the momentous significance of the act in which the 
alien and the court have joined is emphasized. Some 
judges make a practice of giving to each new citizen a 
small flag, a special certificate, a leaflet or brochure 
setting forth the sentiments appropriate to the occasion. 
Much more common is it becoming for public-spirited 
citizens to organize a meeting of the same import. 
Here, for example, is the program of such a meet- 
ing, . held in the Music Hall at Fall River, Massa- 
chusetts, on May 7, 1919, following a naturalization 
session of the local court, designated as "Reception 
and Welcome to Fall River's Newly Naturalized 
Citizens": 

188 






THE LAW IN OPERATION 

PB06RAM 

Hon. Henby F. Nickebson, Presiding 

Music Orchestra 

Singing — "America" Auiience 

Address of Welcome Hon, Henry F, Nickeraan 

Response by a naturalized citizen. Jame^ B. Kerr 

Selection Orcheitra 

Address Rev. Everett C. Herrtck 

Pledge of Allegiance — Led by Boy Scovte: 

*'I pledge allegiance to my flag and to the 
country for which it stands; one nation, 
indivisible, with liberty and justice for all." 

Presentation of Certificates of Naturalization 

M. B. Irish, Sec. Fall River Immigrant Committee 

Prayer Rev, Vincent Marchildon 

Singing — "Star-spangled 'BajmeT'\Atidienoe 

Informal Reception 

Here is another programL — of the "Americanization 
Meeting in honor of those who were admitted to citizen- 
ship April 19, 21, 22, 1920," held in the Union High 
School at Grand Rapids, Michigan, April 30, 1920, 
under the auspices of the Grand Rapids Board of Edu- 
cation and the Americanization Society: 

189 



AMERICANS BY CHOICE 

PROGRAM 

Henry E. Cbow, President (A the Board of £ducatioxL» 

Presiding 

John W. Beattie, Supervisor of Music, 

Song Leader 

Song — "America" Audience 

Address Christian GMmeyer, Mayor of Grand Rapids 

Folk Games Pupils Sibley ScJiool 

Directed by Miss Ila Krumheuer 

Address Fred J. SchhtfeUU, 

Chief Naturalissation Examiner, Chicago, lU, 

Songs Audience 

Presentation of Citizenship Certificates. 

Judge Willis B. Perkins, Circuit Court 

Pledge of Allegiance to Flag — Audience, led by Boy ScotUs: 

"I pledge allegiance to my flag and to 
the country for which it stands; one nation, 
indivisible, with liberty and justice for all." 

Address to New Citizens A. P. Johnson, 

Publisher Grand Rapids **News** 

Songs Audience 

Address Raymond F. Crist, 

Director cf Citizenship, Bureau of Naiurcdization, 

Washington, D, C, 

"Star-spangled Banner" Audience 

140 



THE LAW IN OPERATION 

Mrs. Henrietta Briggs-Wall of Washington, D. C, 
has presented admirably the spirit of this movement 
in a pamphlet proposing a general "New Patriot Plan,*' 
to utilize the Fourth of Jidy throughout the country for 
the celebration of the "civic birthday," alike of the 
native bom who, during the past year, have attained 
the voting age of 21 years, and the newly naturalized 
foreign bom. "In other coimtries,'* says Mrs. Briggs- 
Wall, "much ado is made over the crowning of kings 
and queens who attempt to rule over others; there is 
much more occasion for general rejoicing when newly 
enfranchised citizens attain their share in the honors 
and duties of self-government.", The plan proposes in 
general a FoiuiJi-of-Jidy celebration in every com- 
munity in America to which the newly enfranchised 
shall be invited as guests of honor. The author says, 
among other things: 

The natural birthday is remembered by the family; the 
"civic birthday" should be honored by the comimunity. 

Inauguration ceremonies should accompany this newly 
acquired power. These exercises may consist of addresses 
to them [the newly enfranchised], music, a variety of activi- 
ties for their entertainment and instruction; all of which, as 
an object lesson, will promote the patriotism of all the people. 

Prizes may be o£fered to those who bring the greatest 
number to register in the "Record Book of New Patriots"; 
also to those who may try, if they choose, to write the best 
essays on "true patriotism." . . . The customs and conven- 
ience of different localities will suggest varying methods. 

It is appropriate that the birthday of freedom, the civic 
birthday of our country, should be chosen to celebrate the 
civic birthday of the citizen. It is the best possible holiday 
for patriotic purposes; the audience is already furnished, 
and the minds of the people are in a receptive mood. It 
occurs at the time of year when picnics, exclusions, and 
out-of-door celebrations of all sorts can be easily arranged 
in honor, and for the pleasure, of the new patriots. 

141 



AMERICANS BY CHOICE 

Criticism, commendation and reform alike, to be 
either fair or judicious, must bear in mind that the 
naturaUzation system which has been built up — ^and 
such parts, absimlities, inhumanities, and bureaucratic 
excrescences as have grown up — ^under the Natural- 
ization Act of 1906 represents when all is said an honest, 
diligent, and wholly patriotic effort to make impossible 
the now almost incredible scandab of former times; to 
establish and vigilantly maintain proper standards of 
character and intelligence by which to test those of 
other nativity who desire to join our fellowship and 
participate in our sovereignty; and to fit and educate 
those who are admitted for the better appreciation and 
performance of the imique privileges and responsi- 
bilities of American citizenship. The remediable evils, 
some of the more conspicuous of which have been in- 
dicated, seem to be due in part to survival among us of 
general race and anti-foreign prejudices, despite our 
historic professions and democratic traditions; in part 
to the mere inertia of custom and habit characterizing 
all governmental institutions; in part to the "personal 
equation" of those upon whom, in various parts of the 
coimtry, falls the duty of administering the law. 

The experience of these fifteen years has demon- 
strated that the law, as it stands, is on the whole just and 
effective for its purposes. Its defects can be remedied; 
its sound features strengthened and clarified. It is 
time to modify it in some respects; to standardize the 
tests and conditions enforced under its provisions, to 
the end of removing, or anyway diminishing, the 
opportunity for the erratic operation of "personal 
equation " and the theories, whims, negligences, together 
with the illegal and extra-legal practices, in both the 
executive departments and the courts, of which the 
aspirant for citizenship is the hapless victim. 

142 



VI 

PERSONAL EQUATION IN NATURALIZATION 

^When we speak of the "personal equation" as an im- 
portant factor in the adoption or rejection of an alien 
applicant for citizenship, we are likely to be thinking 
chiefly of the personality of the petitioner; of his char- 
acter, intelligence, education, social training and experi- 
ence; of his general fitness and capacity for assimila- 
tion of our language, customs, traditions, institutional 
relations — what we are pleased to call our " fimdamental 
principles." But this is only a part, and not always or 
necessarily the most significant and controlling part, 
of the situation. There are other "personal equations" 
to be considered. For while it is true in one sense that 
the applicant does pass into the maw of a machine, con- 
structed "of law rather than of men," and governed by 
more or less precise and automatically operating regu- 
lations from whose technic the individuals on either 
side of the process may not materially depart, the fact 
is that there is hardly any other legal process in our 
governmental system in which personality — individual 
ideas, prejudices, idiosyncrasies — ^plays so large a part. 
In no other activity of the courts is the individual 
petitioner so entirely at the mercy of the court, so 
completely without recourse in the event of a decision 
against him. 

Strictly speaking, the proceeding is judicial; an ex- 
parte case in an important court, in which a petition is 
filed with the clerk, comes in due course before the judge 

143 



AMERICANS BY CHOICE 

in person; evidence is received for and against the 
granting of the privilege requested, and the judge decides 
in a formal order and decree, pro or contra; the peti- 
tion is granted or denied, as the case may be. For 
every petition is decided and disposed of in some final 
way, even though it may be continued or postponed 
once or more. It is doubtful, however, whether any- 
where in our judicial procedure — even in the minor 
courts where so often farcically unjust " law " is inflicted 
upon defenseless persons — ^may be f oimd a class of cases 
departing so far in practice from the apparent simplicity 
of the theory; where the petitioner is subject to so 
heavy handicaps of technicality; to so great an extent 
at the mercy of personal whims and mental limita- 
tions, of blunders and negligences — and "red tape" — of 
persons over whose activities he has not the slightest 
control, with very little right or opportunity to have 
beside him anyone to protect him from encroachment 
upon his rights. 

The Constitution of the United States gave to Con- 
gress exclusive authority "to establish a uniform rule 
of naturalization." ^ It might have been inferred that 
the intention was to make the process strictly an affair 
of Federal administration; but Congress did not so 
construe or utilize the authority. It established, by the 
original statute and subsequent legislation, uniform 
standards of requirement as to racial restriction, pre- 
liminary period of residence, literacy, and moral quali- 
fications; but in effect it gave the jurisdiction and ad- 
ministration of the law back to the states — ^not in so 
many words, to be sure, but by committing the natural- 
ization function to local as well as to Federal judges in 
every state and territory. Nothing could have been 
devised more surely to subject the operation of the law 



* Art. I, sec. 8, par. 4. 

144 



PERSONAL SIDE OF NATURALIZATION 

to the peculiarities of local conditions and feeling, and 
to the warps and twists of personal notion. 

From the beginning, in the first general naturalization 
law enacted after the new republic got under way, the 
function of admitting new members of the nation has 
been vested in the courts — a, judicial power and activity. 
So it remains to-day. And with the sole exception of 
Canada, the United States is unique in respect of this 
method of naturalization. England, France, and vir- 
tually all of the other nations vest the power in some 
ministerial agency.^ 

A FUNCTION OP LOCAL COUBTS 

At first glance it might seem fitting and wise to confine 
the function (if to the courts at all) to the Federal tribu- 
nals, in the interest of freedom from local poHtical in- 
fluence, uniformity of interpretation and practice, and 
recognition of the fact that citizenship is chiefly a rela- 
tionship to the nation as a whole. Always, indeed, 
there has been a considerable body of sentiment in 
favor of such a change in the practice. Many of the 
state judges woidd favor it; some for reasons of prin- 
ciple, but most because they would gladly get rid of a 
body of duty which to many is irksome and a distasteful 
interference with their ordinary matters of litigation by 
duties which they regard as properly more administra- 
tive than judicial. No Federal judge will hear of any 
such addition to their already great burden of work. 

The reasons to the contrary are weighty and thus far 
have been controlling. In the first place, after all is 
said, an individual, however national his citizenship in 
the large sense, is politically a unit of the state in which 
he resides. He does not vote for any strictly Federal 

^ See Report of the Presidents Commission on NaiuraHzatum^ 1905, 
Fifty-first Congress, First Session, House Document 46. 

145 



AMERICANS BY CHOICE 

officer; the only civic relaticmships which he bears to 
the nation as such are those of direct taxation and 
national military service — and both of those are of 
comparatively recent establishment. He does not vote 
for President of the United States, but for a group of 
Presidential electors who will cast the vote of his state 
in the Electoral College. When he votes for two 
Senators and one Representative in Congress, he votes 
for them as representatives of his own state and Con- 
gressional district. The states, as a rule, have been very 
jealous of every effort to take the direct control of the 
selection of their citizens out of the hands of officials 
amenable to local sentiment. 

There is another and even better reason, in the fact 
that the United States coiurts are relatively few and far 
between, and the expense of time and travel which 
would be imposed upon appUcants, living elsewhere 
than in large cities, for having to go (as they do now 
twice and often more than twice) to the nearest Federal 
courts would be prohibitive upon all aliens but the 
most prosperous or those whom some one might have 
a motive, political or other, for subsidizing in this way. 
In not a few sparsely settled regions, even as it is now, 
a petitioner must travel, and take his two witnesses, a 
total of many hundred miles before he can consummate 
the process of naturalization and obtain the precious 
certificate without which he cannot complete his title 
to his homestead. 

The existing law, modified in its allusions to terri- 
tories which since have become states by the various 
kinds of legislation relative to their statehood, thus 
describes the courts which are to have the power to pass 
upon applications for citizenship: 

United States Circuit and District Courts now existing, or 

which may hereafter be established by Congress, in any State; 

United States District Courts for the Territories of Arizona, 

146 



PERSONAL SIDE OF NATURALIZATION 

New Mexico, Oklahoma, Hawaii, and Alaska; the Supreme 
Court of the District of Columbia, and the United States 
Courts for the Indian Territory; also all courts of record in 
any State or Territory now existing, or which may hereafter 
be created, having a seal, a clerk, and jurisdiction in actions 
at law or equity, or law and equity, in which the amount in 
controversy is unlimited. 

"personal equation** op the judges 

' According to the report of the Commissioner of Natural- 
ization for the fiscal year ending June 30, 1919, a total 
of £,306 courts of all these kinds have exercised natural- 
ization jurisdiction during that year, and a list of judges, 
compiled by the Americanization Study from informa- 
tion obtained from the Naturalization Service and from 
other sources, shows that about 1,450 individual judges, 
Federal, state, and local, preside in these courts. Agrand 
total of approximately 100,000 cases a year — ^the figure 
roughly used in estimating the naturalization business 
of recent years — ^would give to each judge an average 
of about 70 cases a year; but since in tJie great majority 
of rural districts this business is exceedingly small — in 
some cases not more than two or three in a year — ^and 
since the bulk of it is in the large cities and in particular 
regions, such as the mining districts of Pennsylvania, 
West Virginia, Illinois, etc., certain courts have a very 
large number of cases, in some instances running into 
thousands. 

In the last analysis, the individual judge is, subject 
to certain noteworthy restrictions and interferences, 
the final arbiter in every case. Upon his "personal 
equation,'* his opinions and prejudices, to a great 
extent depends the reception which the petitioner 
experiences when he comes into court for the final 
stage of his initiation as an American citizen. 

Obviously, then, it becomes important to ascertain 

147 



AMERICANS BY CHOICE 

the general attitude of the naturalizmg judges through- 
out the country toward the law as it stands, toward the 
naturalization process in general, toward the petitioner 
for citizenship. In the last analysis the judge is a 
human being, moved by human motives, warped by 
human prejudices, subject to the same personal, local, 
and general influences that condition the emotions and 
actions of the rest of us toward om: fellow men. 

With this in view, the Americanization Study ad- 
dressed a questionnaire to each of the approximately 
1,400 judges throughout the country entitled * to juris- 
diction in naturalization proceedings in the 2,800 courts 
over which from time to time they preside for this pur- 
pose. Somewhat less than one-third (423, or about 
31 per cent) of the judges thus addressed replied or 
were accounted for in some manner more or less com- 
plete. Any exact or conclusive tabulation of the replies 
would be impracticable because the questions called for 
expression of opinions rather than categorical or statis- 
tical answers; a large proportion of the judges left one 
or more of the questions unanswered or qualified their 
answers in such a way as to preclude the possibility of 
precise classification. Nevertheless, the results as a 
whole are highly significant and informing-<ahnost as 
much so in their negative aspects as in the definite 
replies evoked. 

For example, it is interesting to observe the difference 
not only in the ratio of replies received to the number of 
judges questioned, but in the character of the replies as 
regards general strictness or UberaUty of attitude, in the 
various parts of the country. The first point is to be seen 
in the following list of naturalization districts, with the 

^The worda "approximately" and ** entitled" are appropriate 
here, because by no means all of the judges empowered to naturalize 
exercise the function, and the list is constantly changing by reason 
of death, retirement, readjustment of work in large courts, etc. 

148 



PERSONAL SroE OF NATURALIZATION 

approximate number of judges in each and the number 
of them heard from: 



TABLE IV 

NuMBEB OF Replies from Judges in Each District 

BoHon District, — Comprising the gtates of Maine, New Hampshire, 
Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Bhode Island. 



Statb 


JUDGBB 


Rbflisb fbou 


Maine. ....... > 


9 
6 
7 
29 
18 
8 

77 


8 


New Hampshire. 
Vormont. ....it. 




1 




4 


MassRchusfitts 


8 


^^pnectic"t. , 


4 


Bhode Island 


2 


Total 


17 







New York District, — Comprising Northern, Eastern, and Southern 
New York, and Hudson County, New Jersey. 



Statu 



New York. . 
New Jersey. 



Total. 



RSPLIBB FBOU 




Philadelphia District, — Comprising the Eastern and Middle Districts, 
Penn^lvania, Delaware, and New Jersey (except Hudson County). 



Statu 



Pennsylvania. 

Ddaware 

New Jersey. . 

Total.. 
11 




Rapusa ntou 

11 

2 
10 

23 



149 



AMERICANS BY CHOICE 



PiUiburgh DiHrid, — Comprising Western Peiiii«yl^^iua» Western 
New York, West ^ginia, Ohio» Maryland (counties of AHeglieny, 
Frederick, Grarrett, and Washington), Kentucky (counties of 
Campbdl and Kenton). 



Stati 



Pennsylvania. 
Kentucky. . . . 
Maryland. . . . 

New York 

Ohio 

West Virginia 

Total.. 



RXPLIBBFBOU 




Washington District, — G>mpri8ing the District of G>lumbia, Alabama, 
Florida, Georgia, Kentucky (except the counties of Campbell, 
Jefferson, and Kenton), Louisiana, Maryland (except the coun- 
ties of Allegheny, Frederick, Grarrett, and Washington), Missis- 
sippi, North Carolina, Porto Rico, South Carolina, Tennessee 
(except Shelby County), Texas, and Virginia. 



Statu 



District of CcJumbia 

Alabanui 

Florida 

Georgia 

Kentucky 

Louisiana 

Maryland 

Mississippi 

North Carolina 

Porto Rico 

South Carolina 

Tennessee 

Texas 

Virginia 

City of Baltimore , 

Total 

150 



Rbpldds'fbom 




PERSONAL SIDE OF NATURALIZATION 



Si. Louis Digtrid, — Comprising Arkaims, Okkh<»iia, Mifl80uri» 
Iowa, NeUtiska, Kansas, Shelby County, Tennessee, and South- 
em Illinois. 



Statu 


JUDOIUB 


Rbpuxs fbom 




85 
W 
62 
89 
84 
48 
84 

267 





Illinois 





Iowa 


27 




14 


Nebraska 


1 



11 


Missouri 


11 


Oklahoma. . ^ . . . . , r - , - , . . , 


11 


Total 


89 







Chicago Dittrid, — Comprising Northern Illinois, Indiana, Southern 
l^^soonsin, Jefferson County, Kentucky, Southern Peninsula of 
Michigan, and Mackinac County, Midiigan. 



Statb 



Illinois 

Indiana. . . 
Michigan. 
Wisconsin. 



Total 




Rbplebs fbom 

20 

20 

18 

5 

68 



St Patd District, — Comprising Minnesota, North Dakota, South 
Dakota, Northern Wisconsin, Northern Peninsula of Michigan 
(except Mackinac County). 



Statb 


JUDQBS 


RbPLIBS FEOll 


Minnesota, 


48 
4 
18 
18 
11 

89 


20 


Michigan 


8 


North Dakota 


6 


South Dakota 


5 


Wisconsin 


7 


Total 


41 




■ !■ 



151 



AMERICANS BY CHOICE 

Denver District. — Comprising Colorado, New Mexico, Wyoming, 
Utah, and the comities of Bannock, Bear Lake, Bingham, Bonne- 
ville, Custer, Franklin, Fremont, Jefferson, Lemhi, Madison, 
Oneida, and Power, Idaho. 



State 


JUDOBS 


RapLDBS VBOM 


Colorado 


17 
9 
9 
8 
5 

48 


7 


New Mexico 


5 


Utah 


8 


Wyoming 


2 


Idaho - 


8 


Total. . 




20 







San Francisco District. — Comprising California, Arizona, and Nevada. 



Statb 


JXTDOBS 


Rbplies fbou 


Calif <Nmia 


95 
16 
12 

123 


84 


Arizona 


8 


Nevada 


2 


Total 


44 



Seattle District. — Comprising Washington, Oregon, Montana, and 
Idaho (except as assigned to Denver). 



Statb 



Washington. 

Oregon 

Montana. . . 
Idaho 



Total. 



JUDOBS 



47 
27 
26 
11 

111 



Rbplibs vbou 



15 
11 

7 
1 

84 



REGAPrrULATION 



Total nmnber of judges addressed , 
Replies received from 



1,410 
428 



152 



PERSONAL SIDE OF NATURALIZATION 

Pebcentagb of Repues 

St. Paul District 46.0 

Denver District 41 .7 

San Francisco District 97 A 

St. Louis District 9S.S 

Philadelphia District 31.0 

Seattle District 30.6 

Chicago District 28.2 

Pittsburgh District 26.8 

New York District 24.6 

Boston District 22.0 

Washington District 18.5 

Average 30 . 9 

It would be perilous to generalize from these figures 
as to the interest of judges in various parts of the 
country in the study of the problems involved in nat- 
uralization. Silence does not necessarily imply indififer- 
ence; moreover, the courts in large centers of popula- 
tion are overburdened with ordinaiy litigation, and it is 
not surprising that there should be procrastination or 
entire failure in responding to a more or less elaborate 
questionnaire. Nevertheless, there is food for reflec- 
tion in the fact that the lowest percentages of exhibited 
interest are in the East and South — ^the highest west of 
the Mississippi River. 

The judges who did reply to the questionnaire repre- 
sent on the whole both wide experience and substantial 
interest in the subject. Of those who state the number 
of naturalization cases coming before them in an aver- 
age year, more than 100 passed upon 100 cases or more 
— ^not including the very large numbers passed by a 
few in acceptance of soldiers under the "military nat- 
uralization law"; at least as many more had from 50 to 
100 cases a year (160 between 10 and 100); only 67 
reported less than 10. Upward of 400 judges, each an- 
swering for himself, undoubtedly afford a reasonably 

158 



AMERICANS BY CHOICE 

reliable cross-section of the opinion of the naturalizing 
agency of the government. 

BIBO's-EYE VIEW OF THE QT7ESTIONNAIBS 

The questions which were asked» and the general nature 
of the replies to each, give a bird's-eye view of the prin- 
cipal phases of the problem, and a fair notion of the 
d^ree to which the judges may be regarded as liberal or 
conservative and alive to the situation. The questions 
and the figures given after each speak for themselves: 

Do you regard the present requiremerUa for nahiralixation ae too 
strict, or not strict enough^ 

Answers: About right now 185 

Too strict «6 

Not strict enough 97 

Noncommittal 90 

828 

What is your policy as to ** oonHn'uious residence** — how long, if at 
aU, do you permit a petitioner to have been absent from this country 
during the fvoe years immediately preceding his petition^ 

The answers to this question may be roughly classified to show the 
general attitude of the judge, as follows: 

No absence whaterer permitted 72 

A fixed time limit (three to six months* 

very general) 82 

"Entirely a question of intention" . . . 210 

Noncommittal 26 

840 

How frequenUy do you require the petitioner* s witnesses actually ft> 
have seen him during Aefive years* periods 

Very strict (" daily " ; " constantly, as a 
neighbor " ; " I insist upon a real per- 
sonal intimacy/' etc.) 6^ 

Reasonable (*' enough to satisfy me as 
to the petitioner's character and 

154 



PEBSONAL SIDE OF NATUEAMZATION 

residence*'; "a bona-fide acquaint- 
ance," etc.) 287 

840 

Do ffou require applieanU for naiuralisuMtion to prove thai they can 
read as well as speak the English kmguagef The law does noi require 
ability to read. 

Yes 179 

No 155 

884 

Would ycufaxoT amending the law eoaato permit (he eubtiUuiion of a 
wOnese where, in evident good faith, one qf (he original two appears, in 
the judgment of the court, to be honesUy mistaken in believing that he has 
adequately known the petitioner for the whole fwe yeairsf {Under the 
present practice the petition is denied, and a new one must be filed and 
a new fee paid,) 

Yes ("The present practice imposes a 

great hardship and injustice*') 811 

No 86 

Nonccnnmittal 6 

858 

Would you favor amendment of the law so as to mitigate the present 
requirement that two, only two, and the same two, witnesses must swear 
to personal knowledge of all of the petitioner* s residence up to five years, 
within the state in v>hich the petition was filed, and thus permit him to 
cover a part of this residence by depositions, or additional untnesses, when 
witnesses possessing the qualifications now required cannot be procured^ 

Yes 289 

No 84 

Noncommittal 11 

884 

Would you write into the Naturaliaation Law a specific educational or 
vMUctual test for admission to citizenship^ 

Yes 167 

No 157 

Nonocmmiittal 25 

859 
155 



AMERICANS BY CHOICE 

Do you faooT a uniform required course of tnjfmcfum fof appUeania 
for dtisefukipf 

Yes 208 

No 184 

Noooommittal 88 

875 

Would you faoor acceptance, aa primarfade evidence of tnteUedual 
fitneee, cf a suitable certificate from eckooU or dose, of the euoceesftd 
completion of audi a couraef 

Yes C'l would"; "I do aocq>t school 
certificates now/* etc.) 809 

No C*The judge must satisfy himself 
by his own inquiry'*; "it is charac- 
ter» not learning, that counts"; 
"too many Socialists are teaching 
school," etc.) 110 

Noncommittal 81 

850 

Would you favor the abolition of the preaerU Declaration of Intention 
{first papera)? If not, what good purpoae do you think it aerveef 

Yes ("It serves no good purpose") ... 82 

No ("It is an essential of the proceed- 
ing"; "it serves notice to all con- 
cerned"; " it tends to keep the appli- 
cant in mind of his desire to be a 
dtiaen," etc.) 241 

Noncommittal 88 

856 

What have you obaerved to be the apecial difficuUiea in the way of 
deairable foreignera, hindering them from aeeking naturalvustionf 

Know of none deterring deairable for- 
eigners 107 

Ignorance and indifference 104 

Deterring attitude of natives 00 

Technicalities in law and examinations 42 

No (pinions 58 

871 
156 



PEBSONAL SIDE OF NATURALIZATION 

Would you faxoT legislation to permit the naturalizatum cf a married 
woman in her own name, if personally acceptable, regardless of the alien' 
age of her husband, or his failure to obtain or rtfusal to seek 
naturalisationf 

Yes 204 

No 104 

Noncommittal 25 

Would you favor reserving to a naiioe4x>m American woman, if she 
desires it, the American citizenship which under the present law she 
sacrifices by marriage to a foreignerf 

Yes 220 

No 127 

Noncommittal 17 

864 

Would you favor modification qf the law so as to admit to citizenship 
any individual personally fii, regardless of race or ooUjrf 

Yes 100 

No 225 

Noncommittal 34 

Do you believe that the admission of large numbers of aliens under 
ihe Ad of May 9, 1918, solely on the ground of military or naval service, 
without the usual requirements qf residence, etc., operated on the whole 
to the advantage qf ihe United States? 

Yes Ill 

No 118 

Doubtful 28 

No opinion 58 

810 

Would you fa»or applying Ihe same standards and tests to all pro- 
spective voters, native and foreign bom alike, before endowing them with 
the suffrage; with suitable ceremonies of induction into "active voting 
membership,** so to speak, in our societyf 

Yes 180 

No 102 

Noncommittal 44 

826 
157 



AMERICANS BY CHOICE 

Would you fcufor removal cf naturalissaUon from all stale courts, so as 
to make U exdusioely a function cf the Federal courisf 

Yes 11« 

No 208 

820 

Would you faoor placing naturalisaiion in the hands of traoeling 
naturalizaiUm commissioners, appointed by and responsible to the courtsf 

Yes 76 

No 202 

278 

Would you favor making naturalisuttion a purely administraUve func' 
iion^ exercised by the Nahtralization Bureau, or ciher appropriaie organ 
of the Department of Labor, or other department 

Yes 48 

No 222 

270 
GENERAL TREND OF JUDGES* OPINIONS 

The returns of this questionnaire, from a sufficiently 

representative cross-section of the naturalizing agency 

of the government, self -selected by the operation of 

substantial personal interest in the problems embodied 

in the situation (as evidenced by taking the pains to 

express opinion), make clear the opinion of the judges 

on several important points, and may be summarized 

substantially as follows: 

(1) The judges on the whole believe that the present 

law requires no drastic amendment in principle; they 

believe that the naturalizing function should remain 

with the courts; should not be confined to the Federal 

courts, and should be exercised in the open courtrooms 

as it is at present. And this, notwithstanding the fact 

that the function adds materially to the burden of 

ordinary litigation. 

158 



PERSONAL SIDE OF NATURALIZATION 

(9) In the matter of attitude toward both petitioners 
and their witnesses, the judges are in the main liberal 
and humane, judging of absence during the five years' 
probationary period chiefly with regard to the occasion 
for the absence and the continuing intention to become 
an American citizen, and the witnesses' knowledge of 
the petitioner by the practical facts in the case. 

(3) An overwhelming majority of the judges favor 
mitigation of the technicalities now surrounding the pro- 
ceeding by permitting the substitution of witnesses 
and the supplying of evidence to convince the court, 
by means of depositions covering portions of the period 
of residence within the state in which the petition is 
filed. It may be added that very many of the judges 
would accept testimony of the same character as that 
which they would receive in any other sort of proceeding 
before the court to establish any fact. 

(4) A majority of the judges require of petitioners 
proof of ability to read the EngUsh language; some 
require also ability to write it — although the law re- 
quires only ability to speak it. There is a marked 
weight of opinion in favor of requiring reading; some 
also advocate writing — even among the judges who do 
not now require it because the present law does not. 
The judges are about evenly divided as to the desir- 
ability of a uniform educational test. Most of those 
who oppose it emphasize the fact that, in the se- 
lection of citizens, character and general reputation 
are more important than book learning; that a bad 
man is made only the more dangerous by education. 
A majority of the judges would favor a required 
course of instruction, and would accept as prima-facie 
evidence of intellectual fitness a school certificate of 
the successful completion of such a course. Increas- 
ingly, such certificates are in fact accepted by courts 

all over the country. 

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AMERICANS BY CHOICE 

(5) The judges are emphatically opposed to the 
abolition of the declaration of intention, the ratio of 
expressions in the negative being approximately three 
to one. The declaration is regarded by the judges of 
the widest experience as having a moral value of great 
importance, and as affording indispensable notice to 
the government and the public of the alien's intention 
to apply for "active membership." 

(6) With regard to married women, the judges are 
two to one in favor of permitting their naturalization 
as individuals, regardless of the action of their hus- 
bands, and nearly a^ much so m favor of reserving to 
American-bom women their citizenship, notwithstand- 
ing their marriage to aliens. As regards the latter 
point, most of those expressing themselves in the affirm- 
ative insert the proviso that the woman must continue 
her domicile in this country. 

(7) Opinion is in the negative as regards naturaliza- 
tion of "any individual personally fit, regardless of 
race or color." Most of the judges interpret the ques- 
tion as applying to Chinese and Japanese. A Southern 
judge holds that "since citizenship has been granted 
to the African race, there is no reason for withholding 
it from any other." Those who vote in the affirmative 
do so on the ground that even membership in the Mon- 
golian racial groups should not exclude persons who can 
show personal fitness for citizenship; nevertheless, the 
vote in the negative is more than two to one. 

(8) The judges are not clear with regard to the sug- 
gestion of a standard test for all prospective voters, 
native or foreign bom, by which even native Americans 
at the age of twenty-one years should pass at least the 
same examination as an alien applicant before being 
armed with the ballot. Nevertheless, nearly two to one 
of those who spoke on that point favor the establish- 
ment of such a test. 

160 



PERSONAL SIDE OF NATURALIZATION 

(9) Military naturalization is the subject of grave 
doubt. The vote is about evenly divided — a shade 
toward the negative — ^but nearly as many judges are 
doubtful or noncommittal as are either favorable or 
opposed to the measure. It should be said, however, 
that those most emphatically satisfied with what was 
done in this regard are those who had the most experi- 
ence with it. 



THE CLERKS OF THE COURTS 

The clerks of the courts in many ways are not less im- 
portant in the experience of the petitioning alien than 
either the judges or the naturalization examiner. Upon 
the derk, more than upon anyone else, in the vast major- 
ity of cases, diepends scrutiny of the declaration of in- 
tention; usually he actually makes out the declaration 
for the aUen; if he is careful and familiar with the 
routine of form and fact he makes it out, or sees that 
it is made out, correctly; if he regards the whole business 
as a nuisance, has a prejudice against immigrants as 
such or against the particular race represented by this 
particular alien, or doesn't like this individual, if he has 
had a controversy with the Naturalization Service or 
is, for some other reason, in an unfriendly mood, or if, 
as is more likely to be the case, he is simply careless or 
unfamiliar with the technic of the business — shaving 
VCTy little of it to do — ^the interests of the alien may 
suffer accordingly. The courts do not give the alien 
the benefit of any allowance for clerical or other errors 
made or permitted by the clerk if they relate in the 
slightest degree to any material fact; the alien must 
guard himself against any such error, or bear the conse- 
quences alone. In fact, the coiu*ts have repeatedly 
held, as it is expressed in a brief in the case of Mul- 
crevy vs. San Francisco, in the United States Supreme 

161 



AMERICANS BY CHOICE 

Court, that the duties in connection with naturaliza- 
tion performed by clerks of coiui^ " are not appurtenant 
to the oflBce of clerk of court. . . . All of their transac- 
tions with the Bureau of Naturalization, and these 
include almost all of their service, are performed with- 
out any reference to the court/' ^ In many instances, the 
clerks are greatly annoyed by having this citizenship 
work thrust upon them; they take no pleasure in hav- 
ing been "freely designated by Congress to serve the 
purposes of the Federal government," or in being thus 
"instrumentalities or agencies of the Federal govern- 
ment," as the Mulcrevy brief puts it, and perform 
their duties in a careless, grudging, and iU-natured 
spirit. 

In most of the rural districts, naturalization business 
is very Ught; sometimes there will be only two or three 
cases a year; there are even coiui^ in which a year or 
two might pass without any at all. In such instances 
the labor is trivial; but for that very reason the clerk 
is not alive to the importance of details, and the ratio 
of mistakes may be the greater for that reason. 

In the large cities, where the naturalization business 
is heavy, there are usually deputy clerks devoting vir- 
tually all of their attention to it; they keep in practice, 
and avoid errors. But it is to be remembered that 
because this work is not "appurtenant to the office 
of clerk of court," neither the United States nor the 
state contributes anything whatever to the remunera- 
tion of the clerk. The alien pays for that, in a manner 
well calculated to create an undesirable relationship 
all the way round. The clerk is put in this regard 
largely at the mercy of the Naturalization Service, and 



1 See United States v». Hill, 120 U. S., 169; EGll vs. United States, 
40 Fed., 441; United States vs. McMillan, 165 U. S., 504; in re 
Halladjian, 174 Fed., 884. 

162 



PERSONAL SroE OF NATURALIZATION 

the result is not a happy one — as might very well be 
expected. 



THE QUESTIOK OF ADEQUATE CLEBICAL FOBCE 

The report of the New York State Commission of 
Immigration, transmitted to the Legislature April 5, 
1909, after the present system had been in operation 
about two years, dealt with this matter in connection 
with its comment upon delays in the naturalization 
business in the courts, especially of New York City, 
which is attributed chiefly to insufficiency of clerical 
force, due, in its finding, to the operation of the follow- 
ing provision of the naturalization law: 

That the clerks of courts exercising jurisdiction in natu- 
ralization proceedings shall be permitted to retain one-half 
of the fees in any fiscal year, up to the sum of three thousand 
dollars, and that all fees received by such clerks in natu- 
ralization proceedings in excess of such amount shall be 
accounted for, and paid over to said {Naturalization] Bureau, 
as in case of other fees to which the United States may be 
entitled under the provisions of this Act. The clerks of 
the various courts exercising jurisdiction in naturalization 
proceedings shall pay all additional clerical force that may 
be required in performing the duties imposed by this Act 
upon the clerks of coiu-ts from fees received by such clerks 
in naturalization proceedings. 

And in case the clerk of any court exercising naturaliza- 
tion jurisdiction collects fees in excess of the sum of six 
thousand debars in any fiscal year, the Secretary of Labor 
may allow salaries, for naturalization purposes only, to pay 
for clerical assistance, to be selected and employed by that 
clerk, additional to the clerical force, for which clerks of 
courts are required by this section to pay from fees received 
by such clerks in naturalization proceedings, if in the opinion 
of said Secretary the naturalization business of such clerk 

warrants further additional assistance: Provided, That in 

163 



AMERICANS BY CHOICE 

no event shall the whole amount allowed the clerk of a court 
and his assistants exceed the one-half of the gross receipts 
of the office of said clerk from naturalization fees during such 
fiscal year.^ 



WHEN THE CLERK POCKETS THE FEES 

The clerk is not required to spend for additional clerical 
force the portion of the fees under three thousand dollars 
retained by him. In some states he is required to sur- 
render it as part of the income of his office; but gener- 
ally speaking he can put it in his pocket if he chooses 
to do so, and allow the naturalization business to be- 
come clogged and delayed. Sometimes he does just 
that. The Naturalization Service has no redress, 
although it usually is blamed by the uninformed for 
the ensuing situation. Of course the alien has none, 
although he is the principal victim of it. The possi- 
bilities of the arrangement are well illustrated in one 
great Middle Western city, where there are two courts, 
one state and one Federal, performing naturalization 
functions. The clerk of the state court is very efficient 
and interested in the work; he spends more than $3,000 
on naturalization business, employing a deputy at 
$1,800 and a stenographer at about $1,000 a year, and 
in rush periods having extra force. The service to 
aliens in that court is courteous, acciu^te, and expedi- 
tious. The clerk of the Federal court does otherwise. 
He retains his $3,000, but employs an assistant at only 
$1,200 without any stenographer, and the work is 
badly delayed. A letter of complaint about this court 
mentions tiie fact that "I have been advised by . . . 



^The text here quoted is from the law as it now stands; it diffov 
very slightly in verbiage, but not in meaning, from the law as it 
read when quoted in the New York Immigration Commission's 
rqK>rt. 

164 



PERSONAL SroE OP NATURALIZATION 

that the United States District Court will be closed all 
day to-day." Day after day, during 1918--19, the office 
of the naturalization deputy clerk in that court was 
entirely closed, so far as the aliens were concerned, 
owing to the insufficiency of the clerical force. Gener- 
ally, an overworked condition of a clerk's office leads, 
naturally, to hurry, discourtesy, and inevitable delays, 
during which appUcants and their witnesses wiU lose 
day after day of working time in waiting for attention. 

FORMS OP PETTY GRAFT 

This sort of thing leads also to another evil, inevitable 
in such an atmosphere. Petty officers of the court, 
policemen and others having the run of the building, 
will tyrannize ov^ the crowds of aliens awaiting atten- 
tion, and will pretend to have, or actually will exercise, 
the power to put one person ahead of another or other- 
wise effect an unfair discrimination in favor of those 
who will pay something for the advantage. Jn one 
court there was found a definite arrangement with a 
neighboring saloonkeeper, who collected the bribes for 
a guard in the Federal building. The Naturalization 
Service has been assiduous in its discouragement of 
this sort of thing, and has had a good measure of suc- 
cess upon the minor grafters; but as the law reads at 
present it can use only moral suasion upon the clerks 
of courts to induce them to spend the retained share 
of the fees for the purpose for which the retention 
obviously was authorized — ^the bona-fide employment 
of the extra clerical force needed to handle the natural- 
ization business. 

The '^ moral suasion" business, however, has its 
limitations. While the chief naturalization examiners, 
in charge of the districts in the field, usually are on 

cordial terms with the clerks of their various courts, 
12 165 



AMERICANS BY CHOICE 

the relations between the clerks and the office of the 
bureau at Washington, maintained ahnost exclusively 
by correspondence, with that correspondence almost 
invariably growing out of some complaint or derelic- 
tion on the part of the clerk, are not always so happy. 
The clerk has to send to Washington for all his supplies 
of blanks and other stationery used in the naturaliza- 
tion business. In one of the largest cities in the country 
there was a delay of weeks in getting certain supplies 
from Washington, and the petitioners suflFered accord- 
ingly. The whole naturalization service is habitually 
short-handed and correspondingly overworked; but 
the penalty for the delays falls upon the head of the 
petitioner for naturalization. When a clerk of a small 
court, or a large one, has not on hand the blank forms 
upon which his declaration or petition must be written 
in order to be valid, the alien, who may have traveled 
with his witnesses scores of miles to file his paper, must 
return to his home and wait some more. This is an 
occurrence by no means infrequent. 

Penalties are provided by law against clerks who fail 
to send punctually to Washington the required peri- 
odical reports and duplicates of papers. The Natural- 
ization Bureau has been reluctant to attempt enforce- 
ment of these penalties — ^it is a bit drastic to fine a 
clerk $25 for a little delay in transmitting papers — 
and usually has been content to send an examiner to 
the court to get the material. But the correspondence 
growing out of such delays, and out of the effort to 
induce clerks to spend their retained share of the fees 
for clerical assistance, has added acerbity in many in- 
stances to the irksomeness of a task ^'not appurtenant 
to the office of clerk of court." 

Small irritations also add friction. For example, the 
clerk is required to send his reports and papers by 
registered mail; there is no provision to reimburse him 

166 



PERSONAL SIDE OF NATURALIZATION 

for this; he can put in an expense bill — and maybe get 
it after a long delay. This is exasperating, whether 
one's annual share of fees in a small office amounts to 
$10 or $3,000. There was a clerk in California who 
declined to answer letters or have anything further to 
do with the Bureau after he thought he had been badly 
treated in some such matter; he induced the judge of 
his court to relinquish naturalization jurisdiction, and 
then wrote to the Bureau that it could have the records 
in his custody if it would send for them. The Bureau 
has a highly detached, impersonal style of correspond- 
ence, admirably adapted to aUenate human sentiment 
and blight human interest. 



"PIKSONAL equation" IN THE NATURALIZATION 

SERVICE 

The executive arm of the government has the right to 
appear before courts exercising naturalization juris- 
diction, for the purpose, as the law says: 

of cross-examining the petitioner and the witnesses produced 
in support of his petition concerning any matter touching, 
or in any way affecting, his right of admission to citizenship, 
and shall have the right to call witnesses, produce evidence, 
and be heard in opposition to the granting of any petition 
in naturalization proceedings. 

This perfectly breathes the spirit exhibited as a general 
rule by the representatives of the Naturalization Serv- 
ice. The alien petitioner, having passed muster in 
respect of the clerk's office, confronts the representative 
of the government, presumably famiUar with every 
detail of technicaUty, in far to o many cases ben t upon 
preventing his naturalization if by any possibility it 
can be done. Judge after judge, in all parts of the 

country, answering the questionnaire of the American- 

167 



AMERICANS BY CHOICE 

ization Study, describes the naturalization examiner 
as a zealous young man, intent upon straining eveiy 
technical point to its utmost — against the petitioner. 

In the original instructions issued by the Commis- 
sioner of Naturalization on June 80, 1909, when the 
field service was taken over by the Department of 
Conmierce and Labor — of which the Naturalization 
Bureau then became a part — ^he said to the division 
chiefs: 

There is one point which I desire especially to call to your 
attention, and through you to the attention of those under 
your charge and direction, and it is a point upon which I 
must insist. The service is largely one not alone of an investi- 
gating nature, but of an advisory and instructive character 
as well; it furnishes the courts, the clerks of the courts, and 
the general pubhc with information-^-especially that part 
of the general public directly interested in acquiring citizen- 
ship, or indirectly interested, as witnesses to those who are 
seeking naturalization. 

Referring particularly to applicants, he said, also: 

They should further be made to understand that the sub- 
stantial effect of such exactions [requirements of the law] 
upon yoiur part is to protect them, after they once secure 
naturalization, from the disappointment, embarrassment, and 
distress which must ensue in case they secure naturalization 
without having complied with the law. 

These excerpts from the Commissioner's instructions 
were quoted by authority in a letter dated August 15, 
1919, from one of the district chief examiners to the 
writer; therefore they may fairly be taken to represent 
not only the initial policy of the Naturalization Service 
in beginning its work, but the policy to-day. As a 
statement of general policy and attitude they leave 
nothing to be desired. Furthermore, any fair consider- 
ation of the naturalization system must take into 

168 



PERSONAL SroE OF NATURALIZATION 

account generously the background and historic per- 
spective of this business. 



A SCRUPULOUSLY HONEST SEBVICE 

As it aheady has been made sufficiently clear, prior 
to the enactment of the law of 1906, naturalization in 
the United States was not only a chaotic but a scandal- 
ous thing. Many persons believe now that it is "easy 
to get naturalized," that upon payment of a few dollars, 
or in consideration of poUtical subserviency, promised 
or expected, any alien can go, as it were, straight from 
the vessel that brings him to the naturalization court 
and thence to the ballot box! It used to be almost like 
that, but with the enactment of the law of 1906 a revo- 
lution set in, and the condition now, generally speak- 
ing, is quite otherwise. The pendulum has swung to 
the other extreme. It is as difficult now to be natural- 
ized as it used to be easy. And it is quite natural that 
it should be so, in the reaction of public sentiment from 
the old happy-go-lucky days, with the law's adminis- 
tration in the hands of a corps of men who, from top 
to bottom, answer any test of honesty and zeal. In 
all the wide inquiry upon which this volume is 
based, there was no hint anywhere of any manner of 
corrupt practice on the part of anyone in the service. 
Such faults and shortcomings as may be attributed 
to the Naturalization Service are oi an entirely different 
character. 

At the outset, the principal function performed by 
the government was that of investigation; the group 
of men who pyrsued the inquiries about ahens petition- 
ing for citizenship was little more than a corps of detec- 
tives, bent upon ferreting out something, anything, 
that would show the applicant to be unfit. To begin 

with, this work was done under the direction of the 

169 



AMERICANS BY CHOICE 

Attorney-General of the United States. All naturaliza- 
tion proceedings, in f act» were in charge of special assist- 
ants to the various United States district attorneys, 
the examiners operating under them as field investiga- 
tors. The politicians had a good deal to say about the 
selection of examiners. Many, if not most of them, 
were former pension examiners. Some had been in the 
postal service; some had had no experience at all in the 
government employ. 

Without implying any dereliction of intention on their 
part, then or now, it may be said that few of them had 
legal training or were otherwise fitted to conduct the 
government's part in court proceedings. The training 
of the examiners always has been of the most hap- 
hazard, inadequate character. Even under the opera- 
tion of the Civil-Service laws, it was held that the kind 
of experience a man ought to have for the field service 
was that of general contact with the public — ^that of 
poUcemen, street-car conductors, and the like. Yet, 
as the practice has grown up, these men have to appear 
in important courts virtually in the guise of attorneys 
for the government; they must know the law, not only 
as set forth in the statutes, but as interpreted in innu- 
merable decisions of Federal and state coiui:s. 

NEED OF UNIFYING INFLUENCE 

The chief examiners have done their best, but diflPer- 
ences of "personal equation" have resulted in a very 
wide diversity of poUcy and attitude. There never has 
been any adequate unifying influence in the service; 
supervision has been conducted largely by correspond- 
ence, and the correspondence has not always been self- 
consistent. Even in the matter of transmitting to the 
chief examiners the decisions of courts in naturaliza- 
tion matters, there has been a strong tendency to 

170 



PEBSONAL SIDE OF NATURALIZATION 

transmit chiefly those decisions which supported the 
contentions of the NaturaUzation Bureau, so that there 
have been cases in which examiners went on insisting 
upon interpretations of the law which had been over- 
ruled, "getting away with it" in courts whose judges 
did not keep close track of the decisions, to the detri- 
ment of petitioners who could not know their rights — 
since the alien, as a rule, has no one in court to protect 
him, and rarely is in a position to take an appeal. 

In the majority of the courts, particularly those far 
from the great centers and having relatively little 
naturalization business, the judges regard it as more 
or less of a nuisance, do not keep posted about the law 
and decisions, and, looking upon the naturalization 
examiner not only as the accredited representative of 
the government, but as an expert in this field, follow 
his reconmiendations and contentions; and here, again, 
there being no one in court to represent the frightened 
or embarrassed petitioner, the point of view of the 
examiner becomes that of the judge, and the law is 
handed down accordingly. On the other hand, a few 
judges have taken the attitude that they would not 
recognize an examiner who was not an attorney ad- 
mitted to practice before those particular courts. 

"nothing to litigate!'* 

The Bureau of Naturalization has contended that 9^^ 
naturalization hearing is not a "case"; that there is 
nothing to Utigate; that the examiner is present not 
as an attorney, but as a friend and informant of the 
court, with which abides the final responsibility. It 
holds that the petitioner does not need an attorney, 
the judge being assumed to be of course as solicitous to 
protect the interests of the petitioner as those of the 
country's citizenship. No allowance is made under 

171 



AMERICANS BY CHOICE 

this theory for judges like the one, for instance, who 
regards it as his duty to '* construe everything against 
the petitioner"! 

llie operation of the system certainly leaves the 
petitioner frequently, at least, in a most unsatisfactory 
and perilous posture; as witness the matter of the 
seven-year limitation upon "old-law declarations." 
The crisis came in September, 1918, and there was a 
decision soon afterward in the United States District 
Court in New York ruling out all "old-law declara- 
tions." A policy in regard to these declarations should 
have been made then — a unified poUcy, applicable 
throughout the Naturalization Service. Nothing of the 
sort was done; the decision was heeded in some dis- 
tricts and ignored in others, for five years! — until the 
Supreme Court of the United States, sustaining the 
holding of the District Court in New York, at one 
stroke guillotined, so to speak, thousands of declarants 
under the old law. In many other matters there is 
still not only uncertainty, but variety of interpretation 
and practice; a regrettable lack in e£Fect of the "uni- 
form rule" contemplated by the Constitution. 

In many courts the point of view of the judge and 
that of the naturalization examiner are at variance, 
and this leads in some cases to open bitterness. Some 
examiners quibble and irritate the judge with trivial 
objections; some judges constantly ignore important 
provisions of the law urged upon them by the examiners. 
Between such extremes the petitioner is a helpless 
shuttlecock at the time, and later the victim of can- 
cellation proceedings. There are "too many cooks," 
too little supervised and unified, and among them the 
petitioner's broth is spoiled. One of the crying needs 
of the NaturaUzation Service is a permanent law oflScer, 
able and willing and vigilant to watch the making of 

the statutes and decisions all over the country, and to 

17« 



PERSONAL SroE OF NATURALIZATION 

inform and guide the representatives of the service in 
their interpretation of the law. 

CONFUSED STATE OP THE EDUCATIONAL TEST 

It shall be made to appear to the satisfaction of the court 
that, during five years at least immediately preceding the 
date of his application, he has behaved as a man of good 
moral character, attached to the principles of the Constitution 
of the United States, and well disposed to the good order and 
happiness of the same. 

Such is the substance of the law. It requires also that 
he must be able to speak the English language, and that 
each of his precious two witnesses shall, of their own 
knowledge, certify that he is "in every way qualified, 
in their opinion, to be a citizen of the United States.'' 
The barbed entanglement of technicalities through which 
the petitioner must grope before the questions of sub- 
stantial qualification can be reached, we already have 
seen. 

Now, what does it mean to be "attached to the prin- 
ciples of the Constitution"? What manner of intel- 
lectual display is required to prove one "well disposed 
to the good order and happiness of the United States"? 
Around these two rather indefinite phrases rd.ges the 
whole storm of "Americanization" as it affects the 
alien seeking to become one of us. Whether common 
sense, the notion of the man-in-the-street, the average, 
pliun-spoken layman, shall prevail, or the ideas of a 
hypercritical "nativism," depends upon the "personal 
equation" of the judge, the clerk, the naturalization 
examiner — or, rather, the diagonal of forces produced 
by the concurrence or conflict of all three, aggravated 
or modified by that of the petitioner and his witnesses. 

A considerable— erne might almost say an over- 
whehning--Uterature has grown up about this part of 

178 



AMERICANS BY CHOICE 

the subject of immigration; of scores, even hundreds, 
of books, pamphlets, leaflets, posters, diagrams, moving- 
picture reels, lectures, and what not else, designed to 
afford to aliens aspiring to citizenship that knowledge 
of "the principles of the Constitution" which the 
applicant must display to "the satisfaction of the 
court." The number and variety of these is impressive, 
even startling; they vary from the appallingly elaborate 
and diffuse "Citizenship Textbook," issued by the 
Bureau of Naturalization itself, to the simple and lucid 
folder issued by a judge at Duluth, Minnesota. One 
judge in Montana, who thinks "a residence of ten 
years should be required" before final application, has 
"a list of questions which every applicant who appears 
before me must answer. He is also asked many ques- 
tions not contained in this list which go to his quali- 
fications to become a citizen." The printed Ust occu- 
pies nearly four newspaper columns of solid typey and 
covers everything relating to the governments <rf the 
United States, the state of Montana, the local county, 
city, and ward — ^a body of civic information beyond 
the ken, or the hope, of 999 out of 1,000 native-bom 
Americans between the two oceans; yet, on the whole, 
only what every citizen ought to know about the gov- 
ernment which taxes and rules him. 

A judge in Missouri, who has "possibly two, not 
over," of naturalization cases in a year, holds that an 
applicant should have "not merely an educational or 
intellectual test — ^for the more of either a man has the 
worse he may be for the country — ^but I would establish 
one of sentiment or principle, about as follows": 

Every applicant shall satisfy the court that he is familiar 

with, and attached to, such sentiments as are expressed in 

such writings as "A Man Without a Country," "America," 

"Declaration of Independence," etc., and that he is possessed 

of reasonable opinions on necessity of government and duty 

174 



PERSONAL SroE OF NATURALIZATION 

of citizens to support the government and its laws, the freedcmi 
of the press, liberty of speech, obtaining redress for griev- 
ances, and a fbm opposition to rioting, violence, force, and 
secret societies or orders countenancing or teaching over- 
throw of the government. 

An Iowa judge says : 

"Search the heart for the truth." The chief thing is to 
have the heart right — ^to have love and attachment for 
liberty, justice, and humanity, and to be ready to die, if 
need be, for the maintenance thereof. It might be well to 
have a uniform course of instruction for applicants for citi- 
zenship, but I would not adhere to it too strictly, if the 
heart proved to be right. . . . No good man, a true lover of 
liberty, justice, and humanity, should be rejected, unless he 
utterly fails to meet the other requirements of the law. 

A Pennsylvania judge thinks little of educational 
requirements; that they would exclude many desir- 
able applicants. 

The principle test that I apply is as to the honesty of the 
party. Under an intellectual test many honest, hard- 
working men would fail, while men who had the advantage 
of education would secure naturalization. . . . Where m.&i 
are required to support a family and labor hard they have 
not much time to study. 

A judge in Nebraska, who handles some 200 cases 
a year, declares: 

The intellect is not a test of good citizenship. I know 
many people with insufficient intellect to procure much 
education, who cannot read nor write, who are excellent 
citizens; and many others who are highly educated and too 
crooked to make good citizens. 

A California judge avers: 

My observation has been that many of our best citizens 

are tiiose who possess no extended education, and some of 

175 



AMERICANS BY CHOICE 

the most dangerous are of those who possess high educational 
qualifications. 

A judge in central New York, who has large experi- 
ence with naturalization, says: 

Too much stress is laid upon information concerning the 
details of our governmental system, and not enough upon 
the candidate's personal record, endeavors, and results. An 
Italian laborer who has been unable to learn the number of 
Houses into which Congi^ss is divided, but is hard-working» 
steady, possessed of a desire to own his home and bring his 
family up in our ways, is more useful to us than some of 
more intelHgence. 

He holds that the principal difficulty with which desir- 
able immigrants have to contend, in seeking naturaliza- 
tion, is the fact that "too much technical information 
is demanded by the young men who represent the 
Bureau of Naturalization." 

Over against such expressions as these place the 
opinions of one of the Ohio judges, who, after the 
fashion of the Know-Nothings of the '40's, would 
require twenty-one years* residence before naturaliza- 
tion and "add to, rather than diminish, the present 
requirements," admitting "only heads of famiUes, with 
children"; or those of the Arkansas judge who avowedly 
"construes everything against the applicant," and 
would admit a German under no conditions until after 
fifty years of residence. Such a diversity indicates the 
sort of difficulty confronting the alien in court, and the 
need of some unity of standards to be created by law, 
and a great simplification of the tests and examinations. 

A letter was addressed to a number of experienced 
judges, known for their wisdom and humanity, asking 
for a tentative set of questions designed to disclose the 
knowledge thought to be essential to embody "attach- 
ment to the principles of the Constitution." Replies 

17« 



PERSONAL SIDE OP NATURALIZATION 

were few, but they evidenced the diflSculty of express- 
ing in words such an "attachment." Many of the 
judges frankly confessed both their inability to produce 
any such exhibit, and their conviction that the intel- 
lectual display was of least importance in the test of 
the applicant. 

THB CRAZE FOR "AMERICANIZING*' — SOMEBODY BLSE! 

When the Great War burst upon the world, with its 
various kinds of hysteria, many Americans suddenly 
awakened to a passion for what has come to be called 
"Americanization.** Every sort of foreign-bom^ for- 
eign-speaking — or even foreign-looking — ^person was 
seized upon as a subject or victim of this vague and 
little-ordered movement, with results as various as the 
degree of intelligence involved on the part of the 
Americanizers and the kinds of treatment inflicted; but 
to a great extent mischievous and tending to arouse 
hostility rather than "Americanism" — ^whatever the 
much-abused term might mean — ^in the breasts of the 
bewildered immigrant. Some of the effort, to be sure, 
was intelligent, considerate, and constructive. 

It is to the credit of Richard K. Campbell, Commis- 
sioner of Naturalization, and Raymond F. Crist, his 
alert and enterprising deputy, that they were prompt 
in seeing the bearing of the Americanization movement 
upon their work. It is very easy now to criticize, from 
various points of view, the energy and enthusiasm with 
which the Bureau of Naturalization entered upon and 
increasingly absorbed itself in this activity, and to fan 
flames of jealousy between it and other organizations, 
governmental and what not, which have worked in this 
field. The fact is that, with all credit to others to wYncb 
they may be entitled, the Bureau of Naturalization 

early saw, not only the essentials of this question, but 

177 



AMERICANS BY CHOICE 

that it was at bottom a question of education, and set 
itself to the task of inspiring the public-school authori- 
ties to adapt themselves to the situation, and of placing 
at their disposal, at least theoretically, the unique 
material embodied in the archives of the Bureau. It 
is regrettable, though hardly surprising, that, in doing 
so, it allowed itself to become both swamped in the 
magnitude of the job, and obsessed by a sense of pro- 
prietary precedence in the field; reaching out beyond 
rhyme or reason for sweeping powers and responsibility 
which it is ill-adapted to exercise, and, in that reaching 
out, neglecting to carry on the important functions 
normally attaching to its own business, and indis- 
pensable to the intelligent carrying out even of its own 
ambitions. 

With its report for the year closing June 30, 1915, 
begins the recounting of activities of the Bureau in the 
new field. In so many words it is there recognized as a 
new activity— "a broademng of poUcy," with a sugges- 
tion of justification, not to say apology, in the allusion 
to the Act of March 4, 1913, confirming the Bureau in 
charge of "all matters concerning the naturalization 
of aUens." As early as the latter part of 1913, the 
Bureau was discussing methods of encouraging classes 
in citizenship, and "the ehmination of the known evils 
attending some of the private organizations seeking, 
under the guise of instruction, to exploit the ignorance 
of candidates for citizenship as an easy means for the 
acquisition of a lucrative income" was referred to as 
one of the reforms that would follow a co-operative 
activity between the public schools, the puWic gen- 
erally, and the Bureau of Naturalization. 

It was seen that the influence of the Bureau for the 
betterment of citizenship could be extended to every 
hamlet in the United States through the expansion and 
extension of the naturalization laws. This plan pro- 

178 



PEBSONAL SIDE OF NATURALIZATION 

posed the organization of the public schools, with the 
Bureau of Naturalization, into an active unit for the 
development of American ideals of citizenship in the 
student body; the assembling together, on stated occa- 
sions, in the different metropolitan and other centers, 
of naturalized citizens and candidates for citizenship; 
the conduct of patriotic exercises, including addresses, 
the singing of national anthems, and a conferring of 
citizenship.^ 

But it was not until the period covered by the 1915 
report that the Bureau began to be greatly engrossed 
with this policy. In that report, which directed atten- 
tion to the growing interest of naturalizing judges and 
others in the mental training of aUens for citizenship, 
and their co-operation with the Bureau "in arousing 
the interest of the public, " and thus operating upon the 
local school authorities to establish courses of training 
in English and in civics for alien residents who purpose 
to become citizens, the Commissioner himself utters a 
caution about the scope of business: 

It has been pointed out to the state authorities that 
the government cannot undertake, even if it were one of 
its appropriate functions, to institute and operate training 
schools in good citizenship; that the making of a citizen of 
the United States is also the making of a citizen of the state 
in which the petitioner resides; and the results of such action 
are more immediate and more frequent in their effects upon 
state than upon Federal interests. 

At that time the work of the Bureau force consisted 
chiefly of sending to the^school authorities lists of aliens 
residing in their respective districts who had filed decla- 
rations of intention and petitions for naturalization, 
with intent that they should secure the attendance of 



^ Report of ike Commissioner for fiacal year ending June 80, 1916. 

179 



AMERICANS BY CHOICE 

such aliens upon public-school courses of training in 
good citizenship. The Commissioner pointed out that 

The extent and character of this course c^ mental training 
must depend upon the enlightenment of the school authori- 
ties which experience alone can give.^ 

From this time on, however, the Commissioner's 
reports are characterized by an increasing emphasis 
upon the educational aspect of the Bureau's work, the 
things to which it had formerly devoted itself diminish- 
ing in emphasis; while, at the same time, both in the 
reports and in activities not therein disclosed, the 
Bureau was seeking wide extension of its scope and 
powers, although its normal work was suffering from 
the shorthandedness of which it had complained ever 
since the Bureau was established. 



EXTRA RESPONSIBILITIES SELF-SOUGHT 

It has been the habit of the responsible heads of the 
Bureau of Naturalization, in reply to any suggestion 
that the Bureau was "overextending" itself in the 
assumption of educational functions, or that there was 
confusion and conflict between the activities of the 
Bureau and those, for example, of the Bureau of Edu- 
cation in the Department of the Interior, to revert, as 
in the Commissioner's report for 1916, to the fact that 
the law imposed upon the Naturalization Bureau 
*' charge of all matters concerning the naturalization of 
aliens"; to declare that it is "only complying with the 
law," or "endeavoring, under great difficulties, to per- 
form the duties laid upon us by Congress." This is 
plausible enough on its face; but the fact is that, gen- 
erally speaking, no duties have been laid by Congress 

^ Report of the Commuiioner for fiacal year ending June 80» I915» 
p. 8S. 

ISO 



PEBSONAL SIDE OF NATURALIZATION 

upon the Bureau from the b^mnlng save those which 
it has urgently sought; virtually all legislation affecting 
it — especially that legislation relating to " American- 
ization '' — ^has been drawn by the Bureau and actively 
lobbied for in Congress by representatives of the 
Bureau. More than that, the Bureau has been exceed- 
ingly and notoriously aggressive in seeking widely 
extelided scope and powers. 

One of the most striking examples of this appeared 
in the so-called "King bill," of the Second Session 
(1918) of the Sixty-fifth Congress, introduced by 
Senator Eang of Utah, with the purpose of establishing 
in the Department of Labor "a Bureau of Citizenship 
and Americanization, for the Americanization of Nat- 
uralized Citizens," etc. : 

The province and authority of this Bureau [says one 
print of this bill] shall be the Americanization of persons 
seeking American citizenship by naturalization, and cf native 
and naturalized ciOzenaf for the purpose of arousing a higher 
regard for the privileges and responsibilities of American 
citizenship in the minds of all citizens and permanent residents 
of the United States, and the administration of the naturaliza- 
tion laws and Americanization work throughout the United States. 

The bill would have authorized the Director of Citizen- 
ship, therein provided for at a salary of $5,000 a year, 

to make diligent investigation into the conditions and eD- 
vironment of permanent residents and citizens; to ascertain 
their sentiments of loyalty to the United States, their progress 
in the knowledge of American institutions, and the use of 
the English language; their relations of a social and com- 
mercial nature with their neighbors and fellow citizens, and 
to promote the betterment of that loyalty, knowledge, use, 
and relationship, and afford them such advice as may be <^ 
benefit to them and tend to increase their regard for our 
institutions of government, and to do such other things as 
may be prudent and wise in laying a foundation for a strong 
13 181 



AMERICANS BY CHOICE 

sense of loyalty and dedication to our institutions of govern- 
ment on the part of all permanent residents, candidates for 
naturalization, and citizens; and to show their progress in the 
adoption of the language and customs of the United States in 
reports from time to time upon the work of the Bureau to Con- 
gress and the Secretary of Labor, together with recommenda- 
tions to Congress for further legislatwe measures to enlarge the 
province and effectiveness of said Bureau for the Americaniza- 
tion of such citizens and permanent residents, and to insure their 
attachment to the institutions of the United States. 

The bill was not so much to create a new bureau, as 
to transmute the Bureau of Natiuralization; the Com- 
missioner of Naturalization was to become a subor- 
dinate of the Director of Citizenship, the entire per- 
somiel, machinery, and functions of the present Bureau 
o( Naturalization being absorbed in the Bureau of 
Citizenship and Americanization. 

That the scope of this revolutionary creation, with 
its extension of jiurisdiction over all citizens, their social 
and commercial relations with each other, and their 
personal loyalty, was no inadvertence of exuberant 
language, is clear to an examination of an earlier ver- 
sion of the measure, which specifically confined the 
supervisi(m and missionary espionage to "naturalized" 
citizens, "including the attitude of such citizens whose 
native tongue is foreign . . . and their relations of a 
social and commercial natiu*e with their neighbors and 
fellow citizens who are natives of this coimtry or who 
have become thoroughly Americanized." But even so 
early the scheme was designed "to the end that there 
shall be a thorough assimilation of all who permanently 
reside within the jurisdiction of the United States." ^ 

Perhaps the most astonishing thing about this pro- 
posal is that it has the specific approval of the then 

^ Compare S. 4792, July 2, 1918, and S. 5001, October 21, 1918, 
Senate bills. Sixty-fifth Congress, Second Session. 

182 



PERSONAL SIDE OF NATURALIZATION 

Secretary of Labor, Mr. William B. Wilson, in a letter 
dated September 1% 1918, to Senator King, in which, 
over his official signature, it is declared that 'Hhe 
measure has been carefully considered," and that the 
Department approves "the main objects of the pro- 
posed legislation." That letter refers directly to the 
first draft of the bill, last quoted above.^ 

However that be, and whatever might have been the 
views of the Secretary of Labor upon further considera- 
tion of the proposed legislation, the ambitious scheme 
died aborning. But it had a resurrection in another 
form, equally abortive, though stiH exhibiting the appe- 
tite of the Bureau for enlarged responsibility. At the 
instance of the Biu^au there was inserted in one of the 
tentative drafts of the Sundry Civil Appropriation 
bill before Congress in the spring and summer of 1919' 
the following provision for an enormous addition to 
the jurisdiction, duties, and responsibilities of the 
Bureau of Naturalization : 

. . . The authority to promote instruction in citizenship 
and English, now being exercised under the supervision 
of the Director of Citizenship, is hereby extended to include 
soldiers and sailors and aU persons of the age cf eighteen years 
and wpwardy and those in penal institutions. ... In discharging 
this responsibility, the Director of Citizenship shall dissemi- 
nate information regarding the institutions of the United 
States government in such manner as will best stimulate 
loyalty in those institutions, and secure the aid of civic, 
educational, community, religious, racial, and other organi- 
zations, and shall compile statistical information as to aliens 

^ The Secretary's letter is given in full in the Annttal Report of the 
Commiistoner of Naiuraltsudion for the fiscal year ending June 30, 
1918 — though it bears a date more than two months later than that 
of the report itself. 

* Sixty-sixth Congress, First Session, H. R. 6176; Calendar No. 48 
(Senate), Report No. 52, June 23, 1919.— Calendar Day, June 26, 
p. 179. 

188 



AMERICANS BY CHOICE 

in their relations to citizenship, and for expenses incidental 
thereto, including the rental or purchase of motion pictures 
and the transfer of any motion-picture negatives from 
branches of the government organized especially for war 
activities, remaining in the possession of the government, 
and such transfer to be without charge upon any appropria- 
tion. Credit for such transfers shall be given on the records 
of the Treasury Department in the final accounting by such 
specially organized branches of the government. 

A fairly large order! This adventure, like the pre- 
vious one» failed of consununatron; but, nevertheless, 
there Wfts (until a very recent time when the iUegality 
of the whole business was brought to attention) a 
Director of Citizenship, even though Congress had 
given him neither status nor powers, and he was in 
being only by a vigorous stretching of legislation 
intended, if one may judge by what it says, for quite 
another purpose. 

Section 11 of the law of May 9, 1918, devoted en- 
tirely to the subject of naturalization of alien enemies, 
contains a provision: 

. . . that the President of the United States may, in his 
discretion, upon investigation and report by the Department 
of Justice, fully establishing the loyalty of - an alien not 
included in the foregoing exemption [relative to the appre- 
hension of alien enemies], except such alien enemy from 
the classification of alien enemy, and thereupon he shall have 
the privilege of applying for naturalization; and for the 
purpose of carrying into effect the provisions of this section, 
including personal services in the District of Columbia, the 
siun of $400,000 is hereby appropriated, to be available until 
June thirtieth, nineteen hundred and nineteen, including 
travel expenses for members of the Bureau of Naturalization 
and its field service only, etc. 

Out of this emergency appropriation, made under 
stress of war conditions, for the declared purpose of 
dealing with enemy aliens, the Bureau provided for a 

184 



PERSONAL SIDE OF NATURALIZATION 



large extension of its work» and for much-needed aug- 
mentation of its efficiency in the fields and for estab- 
lishing the extra-legal position of Director of Citizen- 
ship, with more or less obvious functions. This would 
explain the somewhat cryptic allusion in the proposed 
amendment to the Sundry Civil Appropriation bill 
quoted above, to the "authority now being exercised 
by** rather than imposed by law upon "the Director of 
Citizenship," etc. 

But just because it was an emergency appropriation, 
the new Congress showed no disposition to renew it, 
and in its absence the whole extra-legal structure under 
the direction of the Director of Citizenship was im- 
periled, and in order to save it from complete destruc- 
tion very serious economies became necessary. The 
bearing of so large a windfall upon the general work of 
the Bureau may be inferred from this list of the aj^ro- 
priations for the Naturalization Service in each fiscal 
year since, and including, that ending June SO, 1908, dur- 
ing which the service was established: 

TABLE V 

Afpbopbiations for thb Natubalization Service 
FOB Each Fiscal Year from 1908-1919 



1908^ 
1909^ 
1910. . 
1911.. 
1912. . 
1913. . 
1914.. 
1915.. 
1916.. 
1917. . 
1918. . 
1919.. 



$193,000 
150,000 
150,000 
152,861 
175,000 
200,000 
225,000 
250,000 
275,000 
275,000 
305,000 
675,000 



' The fidd force was under Department of Justice during 1908 and 
1909. 

185 



AMERICANS BY CHOICE 

A further instance of the desire for additional powers, 
which characterizes the "personal equation" of the 
Naturalization Bureau, appears in a bill which was 
before Congress in the winter of 1919-20,^ introduced 
by Representative Johnson of the state of Washing- 
ton, which would have provided, among other things: 

Sec. 4. That the promotion of the public schools in the 
training and instruction of candidates for citizenship, now 
being carried on by the Division of Citizenship Training 
of the Bureau of Naturalization, is hereby extended to include 
all persons of the age of eighteen years and upward, who shall 
attend classes of instruction conducted or maintained by 
any civic, educational, community, religious, racial, or other 
organization, under the supervision of the public-school 
authorities, and the provisions of the ninth subdivision of 
Section 4 of said Act are hereby made applicable to this 
added authority. In discharging this additional authority 
the Director of Citizenship is also authorized to disseminate 
information regarding the institutions of the United States 
government in such manner as will best stimulate loyalty 
to those institutions, making use of the means heretofore 
provided, and through the use of motion pictures. The 
motion pictures and motion-picture negatives in the pos- 
session of the various branches of the government shall also 
be available for these purposes. In this work the aid of 
civic, educational, community, religious, racial, and other 
organizations may be secured by the Division of Citizenship 
Training, in which statistical information shall be compiled 
as to aliens in their relation to citizenship. The foregoing 
shall apply to the residents of the Panama Canal Zone. 



ENORMOUS ARREARAGE IN BUREAU's WORK 

Prom the very beginning of the activities of the Bureau, 
it has complained of its inability properly to perform 

^ H. R. 9949 (Committee print) ; Sixty-sixth Congress, First Session, 
October 15, 1919. 

186 



PERSONAL SIDE OF NATURALIZATION 

its functions because of lack of clerical force; at the 
same time pointing out very appropriately that it was 
a good deal better than self-sustaining from the financial 
point of view. * 

Commissioner Campbell, in his annual report to the 
Secretary of Labor, for the fiscal year ending June SO, 
1911, said: 

At all times the clerical force has been insufficient, even 
with the aid of temporary assignments from other offices 
of the D^)artment, to keep up with current work. This 
has resulted in large undisposed accumulations of official 
papers; mortifying delays in making responses to letters from 
private individuals and public officials, the continuous exac- 
tion of labor from the clerks for long periods after the con- 
clusion of the ordinary official hours, on holidays, and even 
on Sundays; and, consequently, impaired the accuracy and 
quality of the work actually accomplished. 

The report for 1913 declares that such increase of 
personnel as had been allowed had ''not been sufficient 
to accomplish anything in the way of bringing up the 
arrearages which have been steadily accumulating ever 
since the service was organized in 1907." These arrear- 
ages were described as consisting of ''unindexed and 
unexamined certificates of naturalization and declara- 
tions of intention, " and this condition prevailed, not- 
withstanding an average daily overtime estimate in 
hoiu*s, as equivalent to full time, of more than two per- 
sons (2.36). The report for 1914 acknowledged an 
in(3*ease of nine clerks, but stated that ''the arrearages 
of work continued to increase." So it goes on, the fol- 
lowing report (1915) disclosing an arrearage of 346,762 
declarations of intention and 395,719 certificates of 
naturalization unindexed, and thousands more of each 
unexamined. In the following year's report is acknowl- 

187 



AMERICANS BY CHOICE 

edged the "elimination of the practice heretofore pur- 
sued of indexing separately the declarations^ petitions, 
and certificates, " it having been found impossible, even 
with four more clerks, "to reduce the work that has 
fallen into arrears." Yet in that same year's report 
begm the ecstatic descriptions of a very wide expansion 
of activities in the field of education. 

The seriousness of this curtailment of records at 
Washington — all but fatal to the individual alien who 
wants to prove something about his naturalization case 
by reference to such records — ^took on a public aspect 
with the operation of the Selective Service Act (the 
so-called "draft law") when aliens, desiring exemption 
as such, began to assert to the local exemption boards 
that they never had declared intention to become 
American citizens. "The assistance of the Bureau is 
constantly invoked by the draft boards throughout the 
country for official report on the claims to exemption 
from miUtary service by aUens who profess to have 
made no declaration of intention to become citizens," 
says the opening page of the Conmiissioner*s report of 
July 1, 1918, notwithstanding the more ingenuous — 
not to say more truthful — confession of a year before 
that " The unavoidable abandonment of indexing declarer 
tions has made it impracticable to furnish information 
sought in regard to aliens claiming exemption from miU- 
tary service" * 

At the date of that report, there were, unexamined, in 
the Washington office ^47,873 declarations and 480,553 
certificates; one year later — owing, perhaps, largely to 
the vast and sudden addition of alien soldiers natural- 
ized, and the business incidental thereto, if not quite 
as much to the absorption of the Bureau in its in- 
creasingly ambitious educational campaign — the ar- 

^ Report of Commissioner of NaturalixaUon, 1917» p. 27. 

188 



PERSONAL SIDE OF NATURALIZATION 

rearages had passed the half-million mark, with 628,713 
declarations and 578,944 certificates of naturalization 
miexamined. 

Not even by means of a complete, current, and up-to- 
date index of declarations could the Naturalization 
Bureau have proved whether or not any given aUen 
ever had filed a declaration whose existence would in- 
dubitably entitle the United States to his military serv- 
ice, unless it included the absolutely impossible f eatiu*e 
of a reference to every old, as well as new-law declara- 
tion. But such an index as might have been kept of 
declarations under the "new law" would have helped 
enormously. As it was the field force did its best, and 
ran down many cases through the records in the district 
offices and local courts. 



THE AUBNS SUPPORT THE BUREAU 

In point of fact, the Bureau of Naturalization is, as 
the Conunissioner more than once has pointed out, 
completely self-supporting. Bare good faith to the 
petitioner for naturaUzation would seem to demand 
that the money he pays in in fees should be used by 
the government to afford adequate service in his behalf. 
In every year, except 1918-19, since the present system 
was established, the receipts from naturalization fees 
have, by a wide margin, exceeded the amount appro- 
priated for the NaturaUzation Service; the amount 
representing that margin has simply gone into the 
general receipts of the United States, subject to ap- 
propriation by Congress. Those receipts, and the 
margin referred to, which might well have been de- 
voted to improving the Naturalization Service, have 
been, according to the Commissioner's reports, as 
follows: 

189 



AMERICANS BY CHOICE 



TABLE VI 

BbCBIPTB FBOM NaTUBALIZATION FeBB and DmBUBBEMENTB waoM 
VaBIOUB ApFROrttlATIONB FOB THE EnFOBCEMENT OF THE 

Natxtbauzation Law fob Rents, Supplies, and Miscellanb- 
OUB Expenses, Fiscal Ybabs 1907 to 1920 ^ 



T]^ 



1907. 
1908. 
1909. 
1910. 
1911. 
1912. 
1918. 
1914. 
1915. 
1916. 
1917. 
1918. 
1919. 
1920. 



Natuhauca- 

TZON FbBS 



$65,129.00 
166,873.90 
172,202.13 
221,766.38 
290,551.52 
338,315.33 
350,716.60 
450,228.55 
441,764.49 
410,272.55 
635,927.52 
507,932.50 
597,087.97 
664,539.20 



Cost or Ad- 

IflNXSTBATION 



DmrBBBNCll IN 

Fbbs Rkceiysd 

OVKB COffT OF 

Administration 



$29,243.18 

232,728.05S 

194,428.45* 

176,415.98 

222,831.15 

257,678.99 

290,026.20 

331,517.26 

363,593.11 

389,075.90 

393,240.15 

416,486.84 

812,056.38 

753,383.88 



$35,885.82 
—65,854.15 

— 22,226.32 
45,350.40 
67,720.87 
80,636.34 
60,690.40 

118,711.29 

78,171.88 

21,196.65 

242,687.87 

91,445.66 

-214,968.41 

- 88,844.63 



Total $842,495.68 

Less deficits 391,893.51 

Excess of fees received over cost of administration. . . $450,602.17 

^ Department of Labor, Annual Reports for 1920, p. 799, Table 24. 

' Included in these expenditures are appropriations to the Depart- 
ment of Justice for maintenance of field force prior to the transfer 
to the Department of Commerce and Labor — to wUp fiscal year 1906, 
$193,000; fiscal year 1909, $150,000. 

The Commissioner puts his finger on the ethical point 
involved, when he says, as for example in his report for 
the fiscal year 1918-19 : ^ 

It is interesting and highly suggestive to note from the 
next table that, notwithstanding the '* hard-luck story*' told 



^ Report of the Commissioner of Naturalization, 1918-19, pp. 80-31. 

190 



PEESONAL SIDE OF NATURALIZATION 

in this report as to arrearages of work and the delays 
and the omissions of first one and then another important 
feature of that work, the beneficiaries of such work — ^those 
who have paid their money for prompt and efficient serv- 
ice — ^have annually for years past paid into the Federal 
Treasury more than was used for the purpose for which 
it was paid. 

The aggregate of such surplus items, which cannot be re- 
garded as other than a trust fund in essence, and even deduct- 
ing the amount expended for military naturalizations amounts 
to $539,446.80. It would easily have been much more if 
the clerks had been furnished to serve the aliens who desired 
to become citiz^is. The burst of public sympathy for, and 
interest in, the yoimg alien who entered our service to make 
the ** supreme sacrifice** for democracy which found expres- 
sion in a special appropriation of $400,000 to pay the cost 
cit making these young heroes citizens in law, as they already 
are in heart, over a period of 13^ months, did not, in fact, 
cost the people of this coimtry as a whole anything. As 
long as over half a miUion dollars of the fund contributed 
by the newly made citizens from civil life remain unexpended 
for the purposes for which it was paid, it would appear to 
the ordinary observer that they, and not the general body of 
American citizens, gave the $400,000 to pay for the cost of 
giving free of charge the well-deserved ''priceless heritage 
of American citizenship" to the yoimg alien soldiers who 
fought for liberty and this coimtry. 

The government of the United States is making 
money out of the business of admitting aliens to citizen- 
ship, and is not keeping fairly or efliciently its end of 
the transaction. In the period since the enactment of 
the Naturalization Law, as Conmiissioner Campbell 
has said, aliens in pursuit of citizenship — even though 
thousands of them did not get it! — have paid fees to 
an amount exceeding by more than half a million 
dollars the total cost of the Naturalization Bureau — 

a margin itself larger by more than $200,000 than the 

191 



AMERICANS BY CHOICE 

total appropriation for the Bureau in any year save 
one.^ 

This money, if devoted to the purposes to which 
morally it belonged, would have been ample to supply 
the supervisory and clerical force in the Bureau neces- 
sary to make prompt and effective examination of 
declarations, petitions, and certificates, and to main- 
tain a proper and complete system of records, and of 
indices by which those records could be made available 
for reference by the aUen, the government, and the 
public. Provided always that the Bureau did not permit 
itself to be diverted and swamped by extraneous and 
self-assumed f imctions in the field of pubUc education 
which it is not adapted, either by the logic of good 
administrative organization or by the nature and 
aptitudes of its personnel, to perform. It has never 
been within arm's length of keeping up with the business 
committed to it by law, and by the natiu^ of its func- 
tion; nevertheless, during the past decade at least, it has 
taken on volimtarily and, with increasing exuberance 
of ambition, sought additional legislation to authorize 
activities and functions of an extraordinarily inclusive 
and far-reaching character m the domain of education— 
apparently even of native-bom persons — beyond any 
possibility of effective accomplishment without very 
great increase of expenditiure for personnel and material 
change in the "personal equation" of the present force. 

It is no doubt agreeable to compile and publish 
statistics piu^porting to show the degree of "co-opera- 
tion" between the pubhc-school authorities and the 

^ That was the year (191S-19) of the emergency appropriation 
of $400,000» referred to heretofore in this chapter, p. 181» fat 
dealing with persons technically alien enemies, but. nevertheless, indi- 
vidually loyal, which was used for the establishment of a new and 
hoped-to-be^permanent division in the Bureau, under a ''Director of 
Citizenship.*' 

192 



PERSONAL SIDE OF NATURALIZATION 

Naturalisation Bureau; imposing totals can be pre- 
sented if every slightest indication of general interest 
in the education of the foreign bom is classified and 
heralded as "co-operation** and no aUowance whatever 
is ever made for failures or defections.^ All this might 
be tolerated or condoned; but it becomes a rather 
ghastly spectacle when its most conspicuous conse- 
quence is the neglect of legitimate business of the high- 
est importance to the aUens who pay for but do not 
get it, and to the people of the United States. 

The Naturalization Bureau, in the fundamental 
nature of its function, has in all conscience enough to 
do! A "manVsize job" is to be found in the scrutiny 
of the petitioner for citizenship, from the day when he 
files his declaration of intention to that when he receives, 
or is refused for good reason, his certificate of natural- 
ization. The natiural business of the Bureau is to be 
the disinterested but vigilant informant of the court as 
to the facts regarding the applicant; the watchdog of 
the standards by which aspirants for oiur JEictive mem- 
bership are judged — also the keeper of records mi- 
nutely accurate and in cross-referenced detail up to the 
minute. 

FITNESS OF CANDIDATES 

There is great need of a better method for ascertaining 
the fitness of candidates for citizenship than obtains at 
present. Various suggestions have been made to im- 
IMTOve the practice. One is the creation of a system of 
"traveling commissioners," appointed perhaps by the 
courts, who would hold sessions at convenient times 
and places. Another is that the function of naturaliza- 
tion should be removed from the judicial to the admin- 
istrative sphere, so that examinations and admissions 

^ See F. V. Thompson, Schooling of the Immigrani, 

193 



AMERICANS BY CHOICE 

should both be under the control of the Naturalization 
Bureau or some other administrative branch of the 
Executive. 

There is much to be said in support, especially, of the 
latter suggestion. But there seems a weight of reason 
in favor of maintaining the peculiarly American prac- 
tice of lodging this solemn function in what is, on the 
whole, our most impressive organ of government — ^the 
court. As a rule, the courts are performing the function 
with increasing sense of the importance and dignity of 
the proceeding. It would be simple, and require little 
either of new legislation or additional personnel or 
duties, to make the NaturaUzation Examiner now in 
being and on duty, already equipped with honesty and 
zeal, something in the nature of a Master, representing 
the court in the taking of testimony, and reporting 
thereto his findings and recommendations. Thereupon 
the judge could pursue such further inquiry as he 
thought proper, accept or reject the findings, and enter 
his order accordingly. 

In the great preponderance of practice this is what 
actually happens now. The proceeding should be the 
subject of sufficient stenographic record, to be attached 
to the papers on file in the court and in the Naturaliza- 
tion Bureau at Washington, and the index, certainly 
at Washington, should be so minutely exact, prompt, 
and accessible, that the record of every case, from 
declaration to final adjudication, would be available 
like any other public record upon a moment's notice. 

Further than that: Every alien who lands upon our 

shores should receive at the time his suitably detailed 

and descriptive certificate of lawful entry, with finger 

prints, if you please, duplicating a permanent record 

in the office of the Immigration Service; this certificate, 

and the record underlying it in case of its loss, should 

be the prerequisite to the declarations and all other pro- 

194 



PERSONAL SIDE OF NATURALIZATION 

ceedings leading to his permanent admission to citizen- 
ship. It would obviate an infinite deal of the confusion y^ 
which now too often surrounds his later adventures in 
this direction; it would be his protection and the pro- 
tection of the nation. All matters concerning him now 
are at the mercy of practices hardly deserving the name 
of system. 

"personal equation'* of the public 

In consideration of all this business of naturalization, 
and the various projects for improving its conditions, 
it must be remembered that it is only within very recent 
years — virtually only since the beginning of the World 
War with its suddenly aroused or anyway suddenly 
accentuated excitements of interracial friction here in 
America, and of ebullitions of loyalty to the various 
fatherlands engaged in that struggle, on the part of 
foreign-bom residents here — ^that the people of the 
United States, of this generation at least, have taken 
any interest in the behavior, affairs, and assimilation of 
the alien. It is two-thirds of a century, more or less, 
since the subsidence of the last important uproar on the 
subject. A few social-settlement workers and mission- 
aries in the great cities, a few writers on sociological 
subjects, here and there some more than ordinarily 
facile and entertaining writer in EngUsh among the 
foreign born themselves, have tried to draw public 
attention to the seriousness and magnitude of the prob- 
lem growing within our national Ufe. These have 
pleaded for a better understanding of the people of 
other races coming in vast floods to make their homes 
with us, and for better conditions to govern their 
assimilation. 

But Americans generally pursued their self-absorbed, 
happy-go-lucky way, giving little attention to these 

195 



AMERICANS BY CHOICE 

Jeremiahs and Cassandras; pooh-poohed at the warn- 
ings, or vaguely hoped that all would come out right 
in time. Meanwhile, most of them followed the usual 
hiunan course of shrinking from all avoidable human 
contact with these outlandish folk of language and 
custcmis different from their own; rather glad, on the 
whole, that they herded, as people in strange climes 
will, in congested "Little ItaJys," "Little Hungarys," 
"Deutschlands," and "Ghettoes" — ^and in "slums" in 
general. They surrendered to foreign colonies not only 
abandoned farm-lands, but even large portions of great 
cities and great states; vaguely grumbUng when they 
perceived that great political power went with that 
growth of foreign-speaking population. As a whole, 
they washed their hands of the whole matter, or at 
most viewed the encroachment with more or less 
solicitous disdain. 

Meanwhile, most of those who have recognized the 
existence of a menacing problem have acquired, gen- 
erally on the foundation of the subtle race-prejudice to 
which most of us are subject, a vast deal of misinforma- 
tion on the subject — ^some of it in the form of widely 
accepted misinterpretations of official and quasi-official 
"statistics." 



vn 

SOME STATISTICS CONCERNING IMMIGRANTS. "NEW" 

AND "OLD" 

We are talking and behaving now about the immigra- 
tion of the past few years — allowing for the vastly 
greater bulk of it and the intensified peril involved in 
its bulk — ^just as we talked and behaved about the Irish 
immigration that began in the early '30's and the Ger- 
man immigration that began to bulk large in the early 
'40's. Comparatively small as was the size of that 
joint inflow, it made the problem that awakened the 
Know-Nothing and Native-American movement of the 
mid-century, and eventually culminated in the natural- 
ization legislation now in force. Each phase of immi- j 
gration has been ""the new immigration" at its time; 
each has been viewed with alarm; each has been 
described as certain to deteriorate the physical quality 
of our people and destroy the standards of living and 
of citizenship. 

The Scandinavians, who began to come in consider- 
able numbers in 1879; the ItaUans, whose immigration 
became impressive in the late '80's; the Russians and 
Austrians, whose surge became formidable about 1890; 
the Greeks, never very niunerous, but swelling in num- 
bers from 2,339 in 1898 to 36,580 in 1907, theu* highest 
tide — each in turn passed or are passing now through 
the same stages; of comparatively good-natured wel- 
come at the outset, when they were few, and viewed 
with curiosity; of increasing resentment, as they became 
14 197 



AMERICANS BY CHOICE 

noticeable in competition for jobs; at last of angry and 
vociferous denunciation as a '* peril''; then subsiding 
into acceptance and assimilation into the body social. 
"Paddy the clodhopper/* butt of the comedian and 
the newspaper jokesmith, came over from Ireland as 
green as shamrock, worked at unskilled labor with pick 
and shovel on railroads and elsewhere, was herded and 
bribed into citizenship and poUtics, got on the poUce 
force and into the contracting business, increased in 
prosperity, bought real estate, and has sent down 
through the years and into the fabric of our population 
a posterity whose substantial contribution to our life 
no one now questions. He did not have to learn the 
language, and that fact greatly f aciUtated his assimila- 
tion. Fritz and Gretchen — ^we called them "Dutch- 
men** then — ^had to climb over the language barrier, 
but they did it, and their progress has followed the 
same general course. So did Ole and Chris and Sven 
and Hilda from Scandinavia, and Salvatore, then the 
"Dago.** Salvatore already owns apartment houses. 
Russian and Austrian, Greek, Rumanian, Portuguese, 
and so on, the latest comers, are in the midst of the 
same process. 

The vast numbers, especially of the Russian Jews 
and Austro-Hungarians, herded m masses in certain 
of our great cities, have given us a kind of social indi- 
gestion; it must be cured, if at all, by a slow process of 
absorption, and we have not yet learned just what to 
do about it. Certainly unintelligent excitement, to 
say nothing of unlawful violence and mob persecution, 
and the exaggeration both of the degree and (A the 
nature of the ailment, offer small promise of better- 
ment. Nature, the normal processes of population 
movements and racial assimilation, work calmly on 
while we shout and worry. Aiid candid study of the 
process is reassuring. Conditions have been confused, 

108 



GENERAL IMMIGRATION STATISTICS 

resentments aroused, and progress retarded by the 
various kinds of hysteria excited by the World War — 
but then, there was similar hysteria in the old Know- 
Nothing days, and we Uved through it; it seems rather 
silly now. We shall Uve through this. 

PAtJCITT OF DEPENDABLE INFOBMATION 

Meanwhile we may try to know and understand the 
facts. This is not so easy as might be supposed, for the 
facts are hard to get. The student of the naturaliza- 
tion and poUtical assimilation of the foreign-bom citizen 
finds himself seriously embarrassed by the paucity of 
definite information on the subject in any of its aspects. 
To be sure, there is a considerable, though somewhat^ 
fragmentary, Uterature about it, and generalizations of 
a sweeping and rather dogmatic character have gained 
wide currency — ^impressions and prejudices, which it 
will no doubt be difficult to dislodge, even though such 
information as may be available, critically examined, 
entirely fails to support them. In hardly any other 
field may one find a better illustration of the mis- 
chief that may be wrought by inadequate or misin- 
terpreted statistics, creating legends which cannot 
endure the test of candid, to say nothing of scientific, 
examination. 

This is not to say that there is no material on the sub- 
ject. There is always the census; there are the reports 
of the Immigration Commission of 1907; there are the 
reports of the Commissioner of Naturalization. There 
are niunerous books, essays and pamphlets, by men 
and women who, to a greater or lesser extent, have come 
to be regarded as experts on the subject of immigra- 
tion. But, as we shall see, these are almost all entitled 
to substantial discount, or at least discriminating study, 
with results conducive to a better understanding, to a 

199 



^ 



AMERICANS BY CHOICE 

teadjustment of some ideas which, although mistaken, 
have come to be regarded as f midamental. 

In the files of the Naturalization Bureau at Washing- 
ton is a vast mass of original data which would be of 
priceless value in the study of the way in which those 
who would be "Americans by Choice*' make their 
initial efforts in that direction; showing under oath 
their individual age, birthplace and race, date of arrival 
in this country, date of declaration of intention to be- 
come a citizen, marital and occupational status, details 
of the disposal of the petition for citizenship, and other 
facts constituting information ample for intelligent in- 
terpretation of aspects and relationships now Uttle 
understood, not understood at all, or, more commonly, 
altogether misunderstood. These data are contained in 
the copies of the declarations of intention, petitions for 
naturalization and certificates of naturalization, issued 
since the institution of the Naturalization Service under 
the Act of 1906. The magnitude of this statistical 
treasure may be judged from Table VII. \/ 

Each one of these nearly three million declarations 
of intention, and more than a million petitions — ^not 
to speak of the final certificates of citizenship — contains 
what amounts almost to a cross-section of the life 
history of an immigrant. Upon each petition is in- 
dorsed the record of the court's action, acceptance or 
denial, and the reasons for denial are, if possible, more 
important than the fact of acceptance for the purposes 
of study of the immigration question in its political 
aspect. 

Owing in part to the chronic insufficiency of the staff 
in the Naturalization Bureau — ^not only preventing 
any proper statistical record or analysis of this material, 
but of late years compelling a lamentable curtailment 
and even the abandonment of such indexing as is 
obviously indispensable to the most routine official 

200 



GENERAL IMMIGRATION STATISTICS 

supervision and understanding; — in part to the absorp- 
tion of the Bureau in its elaborate educational propa- 
ganda, and in part to a lack of appreciation of the value 
of this material by the officials there in charge, the 

TABLE Vn 

NUMBKB OF DbCLABATIONB OF iNTENnON AND PfinnONB FOB 

Naturalization Filed* and Cebtoigateb of Natttbauzation 
issuxd bt the bubeau of naturalization, 1907h20^ 



YSAB 



1907*. 
1908 s. 
1909.. 
1910.. 
1911.. 
1912. . 
1913. . 
1914.. 
1915. . 
1916. . 
1917. . 
1918. . 
1919.. 
1920.. 



Total. 



Dbclarations 



78,728 
187,229 
145,794 
167,226 
186,157 
169,142 
181,632 
214,016 
245,815 
207,935 
438,748 
335,069 
346,827 
200,106 



3,149,419 



PannoNs 



21,094 

44,029 

43,161 

55,038 

73,644 

95,627 

95,186 

123,855 

106,317 

108,009 

132,320 

110,416 

107,559 

166,925 



1,283,180 



CutnncATBS 



7,953 

25,963 

38,372 

39,206 

56,257 

69,965 

82,017 

105,439 

96,390 

93,911 

94,897 

151,449 

217,358 

125,711 



1,205,170 



^ Anniud Report of the Commissioner qf Naturalization^ 1919, p. 16. 

> Nine months only. 

' First full year of 12 months. 



leaders in Congress and the public in general, it has 
remained in an undigested and now probably indi- 
gestible mass in the files of the Bureau. For nearly 
fifteen years it has been accumulating. To collate and 
analyze it would be a prodigious job. Yet, as appears 
from the results of a very modest venture in this direc- 
tion on the part of the Americanization Study, some of 

201 



AMERICANS BY CHOICE 

them presented in this volume,^ it would be immensely 
worth while. And, what is more important, it probably 
would go far to modify, if not to revolutionize, many 
prevailing ideas and afford a new and sounder founda- 
tion and point of departure for theory and for guidance 
of practice as regards the assimilation of the immigrant 
into the American body politic. \/ 

The annual reports of the Commissioner of Natural- 
ization, like those of many other government bureaus, 
are written not so much to afford information to the 
public as to extol the work of the Bureau, pointing out 
the remarkable extent of the ground covered, the great 
number (A letters written, and of cases handled by a 
force grievously and increasingly inadequate since the 
very beginning of the service, and so on. They are, 
however, most unsatisfactory as a source of sociological 
information; particularly barren are they of any hint 
of information regarding the various races whose repre- 
sentatives seek citizenship; their relative promptness in 
seeking and success in getting it; their respective stand- 
ing as regards the various reasons for denial. They do 
show voluminously how many declarations and petitions 
are filed annually in each state and subdivision; increase 
or decrease in totals; how many clerks of courts are 
delinquent in sending in the government's share of fees, 
and other more or less significant minuiicB of the routine 
work of the field and clerical force and the courts. 



VAST ARREARAGES IN EXAMINATIONS 

Moreover, for the past four or five years, tne bulk of 
the Bureau's reports has been increasingly augmented 
by large sections devoted entirely to its efforts in the 
field of education, and its relations, actual, attempted 

^ Chap, viii, p. 225 et seq, 

202 



GENERAL IMMIGRATION. STATISTICS 



M 



and imaginary, with the public-school authorities. The 
degree to which the Naturalization Bureau has neg- 
lected, perforce of circumstances, the study of the 
material under its nose is apparent in the fact that the 
Commissioner's report for the fiscal year ending June 
30, 1919, says, in so many words, not only that it no 
longer is preserving in its files any records of general 
correspondence, but that it has altogether ceased any 
pretense of examining naturalization papers! 

To illustrate the expedients to which the Bureau has been 
compelled to resort, in order to relieve the files section, it 
has adopted the practice of returning, with its replies thereto, 
letters of general inquiry not referring to spme specific 
naturalization case already a part of the Bureau file, thereby 
leaving no record of such correspondence. 

It has virtually ceased to make an examination of certifi- 
cates of naturalization to insure the discovery and correction 
of errors, and it has abandoned a personal card-index 
of naturalized aliens, etc., not as a matter of choice but of 
compulsion.^ 

The magnitude of the arrearage thus naively ac- 
counted for, and the bulk of the potential information 
involved, may be seen in the fact that on July 1, 1919, 
according to the Commissioner's own figures,^ there 
were unexamined in the Bureau at Washington more 
than one miUion (1,011,676) declarations of intention, 
$6,726 petitions for naturalization, and 721,7i2 certiji' 
cates of naturalization. This was an increase in arrear- 
age, for one year alone, of 882,963 (60 per cent) in 
declarations; of 73 per cent in petitions, and of nearly 
25 per cent in certificates. At the v«py time when the 
excitement about vigilance in admitting new citizens 
was at its height, the Naturalization Bureau was divert- 

> Report rf Cimmiiiiouer-Cknerd cf Immigration, 1919, p. M. 
* Ilrid^ p. U. 



AMERICANS BY CHOICE 

ing to other channels a vital energy which might have 
been devoted to that vigilance and to collating the 
elementary information already in its possession, for 
the benefit of lawmakers and oth^« needing informa- 
tion in dealing intelligently with this subject. 

REPORT OF THE IMBOORAHON COMMISSION OF 1907 

In point of fact, the only substantial body of statistical 
information about the naturalization of the foreign- 
bom voter which hitherto has been even ostensibly ^ 
sufficient for the student as a basis for any racial com4/ 
parisons, is that gathered by the United States Immi- 
gration Commission of 1907. That body, created by an 
Act of Congress approved February 7, 1907, of which 
Senator William P. Dillingham of Vermont was chak- 
man, consisted of three Senators, three members of the 
House of Representatives, and three other persons 
appointed by the President of the United States, and 
was directed by the statute to '*make full inquiries, 
examination, and investigation, by sub-committee or 
otherwise, into the subject of immigration, ..." and 
to report such conclusions and recommendations as in 
its judgment might seem proper. 

The information gathered by this Commission is 
very voluminous, and has been of great value to sociolo- 
gists and oth^s concerned with various aspects of the 
subject. Indeed, its report has come to be called "the 
bible of the immigration question." Nearly all the 
modern writings on the subject have been based upon 
it in at least a general way, and their color taken largely 
from its conclusions and its point of view. 

LEGEND OF "tHE NEW IMMIGRATION** 

To this report is attributable almost entirely the famil- 
iar conventional generalization that there is a marked 

204 



GENERAL IMMIGRATION STATISTICS 

distinction in what might be called quality of aasimiUir 
bilUy^ between the immigration of former years and 
that of the three decades preceding the Great War; 
between the so-called **old immigration'' and the 
**newer." This distinction is drawn in the report and, 
in most of the writings of individuals, based upon it, 
between the group of races from northern and western 
Europe — the English-speaking races, the Scandinavians, 
Germans, Dutch, Belgians, French, and so on, and those 
from southern and eastern and southeastern Europe, 
Russia, Austria-Hungary, the Balkan States, Italy, 
Greece, Turkey-in-Europe, Asia Minor, etc. 

This quality of assimilabUiiy was regarded by the 
Commisinon as inferable to a large extent from the 
degree to which the representatives of these racial 
groups concerning whom it got information of various 
kinds were naturalized or had exhibited int^'est in 
naturalization at least to the extent of declaring inten- 
tion to become citizens. It was assumed inageneral 
way that a racial group shoy^agXl^lirqS^on of 
pe^ns whohadbecbme citizens, or taken steps thereto, 
might fairly be regarded as more adaptable to American 
life, customs and ideals than one in which relatively few 
naturalized citizens were found. With this assumption 
as a starting point, it seemed reasonably obvious that 
inasmuch as the " older *' race showed the higher percent- 
age of naturalized persons, the inference of a difference 
in essential civic quality followed as a matter of course. 

Inasmuch fdso as this inference coincided with the 
general public impression and prejudice to precisely 
the same effect, it occurred to nobody to dispute or 
seriously to question its validity. Anybody could tell 
you offhand Uiat the Englishman, Frenchman, German 
or Swede was more available for citizenship and more 
easily assimilated than the Syrian, Croatian or Sicilian. 
It was a matter of common knowledge ! And the Immi- 

1205 



AMERICANS BY CHOICE 

gration Commission gave you the statistieiS — ^as if you 
needed any! For example, here is a table that shows 
the per cents naturalized for the "old" and "new" 
races who had been in the United States ten years or 
more. As is to be expected the "old" races show the 
highest per cents on both counts. 

The Commission recognized a general "tendency on 
the part of wage-earners of foreign birth to acquire 
citizenship/' and that this tendency "increased accord- 
ing to length of residence in this country." But it con- 
strued its statistics as showing that while "more than 
three-fourths of the Bohemians and Moravians, Danish, 
German, Irish, Norwegian, Scotch, Swedish, and Welsh 
races who had been in the United States ten years or 
longer had been fully naturalized," there was a "lack 
of poUtical or civic interest" (only 37.7 per cent) on 
the part of the southern and eastern European wage- 
earners" with a similar residence of ten years or longer, 
and proceeded to assert that these did not possess that 
"tendency to acquire citizenship which increases accord- 
ing to length of residence in this country." This asser- 
tion was supposed to be supported by the facts given 
in the above table regarding the races from southern * 
and eastern Europe showing low percentages of indi- 
viduals who had come to this country when twenty-one 
years of age or older, who had Uved here ten years or 
over, and were naturaUzed. 

The Commission regarded the table from which these 
facts were derived as highly significant in its implied 
indication of the "civic interest" exhibited and capable 
of being exhibited by the various racial groups. 

DISPARITY IN NUMBERS AMONG RACIAL GROUPS 

It should be remarked at once that inferences from 
these figures and others presented by the Immigration 

206 



TABLE Vm 

Feb CmsT that Fuixt Natubauzed Male Emplotxes Asb of 
Total. Maijb Emplotebb Who Webb Twemtt-onb Yeabs of 
Age ob Oveb at Time of Coiono, and Who Have Been in 
THE United States Ten Yeabb ob Oyeb, Cohpabed with the 
Peb Cent that Male Ehplotees in the United States Ten 
Yeabs ob OyEB Abe of Those Hebe Five Yeabs and Oveb» 
BT Race. ^ 



Racb 



In Unitbd^atbs Tsn Yxabs 
OB Ovam 



Pbb Csht Fully 
Naturalusd 



Pkb Cent or 
Tbosb nc Unitbd 

Statbs Fvrm 
YbabsobOvbb 



OW.. 

Swedish 

German 

Irish 

Bohemian and Moravian*. 

Norwegian 

Danish 

Scotch 

Welsh 

English 

French 

Dutch 

Canadian, Other 

Canadian, French 



New 

Finnish... 

Hebrew, Other. . . 
Italian, North... 
Hebrew, Russian. 

lithuanian 

Polish 

Italian, South. . . 

Russian . 

Magyar 

Croatian 

Slovak 



74.0 
87.6 
81.5 
80.0 
79.7 
77.5 
77.8 
76.9 
76.4 
67.0 
64.8 
64.7 
49.6 
«7.7 

87.7 
65.7 
54.2 
49.8 
48.8 
41.1 
89.8 
84.0 
88.6 
26.9 
26.8 
25.8 



80.5 
79.0 
82.6 
88.8 
56.0 
69.2 
77.8 
80.7 
94.6 
78.0 
57.1 
76.8 
81.0 
77.9 

88.9 
88.5 
56.8 
88.0 
87.1 
89.2 
44.0 
84.8 
86.8 
81.4 
28.5 
42.8 



^Compiled by the Americanization Study from Report qf the 
ImmigraHon CommUnon, vol. i, p. 488, Table 100. 
* The Bohemians and Moravians are classified by the Lnmigratioii 

races. 
207 



Commission with the "new" 



AMERICANS BY CHOICE 

Commission require considerable diseomit and dis- 
crimination by reason of the fact — to which Miss 
Grace Abbott aheady has called attention'^ — ^that 

... the numbers in the different races from whom information 
was secured by the Commission varied so greatly as to make 
it impossible to accept these conclusions as indicating the 
assimilability of the various national groups. For example, 
according to the percentages the Armenians appear to be 
more eager to become citizens than the North Italians or 
the Poles; but the comparison was made on the basis of 
information from 171 Armenians, 4,069 North Italians, and 
10,923 Poles. 

This same factor of disparity in numbers operates, 
when a comparison of degree of assimilability is at- 
tempted, between the old and new races, with respect 
to residence in the United States from 5 to 9 years. The 
Immigration Commission gives the per cent natural- 
ized for each race of individuals here five years. It 
might be expected that for this period of years con- 
clusions could be drawn about the assimilability of the 
two groups of races. But here again almost six times 
as many individuals are classed in the new races as in 
the old and any general inference would be founded on 
insecure ground because of this disparity in numbers 
of cases. They, therefore, base their condusions on the 
group here 10 years and over. 

THE FACTOR OF LENGTH OF RESIDENCE 

As we shall see also from the statistics gathered and 
analyzed for this volume,* the factor of residence "ten 
years or over, " with all its implications, is exceedingly 

^Grace Abbott, The Immigrant and the Community, 1917, pp. 
d4a-249. 
' Chap, viii, p. 286 et eeq, 

208 



GENERAL IMMIGRATION STATISTICS 

important-^is, in fact, the major factor in the whole 
situation. The indictment against the ''new" immi- 
gration hangs upon it, and falls down when the term 
"ten years or longer" is analyzed, even in the light of 
the statistics presented by the Immigration Commis- 
sion itself in support of the indictment. Indeed, the 
Commission was not entirely without compunctions on 
this point, and presented a table exhibiting the prob- 
ability that, of the male empl(>yees from whom it derived 
its information, those of the "older" races had been in 
the United States CQaaid£itaMlhiotiger than ten years, 
while those of the "newer" races had been here only 
^t^y lo nger than ten years. But it did not emphasize 
zE^ point, and at a superficial glance this might seem a 
quibble; but it is of importance scarcely to be over- 
estimated. 

TABLE IX 

Pbb Cent of FoimiGN-BOBN Male Emplotbes Reportino Citizen- 
ship Who Have Been in the United States Each Speci- 
fied Pebiod of Yeabs, bt Race ^ 





NUMBEB 

Rbpobt- 
rsQ Com- 

PLKTB 

Data 


In ths Unitsd Statbb 


Raox 


5to9 
Yean 


10 Yean 
and Over 




Num- 
ber 


Per 

Cent 


Num- 
ber 


Per 
Cent 


Recent Races: 
Total 


48,8S3 
64.9 

23,662 
85.1 


26,747 
4,620 


61.0 
85.3 

19.5 
14.7 


17,086 
19,042 


38.9 


Per cent of total r^)ort- 
ing complete data 

Old Races: 
Total 


47.3 
80.5 


Pter cent of tx)tal report- 
ing complete data 


52.7 



* Compiled by the Americanization Study from Report cf Commit 
rion of Immigration Abstracts, vol. i, p. 485. 



209 



' 



AMEBICANS BY CHOICE 

The Commission remarks, indeed, that "'on accomit 
df the difference in the length of time the various races 
have been coming to the United States, a comparison 
of the older with the more recent immigrants is hardly 
fair/' ^ But it does fail to appreciate the vital signifi- 
cance of the point. And it apparently did not take 
adequate notice of the further fact, shown in Table 
IX, that of those of the ''older" races who had 
been here over five years and reported information 
in regard to citizenship, 80,6 per cent had been in the 
United States over ten years^ while only S8.9 per cent of 
the **newer** races had been here so long. That is, only 

19.5 per cent of the ''older" races, as compared with 
61.1 per cent of the "newer," had been in the country 
between five and nine years. This means, of course, 
that the immigrants of the "older" races had had on 
the average a much longer time than those of the 
"newer" to acquire "civic interest" and seek natural- 
ization. The "over" added to five years means for the 
"recent" races between five and nine years in most 
cases, while for the "older" races it usually means 
more than ten. It would appear that every year of 
residence added to ten increases the probability of 
efforts toward citizenship. 

While the races from southern and southeastern 
Europe show rates of naturalization ranging from 65.7 
to 25.8 per cent with an average of 37.7, they also show 
a proportion residing in the country ten years or longer 
ranging down from 56.3 to 23.5 per cent with an average 
of 38.9.' Contrast this, if you will, with rates df natural- 
ization among the northern, "older" races, of from 

87.6 to 27.7 per cent with an average of 74.0, but along 
with that observe that the proportion of those "older, " 
and supposedly more assimilable, races residing in the 

^ AbHradi, voL i, p. 485. 
*See Table Vm in this vc^uine* p. 007. 

010 




V 



GENERAL 



VAi^ii 



[GRATION STATISTICS 



country ten years or over ranges from 57.1 to d4.6 per 
cent with an average of 80.5! 

From this point of view» the following table of the 
Commission becomes highly significant: ^ 

TABLE X 

Pbbbbnt Political Condition of Fobeign-bosn Male Emploteeb 
Who Havb Been in the United States Fivb Yeabs ob Over, 
and Who Webb Twentt-one Yeabs of Age at Time of Com- 
ing, BT Bacb 



Old" Bjlcub 



Race 



Swedish 

Swiss 

Wdsh 

Danish 

German 

Norwegian 

Irish 

En^ish 

Dutch 

Scotch. 

Belgian (race not speci- 
fied) 

Bohemian and Mora- 
vian* 

French 

Canadian (other than 
French) 

Canadian, French 

Mexican 



Per Cent 
Natural- 
ised and 
Holding 
First 
Papers 



92.8 
92.1 
87.0 
86.8 
86.7 
86.6 
82.6 
80.6 
79.9 
79.1 

76.6 

76.2 
66.6 

66.7 
81.6 
lO.O 




••N»w" Racus 



Hebrew (other than 
Russian) 

Finnish 

Hebrew, Russian 

Austrian (race not 
specified) 

Armenian 

Italian, North 

Bulgarian 

Slovenian 

Polish 

Lithuanian 

Italian, South 

Russian 

Magyar 

Slovak 

Croatian 

Rumanian. 

Syrian 

Greek 

Ruthenian. 

spanisu .**^«.. 

Serbian 

Cuban 

Portuguese 



486, m. 

" by Immigration Commission. 
211 



Per Cent 
Natural- 
ised and 
Holding 
First 
Papers 



61.6 
61.2 
67.2 

68.1 
49.2 
46.8 
86.8 
86.8 
88.1 
82.6 
80.1 
28.0 
26.8 
22.8 
22.6 
21.9 
20.7 
20.2 
19.8 
18.6 
12.8 
12.1 
6.6 



^ Ah^acUt vol. i, pp. 
•Classed as "Recent 



An; 

Vwt 



AMERICANS BY CHOICE 

Prof. Edward A. Ross, who, of all the students of 
this question, is one of the most uncompromising in 
generalizing from the reports of the Inmiigration Com- 
mission to the disadvantage of the "newer** races, 
deduced that "'with the change in nationalities came a 
great change in the civic attitude of the immigrants/'^ 
He made little or no allowance for the fact that the 
"civic attitude" of the "newer" immigrants naturally 
would not have had time to develop as in the case of 
those who had been here longer; he made even less for 

y changes in industrial and social life in this country 
which might help to account for this alleged change in 
attitude, by intensifying the hardships of the only 
kind of employment "newer" immigrants could get, by 
low wages due to an overstocked labor market, or by 
the increased herding of foreign bom in city slums, 
which last, of itself, might tend to retard the process of 
adjustment and assimilation. Prof. John B. Clark 
saw something of this, when he remarked that "there 
is far more likeness between different branches of the 
European family than there is between the economic 
conditions into which immigrants came in the third 
quarter of the last century and those into which they 
come to-day. Then they could have farms for the ask- 
^ ing, while now most of them go into ^lill$, mines, shops, 
\ and railroad plants, or become employees or tenants on 
farms owned by others." ' 

Prof. John R. Conunons, discussing the differences 
in the proportions naturalized among the various 
racial groups, calls attention to the fact that "it is not 
so much a difference in willingness as a difference in 
opportunity. ... In course of time these differences 
will diminish, and the Italian and the Slav will approach 

1 Edward A. Ross, The Old World and the New. 1914. 
' John B. Clark, A Documentary History of American Indtutrial 
Society, 1910, vol. i, p. 52. 

212 



GENERAL IMMIGRATION STATISTICS 

the Irishman and the German in their share of American 
suffrage. " ^ 

The war has created an entirely new situation with 
regard to both immigration and naturaUzation; it is 
entirely impossible to forecast the effects, either of the 
chaotic conditions in Europe or of the reconstruction 
period in America, upon the influx of foreign bom into 
America, upon the diu^tion of their stay here, or upon 
the attitude toward citizenship of those already here 
and entitled to citizenship by length of residence. The 
wholesale naturalization of immigrants in the national 
army during the war, regardless of length of residence 
or any of the other requirements ordinarily so rigidly, 
so meticulously enforced, has swept into citizenship so 
large a proportion of human material available and 
hitherto constituting the bulk of the ''naturalization 
problem" that the old generalizations have become 
both useless and misleading. It will be long before such 
immigrants as are now coming, or may come during the 
next five years, can be the subject of intelligible statis- 
tics — especially since nobody is collecting or collating 
any statistics worthy of the name. 

Even the statistics afforded by the census have been 
the subject of uncritical use on which pessimistic gen- 
eralizations have been based. The Thirteenth Census 
(1910) showed for the decade since that of 1900 a de- 
crease of 12.4 per cent in the proportion of foreign-born 
white males twenty-one years of age and over naturalized . 
Referring to this decrease, Professor Ross predicted * 
that, *'as things are going, we may expect a great in- 
crease in the number of the unenfranchised." Of course 
he could not have foreseen the war and its profound 
effects upon the whole question; but he might have 

^John R. Commons, Rocm and Immigrant in America, 1907, 
pp. 191-192. 
2 Edward A. Boss, The Old World and the New, 1914, p. 266. 
15 213 



AMERICANS BY CHOICE 

observed in the same census the fact that there had 
been a precisely identical (12.4 per cent) decrease in 
the number of foreign-bom whites who had been in the 
country nine years or more — even if his prejudice on 
the subject of the "new immigration" prevented his 
recognizing in this remarkable coincidence a striking 
evidence of the direct relation between length of resi- 
dence and naturalization. 

THE FACTOR OF LANGUAGE 

It would be plausible to expect that language would be 
a factor in governing the degree to which this racial 
group or that would seek naturaUzation. Those whose 
mother tongue is English, one might naturally suppose, 
would find it easier to acquire the necessary informa- 
tion, and would the sooner be absorbed into the life and 
atmosphere of the country, the sooner aspire to full 
citizenship. 

The facts do not support this idea at all. And a very 
slight consideration of the conditions discloses the 
reasons. In the first place, no knowledge of English 
whatever is required for the declaration of intention; 
and only the statistics of full naturalization are of value 
in this matter. Both the statistics of the Immigration 
Commission, and especially those compiled by the 
Americanization Study, make it clear that, on the 
average, more than ten years' residence in this country 
p»*ecedes final naturalization. It is a rare case in which 
during that ten years the petitioner has not acquired a 
speaking knowledge of English sufficient for all his 
practical piuposes. 

The statistics of the Immigration Commission them- 
selves show how little the original knowledge of Eng- 
lish has to do with the matter.^ For the persons from 

1 See TsUe X, p. 211. 

214 



GENERAL IMMIGRATION STATISTICS 

whom the Commission got infonnation, who had been 
in this comitry ten years or over (racial groups repre- 
sented by 100 individuals or more), the percentages of 
those fully naturalized exhibit the fact that the Swedish 
and German show a higher rate than the Irish; the 
Bohemian, Moravian, Norwegian and Danish outrank 
the Scotch, Welsh, and English. Even for those who 
have been in the country only five to nine years the 
Swedes show the highest percentage.^ T hat lengt h of 

iY>sif^qTPftj^fh<>r f}\m nMJv*^ ^^^fP'^^1 '*» *^^ '^^miv'^^^ 

factor m determining interest in citizenship, stands 
forth in Table VIII, which gives percentages by race of 
those in the United States ten years or longer, and of 
such of these as have been fully naturalized. 

I4ENOTH OF RESIDENCE AND EARNING POWER 

The fallacious nature of the assumption that there is 
an essential diflPerence between the so-called "older" 
and "newer" races as such in respect of interest m citi- 
zenship is further disclosed by the statistics of the 
Immigration Commission on the subject of the wages 
of foreign-bom laborers. The Commission found that 
the members of the "older" races in the households 
covered by its inquiry were earning more than those of 
the "newer" races, and occupied, generally speaking, 
higher positions. This, ot course, was to be expected; 
but little stress was laid by the Commission upon the 
relation between these facts and the relative rates of 
naturalization, although it is a conspicuous relation- 
ship. Like most of the statistics compiled by the Com- 
mission in this particular field, the comparison may be 
criticized on the ground that the numbers upon which 
percentages are based and compared are small, and 

> Report of Immigration Commission, vol. i, p. 488. 

215 



AMERICANS BY CHOICE 

differ widely among the racial groups. Nevertheless, 
despite this discrepancy, the probability stands forth 
that, in addition to length of residence, the economic 
status — the individual and family income — is a most 
important factor in determining the interest of the 
foreign bom in acquiring citizenship. 

Prom the following table it is clear that the "older** 
races show a higher average rate of income in all the 
occupations listed than the "newer." ^ 

TABLE XI 

AvBBAOB Amount or Weekly Eabnings of Male Emplotebs 
Eighteen Yeabs of Age and Oveb, bt Race and Specified 
Industries ^ 



Race 


Reporting 
Com- 
plete 
Data 


Aver- 
age 

Earn- 
ings 
per 

Day 


Agricul- 
tural 

Imple- 
ments 
and 
Vehi- 
cles* 


Cotton 
Goods* 


■ 

Woolen 

and 

Worsted 

Goods* 


Slaugh- 
tering 
and 
Meat 
Pack- 
ing* 


Coal 
Mining 
Bi- 
tumi- 
nous* 


"Old".... 
"New"... 


I7.4SS 
65,485 


2. 84 
1.99 


13.03 
11.58 


11.14 

8.77 


11.69 
8.64 


2.27 
1.83 


2.33 
2.09 



^See Appendix for complete table. This table does not take 
account of lost time. * Weekly wage. ' Daily wage. 

When the expense of becoming a citizen is taken into 
consideration, the bearing of income on acquiring citi- 
zenship is important. Add to that the obvious fact 
that wages and general economic and social status 
tend to improve in the individual case with length of 
residence, and the situation becomes not only clear but 
just what common sense would suggest as probable. It 
ought not to require elaborate argument to substantiate 
the assertion that the immigrant in his early years in 
America is too busy getting a job and an economic 

^ Compiled from Report of the Immigration Commission^ vol. i, 
pp. 379, 885, 397. 

216 



GENERAL IMMIGRATION STATISTICS 

f ootingy acquiring a working knowledge of the language, 
overcoming the general prejudice against him as a 
foreigner, and so on, to pay much attention to the 
question of becoming a citizen; besides which he must, 
in any event, Uve here five years before he can do any- 
thing eflfective in the matter. 

VOTING ON "fIBST PAPERS*' 

The present state of public opinion in the United 
States on the subject of the foreign bom is very diflFer- 
ent from what it was in the earlier years of our develop- 
ment; this is largely, though not entirely, due to the 
emotions and disclosures connected with the war. When 
we were opening up the^vast domain west of the Alle- 
ghanies, and there was great need of human labor to 
clear forests, break virgin land, and help in the begin- 
nings of our industries, the immigrant was a welcome 
helper, and every inducement was offered to entice him 
to come and settle on even terms with the native bom. 
One of these inducements was citizenship, for all intents 
and purposes, on very easy terms. 

Prior to 1910 there were ten states in which aliens 
were permitted to vote on their mere declaration of 
intention to become citizens — subject, however, to the 
same conditions of length of residence in state, county, 
and election district as citizens. These were Alabama, 
Arkansas, Indiana, Kansas, Michigan, Missouri, Ne- 
braska, Oregon, South Dakota, and Texas.^ 

That this easy acquisition of the suffrage would act 
as a deterrent to the completion of citizenship was to 
be expected, and that it has indeed so acted appears in 
a comparison of the proportions of foreign-bom males 

^ Since that time» however, all, except Arkansas and Missouri, 
either have entirely withdrawn the privilege by constitutional amend- 
ment or statute* or are in process of withdrawing it. 

217 



AMERICANS BY CHOICE 

of voting age holding ''first papers" only, in the alien- 
suffrage states, with those in states requiring full 
citizenship as a prerequisite to voting. 

TABLE Xn 
Pbb Cbnt of Fobxign Bobn of Voting Age Haying Fibst Papebs, 

AND AliSO THE PeB CeNT IN StATBB PeBMHTINO AuXNB TO 

Vote on Fntar Papebb, Compabed with Cebtain States Not 
Pebmitting Aliens to Vote on Fibst Papebs, fob 1900 and 
1910 1 



Statb 


NnifBBB or 
FoRKioN Bobn 

OrVOTUfG AOB 


Pbb Cbnt 
Incbbabb 


Pbb Cbnt 

Natu- 

BALXZBD 


Pbb Cbnt 

Havxng 

Fibst 

Papbbb 

Only 




1900 


1010 


1900 to 
1910 


1000 

58.0 
59.4 
67.8 


1910 

45.6 
52.3 
53.0 


1900 


1010 


United States 

Alien-suffrage 

states (total) . . . 
Nonalien-sufiPrage 

states (total) . . . 


4,904,270 

716,975 

1,275,162 


6,646,817 

857,681 

1,645,291 


35.5 
19.6 
29.0 


8.4 

12.3 

6.5 


8.6 
9.7 

7.4 



» United States Census, 1910, vol. i, p. 1071. 

In 1900 the ratio of those holding declarations only 
was about 12 to 6 in favor of the alien-suffrage states. 
By 1910 this difference had diminished to about 12 to 9. 
If aliens of any race were interested in voting as soon 
as they had a chance, this interest certainly would have 
manifested itself in the states permitting them to vote 
on the "first papers " which they could get, if they chose, 
an hour after landing. 



WHAT BECOMES OP THE DECLARATIONS? 

To what extent does the declarant follow up his declara- 
tion of intention to apply for citizenship? The reports 

218 



GENERAL IMMIGRATION STATISTICS 

of the Commissioner of Naturalization give each year, 
by states, the number of declarations of intention ('^jfirst 
papers") and the number of petitions for final natural- 
ization. The most striking fact apparent in these 
statistics is that the number of declarations is far in 
excess of the number of petitions — to say nothing of 
what may happen to the latter by way of denials when 
they reach the naturalizing judge. 

Now, it must be remembered that these totals are 
not directly comparable. In no event can the final 
petition follow the declaration by less than two years, 
and the law now permits a lapse of seven years before 
the declaration must expire. If the number of declara- 
tions and petitions were fairly uniform from year to 
year, or bore any constant relation to each other, some- 
thing might be inferred from a comparison of totals for 
a seven-year period. Since, however, the number of 
petitions, as well as the number of declarations, in- 
creased rapidly from 1908 to 1918, no sound omclusion 
can be reached without taking such variations into 
account. 

For example, none of the 136,698 declarations of 
intention filed in 1908 could become the basis for peti- 
tions until 1910, and all would be valid until 1915. In 
1910 the number of petitions filed was only 56,038, and 
seven years later it was 123,855. There is no way of 
knowing how the petitions which actually consummated 
the declaratioi^ filed in 1908 were distributed among 
the years 1910-14; but it would seem to be suflBciently 
dependable to take the average of those years, which 
would be 88,670. Instead, therefore, of comparing 
the 43,864 petitions of 1908 with the 136,698 declara- 
tions of that year, it is proper to compare the 136,698 
with the average of 88,670 which gives a ratio of 64.9. 

The ratio of about 65 petitions to each 100 declara- 
tions is in fact corroborated by other calculations, as 

219 



AMERICANS BY CHOICE 



will appear below. Take, for instance, the figures ^ for 
the period of five years 1908^-12, inclusive: 

TABLE Xin 

Number of Declarations Filbd Each Year, 1908-12, with 
Average Number and Ratio op Petitionb Conbummatinq in 
Five-tear Period Ending Each Year 



Yuar in Which 

Dbclabations 

Webb Filbd 



NUMBBB OF 

Dbclabations 

Filbd in 

Each Ybab 



1908 

1909 

1910 

1911 

1912 

Average 



136,698 
143,212 
167,226 
186,157 
169,142 

160,487 



Aybbagb 

NuMBBB or 

Petitionb in 

FiVB-TBAR 

Pebiod Ending 
Each Ybab 



88,670 

98,926 

105,799 

113,187 

116,183 

104,543 



Ratio of 

PBTmONSTO 

Dbclabations 



64.9 
69.1 
68.8 
60.8 
68.7 

65.1 



Take it another way, remembering that each decla- 
ration of intention has a vaUd lifetime of seven years — 
five after the two which must elapse before it can be 
made the basis of a final petition. Assuming that the 
petitions consummating the declarations of any given 
year are distributed approximately evenly over the 
five-year period during which they are valid for that 
purpose, then one-twenty-fifth of the declarations of 
1908-18 covered by Table XIII eventuated in peti- 
tions in 1910, two-twenty-fifths in 1911, and so on, 
reaching five-twenty-fifths in 1914, and falling again to 
one-twenty-fifth in 1918. The following diagrammatic 
table, tracing out on this basis the probable distribution 
of the declarations consummated by the petitions filed 
from 1908 to 1918, inclusive, shows graphically the 

^Compiled from Reports of the Commissioner of Naturalization, 
1908-1918. 

220 



GENERAL BIMIGBATION STATISTICS 

weight which should be given to the petitions of each 
year, in calculating the ratio of declarations to peti- 
tions. It fully substantiates the showing of Table XIII» 
and justifies the assertion that 35 out of every 100 
declarants fail to file petitions within the period now 
fixed by the law. 

TABLE XIV 

SHOwmo NuMBEB or Declabations Filed in Each Yeab DintiNa 
THE Pebiod 190S-1912, and the Numbeb of Final Petitions 
FOB Natubalization Assumed to Have Been Based ttpon 
Those Declabations in Each Yeab Dubino Which, Re- 
sfectivelt, the Declabations Webe Valid 



declarations 



petitions 



NUMBER 



136,698 
143^212 
167,226 
186.157 
169,142 



TOTAL 
AVERAGE 
PERCENTAGE 




802,435 
160.487 
160.487 into 104,543 



ASSUMED 
NUMBER 



55.038 
147,288 
286,881 
380,744 
619.275 
425.268 
324.027 
264,640 
110,416 

2.613.577 

104.543 

65.1 



The chances of error in this calculation lie in the 
facts (1) that until September, 1913, declarations made 
under the law as it existed prior to 1906 (the so-called 
"old-law declarations") were held to be valid, no 
matter how old their date; (2) that the decision of the 
United States District Court,^ applying the seven-year 



1 See p. 109. 



221 



AMERICANS BY CHOICE 

limit to all outstanding declarations, undoubtedly 
hastened many petitions in 1913-14, and (3) that the 
effects of the war in Europe probably were in some 
cases to expedite and in others to delay or to prevent 
the filing of petitions. Undoubtedly some of the peti- 
tions of 1910, 1911, 1912, and 1913 are attributable to 
declarations more than seven years old, and some which 
in normal conditions would have been filed during the 
period 1914r-18 were not filed. 

It may be assumed, however, that these factors to a 
great extent offset each other, and that in any case their 
effect is negligible. And if it should appear that a sub- 
stantial number of "old-law declarations," originating 
prior to 1908, were accepted up to 1918 by those coiuls 
which did not promptly accept the seven-year decision, 
it would mean only that the perc^itage of 65.1 is too 
high; that more than 35 declarations out of 100 do not 
eventuate in petitions. 

Bight here it must be emphasized that the figure 65.1 
applies not to naturalization, but to petitions for nat- 
uralization, which is a very different thing indeed. We 
shall elsewhete leam^ that 11.5 per cent of all petitions 
are denied — more than half of the denials being for 
reasons of a technical character. 

The average of 35.1 of "sterile" declarations is that 
for the United States as a whole; but the figure is by no 
means constant or uniform. In some states the propor- 
tion of petitions to declarations is very much lower 
than that; in some it is very much higher. 

In Indiana, for example, the figures show a fruition in 
petitions of only £6.4, or a little more than 1 in 4, while 
in Wisconsin the petitions exceed the declarations by 
15.7 per cent. As the above table shows, in four stat^ 
the proportion of petitions exceeded 80 per cent, while 

1 See p. 231. 

222 



GENERAL IMMIGRATION STATISTICS 



14 scaled down from 80 to 70 per cent. Twenty-six 
states show percentages below the 65.1 of the United 
States as a whole. 

TABLE XV 

Showino Ratio of Deciabationb of Intbntion to Pbtitiomb fob 
Naturalization, by States, Based on Yearly Ayeragb 
NiJMBER OF Declarations, 1908 to 1912, and Yearly Ayeragb 

(Weighted)* 



Statb 



United States 

Wisconsin 

Arizona 

North Carolina 

Mississippi 

Ohio 

Kentucky 

New Jersey 

Maine 

Vermont 

South Carolina 

Georgia 

Montana 

Alabama 

Maryland 

Arkansas... 

Michigan 

California 

Pennsylvania 

Connecticut 

Rhode Island 

Virginia 

Wyoming 

New Mexico 

District of Columbia. 
New Hampshire 



Ratio 



65 
115 
94 
93 
86 
78 
77 
76 
76 
75 
75 
74 
73 
73 
72 
72 
71 
71 
70 
69 
69 
69 
68 
67 
66 
66 



.1 

.7 
.2 
.1 
.7 
.8 
.5 
.5 
.1 
.6 
.3 
.3 
.9 
.0 
.2 
.0 
.9 
.2 
.9 
.6 
.6 
.3 
.1 
.0 
.8 
.5 



Statb 



Illinois 

Colorado 

Nebraska 

New York 

North Dakota. 

Oregon 

Kansas 

Tennessee 

Minnesota. . . . 

Iowa 

Texas 

Delaware 

Oklahoma 

Louisiana 

West Virginia. 
Massachusetts. 

Alaska 

Florida 

Nevada 

Utah 

Washington. . . 

Idaho 

Missouri 

South Dakota. 

Hawaii 

Indiana 



Ratio 



64.4 
64.8 
64.0 
64.0 
63.7 
63.7 
62.9 
62.8 
62.7 
60.9 
59.5 
58.4 
58.3 
56.4 
55.6 
53.7 
53.0 
52.5 
52.4 
50.5 
50.3 
48.6 
45.2 
44.1 
39.9 
26.4 



^ The averages are weighted as per the table above* p. 221. 

The most important question raised by the results of 
this calculation is whetiier it is reasonable to expect 

223 



AMERICANS BY CHOICE 

that more than one out of every three declarations of 
intention should thus fail of fruition — that thirty-five 
out of every hundred aliens who declare their intention 
to apply for citizenship should fail to do so. The answer 
to this question, and the reasons for the f ailure, are not 
discoverable in the figures themselves, nor in any docu- 
ments to be foimd anywhere. The reasons are hmnan 
reasons, hidden in the bosoms and written in the per- 
sonal experience, of men and women who started out 
after the privileges of American citizenship, and changed 
their minds. 

We have some illuminating data, first-hand, from 
some twenty-six thousand aliens who did follow up their 
declarations, and afford in the process a good deal of 
extraordinarily interesting and enUghtening informa- 
tion, the study of which is set forth in the succeeding 
chapter of this volume. 



vm 

LATER STATISTICS— IN WHICH SOME TWENTY-SIX 
THOUSAND PETITIONERS SPEAK FOR THEMSELVES 

When, early in the progress of the Americanization 
Study, it became apparent that ahnost no adequate 
statistical data were available in regard to naturalized 
citizens, or the really significant aspects of the natural- 
ization process, it was decided to tap the mine of in- 
formation existing in the original docmnents lying neg- 
lected in the files of the Naturalization Bureau at 
Washington, and to collate and analyze the significant 
facts for the latest year of reasonably normal conditions 
antedating the war. Obviously, that latest year 
would be that between July 1, 1913, and June 30, 1914. 

The consent of the Bureau was readily obtained, with 
the oflfer of all possible co-operation. It should be 
stated once for all, indeed, that at every stage of the 
Study the Naturalization Bureau, in both its head- 
quarters and field service, has withheld nothing in the 
way of information and assistance — save only to the 
extent to which practically all of its official corre- 
spondence is characteristically tardy by reason of the 
short-handed and overworked concUtion of its clerical 
force. 

It was discovered immediately, however, that the 
conditions of the files at Washington were such as to 
prohibit the segregation of the documents for any 
siogle year without an inordinate, and in the circiun- 
stances impracticable, expenditiu*e of labor and time. 

225 



AMERICANS BY CHOICE 

The only recourse, then, was to the local courts, where 
are kept on file, m more available shape and in chrono- 
logical order, duplicates of the petitions for natural- 
ization and record of the court's action upon each. But, 
since this required the examination of the documents 
in the country-wide ofBces of the clerks of the courts 
themselves, it was impracticable to make the inspec- 
tion complete, as would have been the case had the 
documents been suitably arranged and available all in 
one place. 

MORE THAN A FIFTH OF ALL PETITIONERS 

Twenty-eight courts, with a total of 26,284 naturaliza- 
tion petitions filed during the fiscal year 191S-14, were 
visited during 1919, with the cordial co-operation of 
the clerks in charge. And inasmuch as this total num- 
ber of petitions examined constituted more than one in 
five (21.2 per cent) of the whole number of petitions for 
naturalization (123,855) filed in that fiscal year in the 
whole United States, it would seem to represent a large 
enough number and a sufficient variety of local, racial, 
and other conditions to warrant a fair degree of con- 
fidence in the representative character of the results. 

FROM TWENTY-EIGHT REPRESENTATIVE COURTS 

The courts studied included two Federal and three 
state courts in New York City, having the great bulk 
of naturalization business; a number of courts in indus- 
trial districts, and some smaller ones taking in the busi- 
ness from outlying rural regions. Following is a list 
of the courts from which the information was derived: 

State court. Auburn, Maine 

State court, Worcester, Massachusetts 

State court, Bridgeport, Connecticut 

226 



LATER STATISTICS 

State court, Middletown, Connecticut 

State court, Norwich, Connecticut 

Federal courts. New York City 

State courts. New York City 

State court. White Plains, New York 

State court, Mineola, Long Island, New York 

State court, Troy, New York 

State court Ithaca, New York 

State court, Bochester, New York 

State court, Elmira, New York 

State court, Paterson, New Jersey 

State court. New Brunswick, New Jersey 

State court, Easton, Pennsylvania 

Federal court, Cleveland, Ohio 

State court, Cleveland, Ohio 

State court, Akron, Ohio 

Federal court, Cincinnati, Ohio 

State court, Galesburg, Illinois 

State court, Iowa City, Iowa 

State court, Portland, Oregon 

Federal court, Seattle, Washington 

State court, Seattle, Washington 

And it is apparent that the courts from which the data 
were derived are widely scattered through the East, 
Middle West, and Far West, and are of a varied char- 
acter as regards nature of racial and other character- 
istics which might affect the hmnan factors in the mat- 
ter. It is to be regretted that there are none from the 
South and Southwest; but there seems no reason to 
suppose that they would show materially different 
results. 

m A REASONABLY NORMAL TEAR 

Doubtless any particular year selected for the study 
would present certain special conditions calling for dis- 
count of the results. This is true of the year 1913-14. 
That year chanced to mark the end of the validity of 

227 



AMERICANS BY CHOICE 

the '* old-law declarations"; — that is to say that in that 
year the seven-year limit upon the life of a declaration 
of intention to become a citizen, established for the first 
time by the Naturalization Act of 1906, was declared 
by the United States Court, 1914,^ to apply to declara- 
tions made prior to the enactment of that statute. 
Undoubtedly anticipation of this tended on the whole 
to increase, perhaps materially, the number of peti- 
tions consmnmating those old declarations. On the 
other hand, there were doubtless many declarants <^ 
long ago who were discouraged by the decision from 
filing petitions at all. We shall observe later the extent 
to which that decision has been a factor in the rejection 
of the petitions of a large number of persons otherwise 
presumably eligible — excluded for that reason alone. 

Obviously it was desirable to select a year as recent 
as possible and at the same time to avoid any period 
affected by the compUcations introduced by the exist- 
ence of the war in Europe. It is felt that the year 1913- 
14 is sufficiently typical for all practical purposes, and 
that the appUcants for citizenship analyzed herein are 
sufficiently representative generally of the foreign bom 
who seek to join us; whatever may be said of the great 
number who were swept into citizenship helter-skelter 
during and since the war by naturaUzation of soldiers 
and sailors on the sole ground of military service.* 

THE RACIAL GROUPS ARE TYPICAL 

Some of the important conclusions supported by these 
statistics naturally raise the question whether the peti- 
tions studied are, in respect of country of origin, really 
typical of the whole foreign-bom population of the 
coimtry. This question seems to be disposed of by a 

* See chap, v, p. 108. 

' See chap, ix, j>. ft55, ei aeq. 

228 



TABLE XVI 

CCMIPABIBON BT RaCBB OF (1) NaTUBALIZATION PbTITIONEBS 

Studied, (2) Unnaturalized Malbb Twentt-onb Yeabs ob 
OvEB IN Nine Citieb' Whebb Petitionb Webb Filbd,and in 
the Countbt as a Whole, in 1910 ^ 



CoinrrBT 

OF BiBTH 



All countries 

Russia 

Austria 

Italy 

Hungary 

Germany 

Ireland 

England 

Sweden 

Rumania 

Norway 

Canada 

Scotland 

Denmark 

Switzerland 

finland 

Turk^ in Ana. . 

Holland 

Turkey in Europe 

Greece 

France 

Wales 

Spain 

Portugal 

No information. 
Other 



PBnnoNSBS 

SrUDtBD 

1913-14 



Num- 
ber 



26,je84 

7,864 

3,875 

3,591 

2,443 

2,805 

1,773 

831 

616 

569 

389 

385 

288 

200 

197 

144 

142 

139 

92 

90 

86 

32 

23 

8 

23 

179 



Per 

Cent 



100.0 
29.9 
14.7 
13.7 
9.3 
8^ 
6.7 
3.2 
2.3 
2.2 
1.5 
1.5 
1.1 
0.8 
0.8 
0.6 
0.5 
0.5 
0.3 
0.3 
0.3 
0.1 
0.1 



Unnaturaukkd* 

fobugm-bobn 

Whitb Malss 

twkmtt-onb 

YoABS or AGS 

AMD OVBB IN 

NiNB CmBS» 
IK 1910 



Num- 
ber 



437,517 

107.393 

59,252 

98,595 

31,194 

35,425 

16,453 

14,807 

8,675 

5,778 

4,084 

9,229 

5,299 

1,881 

4,039 

2,395 

1,883 

980 

1,650 

5,393 

4,116 

294 

932 

92 



Per 
Cent 



0.8 17,728 



100.0 
24.5 
13.5 
22.5 
7.1 
8.1 
3.8 
3.4 
2.0 
1.3 
0.9 
2.1 
1.2 
0.4 
0.9 
0.5 
0.4 
0.2 
0.4 
1.2 
0.9 
0.1 
0.2 



Unnatubalizbd 
fobxxqn-born 
Whctb Malbs 

twbntt-onb 
Ybabs of Aqb 

AND Otbb m 

THB UnFTBD StaTBB 

IN 1910 



Num- 
ber 



4.1 



2,837,307 
481,532 
407,977 
523,964 
200,274 
219,138 
116,613 
112,317 
92,289 
17,498 
66,802 
176,868 
38,940 
27,045 
16,942 
43.737 
22,776 
18,116 
19.546 
62,758 
21,457 
6,424 
10,037 
19,557 



114,705 



Per 

Cent 

100.0 
17.0 
14.4 
18.5 
7.1 
7.7 
4.1 
4.0 
3.3 
0.6 
2.4 
6.2 
1.4 
1.0 
0.6 
1.5 
0.8 
0.6 
0.7 
2.2 
0.8 
0.2 
0.4 
0.7 



4.0 



^ United States Census, 1910, vol. 1, chap. zi. 

' Includes aliens and those holding first papers. 

'Cleveland, New York (Boroughs of Manhattan, Bronx, and 
Queens); Bridgeport, Connecticut; Cincinnati; Paterson, New Jer- 
sey; Portland, Oregon; Rochester, New York; Seattle, Washington; 
Worcester, Massachusetts. 

16 22» 



AMERICANS BY CHOICE 

compilation showing the racial distribution of the peti- 
tioners studied, compared with the racial distribution 
of all unnaturalized foreign-bom white aUens £1 years 
of age or older in the coimtry as a whole, and in the nine 
large cities covered by this investigation. 

Considerable variations will be observed between the 
racial distribution of petitioners studied and that of the 
unnaturalized but potentially naturalizable males in the 
whole country in 1910. For instance, while 18.5 per 
cent of the unnatiu'alized persons in the United States 
were bom in Italy, only 13.7 per cent of the petitioners 
studied were ItaUans; on the other hand, while £9.9 
per cent of the petitioners studied were from Russia, 
only 17 per cent of the unnaturalized males in the 
United States in 1910 were Russians. 

These discrepancies do not prove, however, that even 
in such cases the groups of petitioners studied are not 
representative of the foreign-bom population, because 
racial distribution varies considerably from state to 
state. Fortunately, moreover, it is possible to compile 
from the census figures to show by coimtry of origin 
the distribution of unnaturalized white males in the 
cities covered by the study, and these figures, also in- 
cluded in the last column of the table, show conclu- 
sively that the racial distribution in those cities is fairly 
typical. The percentages do not exactly agree, nor is 
that to be expected. In the first place, there is a differ- 
ence of three years between the times represented re- 
spectively in the two sets of figures — ^years during which 
there was a heavy immigration. The figures given for 
the unnaturalized are not complete, inasmuch as for 
those cities the citizenship status of 9. 8 per cent of the 
foreign-bom males £1 years of age and over was not 
reported by the 1910 census. Furthermore, the peti- 
tions studied were not all from these nine cities, al- 
though nearly nine out of ten (86.8 per cent) of them 

230 



LATER STATISTICS 

were. On the whole, the nativity distribution in those 
nine cities of the petitioners studied coincides remark- 
ably with that of the unnaturalized but naturalizable 
males. 



RELATIVE "cnnC AND POLITICAL INTEREST" 

In Table X, page ^11, the relative numbers and per- 
centages are arranged in the order of magnitude^ and this 
arrangement is illuminating in its display of what the 
Immigration Commission and the writers who have 
taken their cue therefrom have interpreted as "civic 
and political interest" exhibited in relative desire for 
citizenship. With the exception of Italy the races from 
the sources of largest recent immigration show a higher 
proportion naturalized than the proportion they repre- 
sented in the population. It can fairly be said that the 
desire to become citizens is as evident among these im- 
migrants of the new races as among those of the earUer, 
entirely leaving out of consideration the length of resi- 
dence which operates in favor of the older immigrants. 

HOW DID THESE PETITIONERS FARE? 

How did these applicants for citizenship fare? How- 
ever much they may have desired citizenship, these of 
the "new immigration" and the "old" — did they get 
it? Did they pass the examinations? And as regards 
the reasons for denial of those who were rejected, how 
did the "recent" races account for themselves in re- 
spect of those matters which really go to the questions 
of moral and intellectual fitness? 

Well, to begin with, the percentage of all denials 
(3,033) among these more than 26,000 petitioners was 
11.5 — ^almost exactly that (11.2) of the whole United 

States during the entire period of eleven years, 1908- 

231 



AMERICANS BY CHOICE 

18, as shown by the reports of the Commissioner of 
Naturalization. Here appears a compilation analyzing 
all the denials during the period 1908-18. 

TABLE XVn 

COICPABIBQN OF CaUSBB OF DbNIAL FOB THE YkABB 190S-1S AMD 

1918-19 FROM ComaaBiONEB of Natttrauzation Rbpobt8» 
AND Dkniaib of 26,284 PKrinoNEBa Studied 



Causib 



Want of prosecution 

Incompetent wit- 
nesses 

Declaration invalid 

Ignorance 

Miscellaneous 

Immoral character. 

Insufficient residence 

Petitioner's motion. . 

No jurisdiction 

Deceased 

Unable to produce 
witnesses or depo- 
sition 

Already a citizen. . . . 

No certificate of ar- 
rival 

Premature petition 

Section 2169 (not a 
white person) 

No information 



Total 

Certificates granted 
Cases disposed of. . . 
Per cent denied 



Dbnzals 



Natxmliiataon Reports 
1906-18 I 1913-14 



Num- 
ber 



88,493 

28,262 
9,187 

11,109 
6,098 
4,269 
8,625 
2,824 
2,984 
1,123 



1,090 
1,200 

1,197 
979 

84 



107,474 
848,777 
956,251 



Cent 



31.2 

26.3 
8.5 

10.3 
5.7 
4.0 
3.3 
2.6 
2.7 
1.0 



1.0 
1.1 

1.1 
0.9 

0.1 



100.0 



11.2 
232 



Num- 
ber 



3,856 

3,982 
1,148 
1,147 
553 
588 
889 
381 
291 
174 



196 
150 

179 
96 

3 



13,183 
105,439 
118,572 



Per 
Cent 



29.4 

30.2 
8.7 
8.7 
4.2 
4.5 
3.0 
2.9 
2.2 
1.3 



1.5 
1.1 

1.4 
0.7 



100.0 



11.1 



CMesStadMd 
1913-14 



Num- 
ber 



689 

422 

1,296 

220 

147 

59 

68 

51 

12 

11 



12 
9 

14 
17 



16 



3,033 



[26,284 



Per 
Cent 



22.7 

13.9 

42.7 
7.2 
4.8 
1.9 
2.2 
1.7 
0.4 
0.4 



0.4 
0.3 

0.5 
0.2 



0.5 



100.0 



11.5 



LATER STATISTICS 

A study of the figures covering the reasons for denial 
of the 3,033 among the petitions of 1913-14 here ana- 
lyzed illuminated special aspects of this matter, show- 
ing, as it does, how large a proportion of the deniab are 
for reasons of a purely technical character, or because 
the petitioners abandoned their pursuit of citizenship 
after filing the final petition. 

The following table lists the races represented by 
forty or more petitions, in the order of percentage of 

TABLE XVra 

Racial Dibtbebxttion of 26,284 PEnnoNEBa Denied, 1918-14, 
AND THE Feb Cent of the Deniaib fob the Six Pbincipal 
Causes 



COUHTET 
OF BiBTB 



An oountriM. 



Greece 

Fmnoe 

Itahr 

Turkey in Europe 

HoUAnd 

Scotland 

Denmark 

England 

Sweden 

Germany 

Switserland 

Turkey in Ana. . . . 

Norway 

Belgium 

Canada 

Himgary 

Finland 

Rumania 

Ruaeia 

Ireland 

Austria 

Other 

No information . . . 



NVM- 
BBB OF 

P»n- 

TXON8 



26,284 

90 

86 

3»591 

92 

139 

288 

200 

831 

616 

2»305 

197 

142 

389 

41 

385 

2,443 

144 

569 

7,864 

1,773 

3.875 

201 

23 



Dbnials 



Num- 
ber 



8,033 

27 
19 

646 
15 
21 
42 
29 

120 
80 

296 
25 
18 
48 
5 
43 

249 
14 
54 

744 

166 

347 
27 



Per 
Cent 



11.5 



Causbb of DBMiAir— Psb Ckmt 



«M O 



J 



22.7 

48>1 
15.7 
2811 
26)6 
28.5 
21.4 
17.2 
30.0 
13.7 
17.2 
24.0 
44.4 
25.0 
40.0 
30.2 
32.2 
42.8 
7.4 
15.1 
27.1 
21.6 



18.9 

11.1 
26.3 
11.1 
7.6 
33.3 
11.9 
27.6 
19.2 
13.7 
14.5 
20.0 
11.1 
27.1 
20.0 
14.0 
12.5 
14.3 
11.1 
15.7 
11.4 
10.4 



.1 



5.2 
3.7 



2.9 
26.6 



9.5 

3.5 

4.2 

11.3 

5.4 

4.0 

16.7 

14.6 



9.3 
4.8 
14.3 
5.6 
5.5 
3.0 
5.5 



•n'O 



7.2 



14.2 



2.4 



1.7 
3.8 
4.7 
8.0 
5.6 
8.3 
20.0 



7.6 



7.4 
6.2 
1.8 
7.2 



1.9 



1.7 

7.6 



6.9 
2.5 
5.0 
2.4 



4.6 
3.2 



3.7 
1.7 
0.6 
1.4 



87.5 

3^.7 
42.1 
34.2 
20.9 
14.0 
31.0 
31.0 
27.5 
30.0 
47.3 
36.0 
16.7 

4.2 



20.9 
24.9 



63.0 
46.2 
46.3 
44.8 



^Denied because declaratioii of intention was more than seven 
years old. 

233 



AMERICANS BY CHOICE 

denials f and shows the percentages attributable to the 
six principal reasons, respectively: "want of prosecu- 
tion," "incompetent witnesses,'' "declaration in- 
valid," "ignorance," "immoral character," and "old- 
law declaration — ^held to be invalid." 

In this table there are 14 countries listed whose per 
cent of denials exceeds that for all countries. Of these 
only four supply the "new" immigration. And of the 
seven showing a lower than 11.5 per cent denials, five 
constitute the "new" immigration. This would point 
to greater success on the part of the new races in attain- 
ing their naturalization papers. The qualifying fact 
here, as elsewhere, is that more than twice as many 
petitioners belong to the "new" races as to the "old." 

The two causes of denial showing the largest per cents 
for the coimtry as a whole and for most coimtries are 
"want of prosecution" and the invaUdity of their "old- 
law" declaration. That so large a proportion of im- 
migrants have taken the trouble to take almost the 
last steps toward citizenship and then fail by default is 
symptomatic of waste somewhere along the line. This 
condition seems to prevail among both the "old" and 
"new" peoples. 

AS REGARDS " IMMORAL CHARACTER" ^ 

For some of the less mechanical causes of denial, let us 
segregate and arrange the countries in order of percent- 
ages. The following table shows denials for "inunoral 
character." 

The average percentage of denials for the whole 
United States for the period 1908-18 on the ^*ound of 
"immoral character" was 4.0 per cent. With the ex- 
ception of Turkey in Europe, not one of the "newer" 
races came up to this average in the year 1913-14, so 
far as may be judged by this analysis of the court 

234 



LATER STATISTICS 



r 



TABLE XIX 
Feb Cent of Deniaub Due to "Immobal Charactbb»'* bt Race 

' ■ ■ ■— ^ 11 11 i n ■MMIll ■■■■■ ■ II ■!»! M ■ ■■■ ^^^^^i^l I P III ■ — ^■^MM ■■■ ■■!■■■ H i ■ — ^ifc— — ^— B^i^^— M^— I^M^ 

Country of Birth P°'°c^t 

Total cases 1.9 

Turkey in Europe 7.6 

Denmark 6.9 

Sweden 5.0 

Canada 4.6 

Rumania 3.7 

Hungary 8.2 

Enrfand 2.5 

Germany 2.4 

Russia 1.7 

Italy ;. 1.7 

Austria 1.4 

^^ Ireland 






records of more than one in five of the petitions 
passed upon in that year. Austria, Hungary, Italy, 
Rumania, all showed a record materially better, and 
the figures generally show that cause to be negligible, 
anyway. 

THE SHOWING AS TO " IGNORANCE" 

In considering the statistics of denials on the ground of 
"ignorance," it is to be remembered that the examina- 
tions which disclose this "ignorance" do not go as a rule 
to the subject of illiteracy or general inteUigence, but 
deal in the majority of cases with the understanding of 
the petitioner as to the form of government, and some- 
times decidedly minute details of the history, of the 
United States. The average percentage of denials on 
the groimd of "ignorance" in the whole United States 
during the eleven years 1908-18 was 10.3. The records 
of the petitions of every one of the "recent" races, 

except Italian, for the year 1913-14 — if one may judge 

235 



AMERICANS BY CHOICE 

by this study of more than one-fifth of them — ^was far 
better than that average, though generally higher than 
that of the old races. 

TABLE XX 
Feb Cent of DsNiAiis Dub to "Ignorancb,*' bt Rack 

Coimtry of Birth p^g^t 

Total cases 7.« 

Italy 14. « 

Norway 8.8 

Switierland 8.0 

Hungary 7.6 

Rumania 7.4 

Austria 7.2 

Russia 6.2 

Turkey in Asia 5.6 

Gennany 4.7 

Sweden 3.8 

Scotland «.4 

Ireland 1.8 

Eni^d 1.7 



TIME-INTERVALS IN NATURALIZATION 

Generally speaking, judging by the 26,284 petitions ex- 
amined, each of which must show the date of arrival 
and declaration of intention, the immigrant is in this 
country in the average case anywhere from 5.4 to 12.7 
years before he files his declaration of intention to seek 
citizenship. (See Table XXI.) 

The evidence on this point was strikingly uniform in 
all the courts save one. The lowest average shown was 
5.4 years in Cincinnati; the highest average but two was 
8.6 in the State Superior Court at Worcester, Massa- 
chusetts. The extreme exceptions were 9.4 years in 
the Superior Court for Middlesex County, at Middle- 
town, Connecticut, and 12.7 years in the Androscoggin 

286 



LATER STATISTICS 



TABLE XXI 



Thb Ateragb Tdcb Elapsino Between Abbival and Dbclaba- 
TiON OF Intention; Between Declabation and Petition, 
AND Between Petition and Natubauzation as Shown bt 
26,284 Cebtificates, 1913-14 



Ck>iJBis 



New York Co. Supon/Ct 

U. 8. Diet. Ct.. Southern Diet. New 
York, N. Y. C 

U. 8. Dist. Ct., Eastern Dist. New York, 
Brooklyn 

Bronx Co. Supm. Ct., N. Y. C 

Queens Co. 8upm. Ct., Jamaica, L. I. . . 

Westohester Co. Supm. Cv> White 
Plains. N. Y 

Nassau Co. Supm. Ct., Mineola, L. I. . . 

Passaic Co. Ct. Com. Pis., Paterson, N. J. 

Fairfield Co. Supr. Ct., Bridgeport, Conn. 

Knox Co. Circt. Ct., Galesburg, HI 

Johnson Co. Dist. Ct., Iowa City, Iowa. . 

Androscogjsin Co. Supm. Jud. Ct., Au- 
burn, Me 

Tompkins Co. Supm. Ct., Ithaca, N. Y. 

Middlesex Co. Ct. Com Pis., New Bruns- 
wick, N. J 

U. S. Dist. Ct. Northern Dist., Cleve- 
land, Ohio 

Cuyahoga Co. Ct. Com. Pis., Qeyeland, 
Ohio 

Multnomah Co. Circt. Ct., Portland, Ore. 

Monroe Co. Supm. Ct., Rochester, N. Y. 

U. 8. Dist. Ct. Western Dist. Washing- 
ton, Seattle 

King Co. Supm. Ct., Seattle, Wash 

Chemung Co. Supm. Ct., Elmira, N. Y. 

Summit Co. Ct. Com. Pis., Akron, Ohio 

Northampton Co. Ct. Com. Pis., Easton, 
Pa. 

Worcester Co. Supr. Ct., Worcester, 
Mass. 

Middlesex Co. Supr. Ct., Middletown, 
Conn. 

Bensselaer Co. Supm. Ct., Troy, N. Y. 

U. 8. Dist. Ct. Southern Dist. O., Cin- 
cinnati 

New London Co. Supr. Ct., Norwich, 
Conn 



Average 



AyaaAGB 
Intsbval 
Bbtwbbn 
Abbival 
amdDbcla' 

BATION 

(Years). 



6.7 
7.2 

7.1 

7.7 
7.4 

6.9 
7.0 
6.3 
7.7 
7.7 
6.1 

12.7 
8.0 

6.6 

6.4 

6.7 
7.2 
6.3 

6.1 
6.0 
7.0 
6.2 

7.6 

8.6 

9.4 
6.2 

6.7 

8.6 

6.8 



AVBBAGS 

Intbbval 

BUTWKKN 

Dbclara- 

TION AKD 

Pvhtion 
(Years) 



4.7 

4.3 

6.2 
3.9 
6.6 

6.2 
4.9 
6.2 
4.8 
4.6 
3.6 

3.0 
3.6 

4.6 

6.0 

6.0 

11.1 

6.5 

7.1 
8.8 
4.8 
4.2 

4.2 

4.1 

8.7 
4.1 

6.4 

4.2 

6.1 



AVBBAQB 

Intbbval 

BUTWBXN 

Pmnnoif 
aivdCbb- 

TIllCATB 

(Months) 



6.1 

3.9 

4.1 
6.0 
4.6 

6.8 
4.7 
4.1 
6.3 
4.8 
4.6 

4.2 
6.4 

6.2 

4.6 

4.6 
6.1 
4.6 

4.8 
11.1 
12.7 

6.7 

6.6 

6.4 

6.3 
7.7 

6.1 

6.8 

4.9 



237 



AMERICANS BY CHOICE 

Supreme Judicial Court at Auburn, Maine. The latter 
court in naturalization matters deals largely with 
French-Canadians; of all the 385 Canadian petitioners 
falling imder this analysis, this one court passed upon 
61.5 per cent. 

Having filed his declaration of intention after an 
average residence in this country shown in all courts as 
6.8 years — nearly two years more than the five years' 
minimum residence required for the completion of citi- 
zenship — our average immigrant waits more than five 
years longer before he files his final petition for natural- 
ization — although under the law he need have waited 
only two. The range, however, was wide, between an 
average of 3.0 years in the Supreme Court of Andros- 
coggin County, Auburn, Maine, and 11.1 years in the 
Circuit Court at Portland, Oregon. The whole aver- 
age shown in all the courts studied was 5.1 years. 
These are very surprising figures for those who»have 
been complaining that we have hurried aUens into 
citizenship. 

Once the applicant has his petition filed, the process 
becomes more expeditious. The figures collated for the 
year 1913-14 show an average interval between peti- 
tion and certificate of naturaUzation of 4.9 months; the 
range is between 3.9 months in the United States Dis- 
trict Court in Manhattan, and 12.7 months in the State 
Supreme Court at Elmira, New York. From the point 
of view of delay, three months must always be sub- 
tracted, since the law requires, in any event, an interval 
of at least ninety days after the petition is filed before 
it can be considered by the court. 

HOW DO THE RACIAL GROUPS COMPARE? 

What light do the petitions throw upon the question of 

the relative "civic and poUtical interest" of the various 

288 



LATER STATISTICS 

racial groups, as shown by the interval that elapses 
between their attainment of the age of 21 years, or if 
they come here after they are 21, between their arrival 
and their filing of the final petition? 



TABLE XXn 
AvEBAOE Interval Befobe Fiung PErmoN, After ATTAiMifEMT 

OF TWENTT-ONE YSABS, FOR ThOSE ARRIVING AT AoEB OF OnB 

TO Fourteen, by Races 



COUNTBT OF BiBTH 



All oountries 

France 

Norway 

Switserland 

Sweden 

Scotland 

England 

Ireland 

Germany 

Canada 

Denmark 

Holland 

Hungary 

Greece 

Finland 

Roflsia 

Italy 

Austria 

Turk^ in Asia. . . 

Rumania 

Turkey in Europe 



NUMBXR m 

AoB Gboup 
1-14 



2,900 

19 

13 

7 

31 

13 

77 

77 

280 

88 

13 

17 

192 

12 

6 

873 

651 

889 

10 

89 

8 



AyxAAoa 

Intsbyal 

(Yean) 



6.2 

12.9 

12.5 

12.4 

12.4 

11.8 

11.6 

10.8 

10.3 

9.8 

9.5 

9.5 

5.8 

5.6 

6.S 

5.0 

4.9 

4.5 

4.0 

8.8 

3.6 



We have three groups of statistics on this point: those 
petitioners arriving at the ages of I to 14, those at 15 to 
20 years, and those 21 years and over. In the following 

289 



AMERICANS BY CHOICE 

table the countries of birth are arranged in the order 
of the average interval for those arriving at the ages of 
1 to 14 years. The complete table will be found in the 
Appendix. 

TABLE XXm 

Atebage Intebyal Befobe Filing Petition, Afteb Abbt^ai^ at 
Ages of Fifteen to Twenty, bt Races 



COXTMTBT or BiBTH 



NuifBBB IN 

Agb Group 
15-20 



AvmuoB 

Intbbyal 

(Yean) 



All oountries. 



Fhmoe 

Canada 

Switzerland 

Germany 

England 

Sweden ^ 

Scotland 

Denmark 

Holland 

Finland 

Ireland 

Norway 

Italy 

Hungary 

Austria 

Rumania 

Russia. 

Greece 

Turkey in Asia 

Turkey in Europe 



9,512 

10 

99 

50 

000 

216 

269 

57 

65 

82 

54 

609 

148 

1,198 

960 

1,658 

202 

8,055 

47 

69 

42 



11.01 

17.7 
17.8 
15.6 
14.1 
18.6 
12.7 
12.7 
12.2 
12.2 
11.7 
11.5 
11.8 
10.8 
10.8 
10.6 
10.2 
9.9 
9.7 
9.0 
7.9 



^This average includes ^the figures for races whose numbers are 
too small to justify generalization. 



The striking thing in these tables is the fact that 
ahnost without exception the countries showing the 
longest intervals are those representing the old immi- 
gration. 

240 



LATER STATISTICS 

TABLE XXIV 

AvBBAGE Intebyal Bsfobe Fujno PBnTiQN» Aftbb Abbival, at 
Ages Twknty-onb ob Ovsb, bt Bacbb 



CoumTJII OV BiBIH 



NxTlfBBB DT 

AoB Gbottp 
21 Ybaxs 
Ain> OvsB 



Atuuob 

Ihtbbval 

(Yean) 



An oountrie?. 



Canada 

Sweden 

Switzerland. 

France 

Germany... 

England 

Italy 

Norway 

Scotland — 

Finland 

Austria 

Denmark. . . 
HoUana. . . . 
Hungary.... 
Rumania. . . 
Buada 



M 



^^x-JrdUind. 
Greece. 



Turkey in Asia. . . 
Turkey in Europe. 



ISM9 

198 

316 

140 

57 

1,425 

538 

1,742 

228 

218 

84 

1,828 

122 

90 

1,291 

278 

3,936 

1,087 

31 

63 

42 



10. 6» 

16.4 

13.1 

12.2 

11.9 

11.9 

11.7 

11.4 

10.8 

10.6 

10.5 

10.5 

10.2 

10.1 

9.9 

9.8 

9.6 

9.6 

8.6 

8.5 

8.1 



^Thi& average includes the figures for races whose nuiiibers are 
too smaU to justify generalization. 



THBT ABE TOUNG PEOPLE 

They were young men. More than 60 per cent of them 
were between the ages of 18 and 30 years. Of the 
26,284 applicants for citizenship whose petitions were 
examined, 16,586 — over three-fifths — came to this 
country between the ages of 18 and SO. The prepon- 
derance is striking: 

241 



AMERICANS BY CHOICE 

TABLE XXV 
Number and Feb Cent of Petitionebs fob Thbee Age Gboufb^ 



AOB AT AbBIVAI. 



1-17 

18-30 

31 and over. 
No data . . . . 



Total. 




Pbb Cbmt 



25.1 
68.1 
11.6 



99.8 



^ The full table showing distribution of ages at arrival from infancy 
to fifty years or over, is given in the Appendix, Table 57. 

RELATIYB AGE AND "POLITICAL INTEREST*' 

It is interesting to note, in this connection, the relation 
between the age at which the alien arrives in this 
country and the length of time that elapses before he 
files his final petition for citizenship. The following 
diagram exhibits this: 



1 to 14 years. 



62 



15 to 20 yearSi 



lll.( 



21 years and over. 



10.6 



DiAGBAM 1 

Average interval before filing petition after attainment of 21 years 
(or time of arrival, if arriving after 21 years) for petitioners arriv- 
ing at ages of 1 to 14, 15 to 20, and 21 years and over. 

Close analysis of these lists further emphasizes the 
importance of the factor of age at arrival as affecting the 
lapse of time after the attainment of lawful age before 
filing the final petition for citizenship. It appears, as 
might well be expected, that those who come in child- 
hood are more prompt than those who arrive between 

242 



LATER STATISTICS 

15 and 20; but even those coming in childhood appear, 
on the average, to wait until after they are 27. The 
averages indicate, almost without exception, that those 
coming at ages over 20 waited more than 10 years 
before filing their petitions. Few come after they are 
40 and then seek citizenship. The petitions show that 
on the average those arriving at 1 to 14 applied 6.2 
years after 21. Those arriving at 21 years or over 
applied 10.6 years after arrival. 

Those arriving between 15 and 20 applied 11 years 
after arrival, but it is fallacious to compare this interval 
with those in the case of the younger or older immi- 
grants, because the five years' required residence might 
mean application at 21 years of age by an immigrant 
who came at 15 or 16, or at 25 years by one who came 
at 20; while one who, coming at 15, waited the full aver- 
age of 11 years would apply at 26, apparently more 
promptly than one who, coming in infancy, did not 
apply until he was 27 or over. The questions suggested 
by the discrepancy here apparent are many, but the 
data available furnish no definite answer to them. 
Perhaps fuller statistics might substantially modify the 
apparent discrepancies. 

THE REAL RACIAL DISTINCTION 

These men, the cream of our immigration — ^regi^'dless 
of any fanciful distinction of race "older" or "newer" 
— came in the flower of their young manhood to try 
hazard of new fortunes in what they rightly believed 
to be the land of promise and opportunity; lived here 
from five to twelve years before they registered in 
normal declaration their intention to become citizens; 
lived here upward of five years more before filing their 
final petition for citizenship, and nearly nine out of ten 
of them passed thdr examinations and were admitted. 

243 



AMERICANS BY CHOICE 

There is visible in these statistics a distinction of 
race — ^a very interesting and inspiring distinction, but 
it is not one of the "older** or "newer" races. It has 
little to do with any supposititious di£Ference of racial 
quality or character. Indeed, it redounds on the whole 
to the credit of the more recent inmugration, and, so far 
as it goes, would indicate, if anything, a greater potential 
fitness for American citizenship. In Diagram 2, which 
is based on Table XXIV, tJljie bars which are black 
represent countries which have entirely a subject 
people, or in which a proportion of the population 
is subject. In the latter case it i^ the subject peoples 
who come to this countiy in larger proportions than 
the sovereign peoples. This is only one of the instances 
which illustrate an interesting conclusion. Certainly 
to a discerning eye this fact stands forth : 

Those from countries where, at the time of their migra- 
tion, there was either avtocraiic govemmerU or political 
discontent, or inferior ecoruymdc opportunity, head the 
list of those who seek, and upon examination prove their 
title to, feUouhmembership with u>s. 

Those from countries where government was relatively 
democratic, where individual liberty prevailed, where 
political, social, and economic conditions were conducive 
to contentment, were satisfied to keep the citizenship of 
their fatherlands. 

Why should it require exhaustive investigation to 
demonstrate so obvious, so inevitable an operation of 
human psychology? What else was to have been 
expected? 

RACE AND RELATIVE AGE AT ARRIVAL 

The racial distribution of these petitioners, with refer- 
ence to age at arrival, is interesting and to some ex- 
tent significant. Table XXVI, including only those 





nn 



1 M 1 1 1 1 1 1 li 




1 1 1 i M 1 1 



AVERAGE FOR Mi 

TURKEY IN EUROPE 

TURKEY mi ASM ^^^^^^m^^MS^ 

eWECE 1 M I I I I I I IM 

IRELAND 

RUSSIA. 
BOUMANIA 
HUNGARY' 
HOUANO 

DENMARK 
AUSTRIA 
FINLAND 
SCOTLAND 
NORWAY 
ITALY 

ENGLAND 
GERMANY 
FRANCE 
SWITZERLAND 
SWEDEN 
CANADA 



lac 



10^ 





[10.6 . 

10.8 



]1I.4 ^ 
]]ll,7 . 
[]ll.9 



1 1 1 


J 1 1 


1 1 


1 113.1 




1 1 




1 1 1 





]liA 



Diagram SK 

Average interval before filing petition after arrival at ages 21 or over 
by races. The bars which are in black represent countries from which the 
subject people constituted almost entirely the immigration to this country. 

17 «« 



AMERICANS BY CHOICE 

races represented by at least 50 petitions, is arranged 
in the order of percentages of those arriving after 
attaining the age of 21 years. It throws sidelights 
upon the variations of the age at which the individuals 
of various races came to this country: 

TABLE XXVI 

Racial Dibtbibution of Petitionsbs, Showing Pebcentagbs fob 
THE Age Pebiodb "Oveb Twenty-one," "Fifteen to 
Twenty," and "One to Foubtben," in the Obdeb of the 

FiBST-MENTIONED AgE GbOXTP 



COUNTBT 
or BXBTH 



Scotland 

Switzerland 

France 

England 

Holland 

Germany 

Ireland 

Denmark , . . 

Norway 

Finland 

Hungary 

Canada 

Sweden 

Russia 

Rumania 

Italy 

Austria 

Turkey in Europe. . 

Turkey in Asia 

Greece 



Whole 

NUMBBB 
Ol" PUTl- 
TIONKBS 



288 

1»7 

86 

8S1 

189 

2,305 

1.773 

200 

889 

144 

2,443 

885 

616 

7»864 

569 

3,591 

3,875 

92 

142 

90 



NUMBXR AND PeRCENTAOS OF ThOSE 

Arbiyino at Ages 



21 and Over 



Num- 
ber 



218 

140 

57 

538 

90 

1,425 

1,087 

122 

228 

84 

1,291 

198 

316 

3,936 

278 

1.742 

1,828 

42 

63 

31 



Per 
Cent 



15 to 20 



75.7 
71.7 
66.3 
64.7 
64.7 
61.8 
61.3 
61.0 
58.6 
58.3 
52.8 
51.4 
51.3 
50.1 
48.9 
48.5 
47.2 
45.7 
44.4 
34.4 



1 to 14 



Num- 
ber 



57 
50 
10 

216 
32 

600 

609 
65 

148 
54 

960 
99 

269 
8,055 

202 

1,198 

1,658 

42 

69 

47 



Per 


Num- 


Cent 


ber 


19.8 


13 


25.4 


7 


11.6 


19 


26.0 


77 


23.0 


17 


26.0 


280 


34.3 


77 


32.5 


13 


38.0 


13 


37.5 


6 


89.3 


192 


25.7 


88 


43.7 


31 


38.8 


873 


35.5 


89 


33.4 


651 


42.8 


889 


45.7 


8 


48.6 


10 


52.2 


12 



4.5 

3.5 

22.1 

9.3 

12.2 

12.1 

4.3 

6.5 

3.3 

4.1 

7.9 

22.9 

5.0 

11.1 

15.6 

18.1 

10.0 

8.7 

7.0 

13.8 



Inferences or generalizations from this table in con- 
nection with the age statistics given heretofore would 

246 



LATER STATISTICS 

be perQous, since we have not tabulated the data which 
would sh6w» with regard to any particular racial group, 
how many of those between 15 and 20 years of age came 
at 18 or 19; or how many of those over 21 came after 
they were 25 or before they were 30. So far as it goes» 
however, it would appear to indicate that those of the 
so-called ** older" inmiigration left their homelands at 
a later age» while a larger proportion of those of the 
*' newer** came in younger manhood. The larger per- 
centages in the column "over 21" are credited to the 
\ "older**; the larger in the second column, "15 to 20," 
\ to the "newer.** 



AT THE BEGINNINO OF MARRIED LIFE 

More than two-thirds (68.5 per cent) of the petitioners 
were married at the time of their petition for natural- 
ization. One may hazard the guess that the majority 
were either unmarried or newly married when they 
came to this country, because, while 89.9 per cent of 
the 18,017 married petitioners reported wives of foreign 
birth, 10,563 (73.5 per cent) of them had children ex- 
clusively native-born. Only one in ten had foreign- 
born children only, and only 16.5 per cent had both 
native and foreign-born children. And 14,371 (79.8 per 
cent) of the married petitioners had one or more chil- 
dren under 21 years of age.^ 



AS FOR "stability OF RESIDENCE** 

The question of what might be called the "residential 
stability** of the immigrant in this country has been 
the subject of much assertion and little substantial in- 

^The full tables regarding marital condition and number and 
nativity of children will be found (Tables LVI and LVII, respect- 
ively) in the Appendix. 

247 



AMERICANS BY CHOICE 

formation. The general tenor of the assertion and the 
vague impression of the average person are to the effect 
that the immigrant is more or less of a wanderer, 
shifting from place to place, and for that reason failing 
to establish anything resembling permanent residence 
or to relate himself to the community as a neighbor. 
Veiy little statistical data on this point is available, and 
it is unsafe to generalize. There is, however, a some- 
what startling disclosure in the 1915 census of the 
state of Massachusetts, showing that in the class of 
otherwise "justified" voters disqualified solely by rea- 
son of not having resided one year in the state or six 
months in the city or town, there were 21,2!^ native 
and 3,845 foreign born; in other words, that 3.6 per 
cent of the native-born voters were disqualified because 
they were moving about; while only 1.9 per cent, or 
just about half the proportion, of the foreign-bom were 
disqualified for that reason. 

The analysis of petitions by the Americanization 
Study sheds a little further light on this subject, by 
segregating the figures in each court showing petitions 
which were filed by aliens who had filed their declara- 
tion in another state. Of the total of 26,284, there were 
1,859 of these, or 7.1 per cent. Undoubtedly this mov- 
ing about, in search of employment or for other reasons, 
is a considerable factor in the delay between arrival 
and declaration and between declaration and petition. 
Naturally, the figures would tend to be high on the 
Pacific coast, to which immigrants travel by rather 
long stages of time. The court in Portland, Oregon, 
showed 234 out of 714 petitioners — ^almost a third — ^who 
had filed their declaration in other states. This court 
shows also the longest average interval between declar- 
ation and petition. The courts in Seattle also show 
high figures in this regard. The same tends to be true 
of rapidly growing industrial centers, such as Cleve- 



LATER STATISTICS 

land, Bridgeport, Paterson, New Brunswick, New 
Jersey. 

TABLE XXVn 

PBTinoNEBS Whose Declabationb Were Made in ▲ State Othbb 
Than the One in Which the Coubt ib Located 



COUBT 



Norwich, Conn 

Portland, Ore 

Seattle, Wash, (state court) 

Bridgeport, Conn 

New Brunswidc, N. J 

Cleveland, Ohio (U. S. court) 

Paterson, N. J 

Seattle, Wash. (U. S. court) 

Middletown, Conn 

Cincinnati, Ohio 

Cleveland, Ohio (state court) 

Easton, Pa 

Ithaca, N.Y 

Akron, Ohio 

Iowa City, Iowa 

Rochester, N. Y 

Jamaica, L. I 

Elmira,N.Y 

Mineola, L. I 

New York City (U. S. court) 

White Plains, N. Y 

Worcester, Mass 

New York City (state court) 

Bronx, N. Y. C. (state court) 

Brooklyn, N. Y. C. (U. S. court). . . . 

Total 



PsrmoNXBB Who Dbolaxbd 
IN Othxb Statbs 



Number 



Percent 



52 


48.7 


284 


82.8 


42 


29.4 


96 


28.4 


84 


21.6 


158 


18.4 


76 


10.2 


69 


9.8 


7 


9.5 


84 


9.4 


152 


8.9 


10 


8.7 


2 


8.7 


16 


8.0 


1 


7.7 


57 


7.0 


89 


6.5 


1 


5.8 


7 


5.2 


121 


5.0 


28 


4.8 


27 


4.8 


452 


4.1 


47 


S.5 


47 


8.0 



1,859 



7.1 



That upward of 13 out of 14 — ^nearly 93 per cent — of 
alien petitioners for American citizenship» in a total of 

249 



AMERICANS BY CHOICE 

more than 26»000» should have been able to file their 
final petitions in the same states in which, on an aver- 
age of more than five years before, they had declared 
their intention to do so» certainly attests a degree of 
"stability of residence" comparing favorably with 
that of other, native-bom residents of the country. 
And it would seem also to justify the inference that 
those who become naturalized have generally be- 
come well assimilated into the life of the communities 
where they live. 

INTELLECTUAL EQUIPMENT AND OCCUPATION 

As for the intellectual equipment and the general use-> 
fulness of the aspirants for citizenship represented in 
the petitions studied, one may infer something from 
the occupational range shown in an analysis of the 
petitions for 1913-14 ija seven cities,^ representing a 
wide variety of locality. This analysis showed, for each 
of the 17 kinds of occupations listed, the ratio between 
the number of naturalization petitions filed by persons 
in those occupations in those cities in 1913-14, and the 
foreign-born white males in those occupations in those 
cities as shown by the census of 1910. Perhaps the 
most striking fact emerging from this analysis, illumi- 
nating to those who have supposed that the naturaliza- 
tion process swept into citizenship the dregs of immi- 
gration, is that the smallest percentage is shown in the 
class of common labor; the highest in the grade of 
executives, and the preponderance throughout attach- 
ing to trades requiring a degree of dexterity and general 
intelligence and information, if not technical training. 
It is unsafe, however, to infer too much from these per- 

^ New York (boroughs of Manhattan, Bronx and Queens), Cleve- 
land, Cincinnati, Bridgeport, Paterson, Portland (Oregon), and 
Rochester (New York). 

250 



LATER STATISTICS 

centages, because of the relatively small numbers repre- 
sented in some of the classes, and the large proportions 
accredited to the garment trades and to ** retail dealers," 
among whom, doubtless, there were many mere ped- 
dlers. The distribution of occupations is here set forth 
in the order of the percentages: 



TABLE XXViii 

List of Pbincipal Occupations Repbbbxntbd in Pbtitignb fob 
Naturalization FujED in Seven Citibb, 1915-14; Showing 
Batio Between Numbeb of Pbtitionb and Total of Fosbign- 
BOBN White Males in Those Oocupationb in Those Citihb 
IN 1910 



Occupations 



Total 

Managers and superintendents 

Chauffeurs 

Taflors 

Clergymen 

Bartenders 

Plombers 

Barbers 

Bakers 

Betail dealers 

Painters and ^asiers 

Carpenters 

Salesmen 

Manufacturing and officials. . . 

Blacksmiths 

Motormen 

Bride and stone masons 

Labor^s 



NuMBBB or 
PxnnoNSBa 

IN Thosx 
Occupations 



9,930 

154 
176 

2,120 
67 
248 
193 
872 
328 

2,103 
514 
779 
591 
511 
161 
92 
219 

1,802 



Ratio to 
FoRBioN Bobn 

IN Thosb 
OoouPATiomi 



3.0 

7.1 
5.9 
S,S 
4.7 
8.6 
8.6 
3.2 
8.1 
8.1 
8.1 
8.0 
2.8 
2.7 
2.7 
2.4 
2.2 
1.5 



Analysis of the entire total of 26,284 petitions from 
which the data were obtained shows a general occupa*- 
tion distribution as follows: 

251 



AMERICANS BY CHOICE 



TABLE XXIX 
NmcBBB AND Pbb Cent of PfinnoNEBa m Each Occupation 



Panxioinnui 



OOCUFAXIONS 




Total 

Manufacturing and mechanical in- 
dustries 

Trade 

Domestic and personal service 

Clerical. . . 4 

IVansportation 

Professional service 

Agriculture, forestry, and animal hus- 
bandry 

Public service 

Extraction ci minerals 

No information 



GENERAL CONCLUSIONS 

Certain inferences and conclusions seem to be warranted 
on the whole by the examination and analyses in this 
chapter and that preceding it, of the compilations of 
the United States Census, the Immigration Conunis- 
sion iji 1907» the Naturalization, Bureau and the Amer- 
icanization Study. 

First, and most important, is the destruction of the 
legendary presumption of some change for the worse 
in recent years in the inherent character-quality of 
immigration to this country, and in the attitude of the 
typical immigrant of those years toward American 
citizenship. There has been no such change; indeed, 
if there is any substantial difference in ** quality of 
assimilability'' between the *' older" races and the 
newer, it is in favor of the latter. 



lATER STATISTICS 

Second, it is evident that such di£Ference as exists 
among races is not an inherent racial quality, but a 
difference between the political, social, and economic con- 
ditions al the time of migration in the country of origin. 
Those nations whose people are most free from tyranny 
and oppression and most contented with the conditions 
under which they live at home, send the fewest immi- 
grants to America; their emigrants come at a later age, 
and when they do come they retain longest or alto- 
gether their original citizenship. 

Third, and broadly corollary, is the fact that the 
major, not to say exclusively, controlling factor in the 
political absorption of the immigrant is length of resi- 
dence. The longer the individual lives in America the 
more likely he is to seek active membership therein. 

Fourth, the interval between arrival and petition for 
naturalization — or even the original declaration of 
intention — ^is much longer than has generally been 
supposed. The average immigrant, regardless of racial 
extraction, does not concern himself about political 
privileges or activities until after long years of resi- 
dence and the attainment of a considerable degree of 
permanent social and economic status. 

Fifth, knowledge of the English language at the time 
of arrival is not a material factor in determining the 
rapidity with which the individual seeks citizenship. 
On the contrary, those of other tongues who have been 
in the United States as long as those whose mother 
speech is English show eveh greater interest and a 
higher rate of naturalization. In the ordinary case, by 
the time the immigrant of any race has been in this 
country long enough to reach the normal stage of 
interest in naturalization he has acquired a good work- 
ing knowledge of the language. 

Sixth — and from the common-sense point of view it 
ought to occasion no surprise — ^is the evident influence 

253 



AMERICANS BY CHOICE 

upon the display of *' civic and political interest" as 
shown in the desire for citizenship, of social and eco- 
nomic conditions in this country as they practically 
affect the individual. Whether from northwestern or 
from southeastern Europe, whether from the so-called 
"recent" or "older" immigration, the racial groups 
show a slower desire for citizenship and a lower rate of 
naturalization while they are employed in the more 
poorly paid industries; both the individual interest. and 
the rate increase as the individuals toil upward in the 
social and economic scale. 

The inherent thing in the racial quality, experience, 
and character of the inunigrant that leads some to seek 
citizenship earlier than others, the essential element 
in the "quality of assimilability," in the display of 
"civic and political interest," is a human thing, which 
lies, and always has lain, broad upon the face of nearly 
all of the statistical tables over which students have 
labored so intricately and pontificated so solemnly — ^in 
some instances so absurdly. It is a thing so obvious 
that it is difficult to understand why so many of them 
have overlooked it. 



IX 

CITIZENSHIP VIA MILITARY SERVICE 

Wb do not yet realize — ^perhaps we never shall fully 
realize — the profound eflFect upon the whole structure 
of our political life, and especially upon the quality of 
our citizenship, wrought by the World War. One 
effect, however, stands forth clearly: the war has 
destroyed the underpinning of the great structure of 
hand-picked citizenry which, during twelve years of 
arduous labor and scrupulous straining of technicalities, 
was built up by the Naturalization Bureau and the 
courts on the basis of the Naturalization Law of 1906, 
and tiu*ned into solemn farce most of the pontifical 
preachments by which that policy was justified. Almost 
overnight the whole long campaign for the establish- 
ment of an educational standard of admission, the sys- 
tem of technical exactitude of papers and microscopical 
scrutiny of the antecedents, length of residence, and 
even ^the personal opinions of applicants, and of the 
competency of their witnesses, and so on, was nullified. 
Aliens helter-skelter, hit-or-miss, were swept into full 
citizenship to an aggregate well-nigh half as large as the 
whole number admitted previously during the entire 
period of the existence of the Naturalization Service. 

When the United States entered the war, early in 
1917, the instant necessity of raising a stupendous army 
swiftly out of our heterogeneous population injected an 
unprecedented factor into the question of naturaliza- 
tion. The body of native-born citizens, even together 

255 



AMERICANS BY CHOICE 

with the great mass of those among the foreign-bom 
who were naturalized, was not sufficient. Aside from 
that, there were considerations of another character; 
such, for example, as were set forth by the Provost Mar- 
shal General of the Army: ^ 

As soon as the estimates of population made by the Census 
Bureau had been received, it begap to be apparent that the 
rule of the Selective Service Act, which based the apportion- 
ment of quotas on total population, and yet drew the quotas 
from citiz^is and declarants only, would operate quite differ- 
ently upon communities having largely differing percentages 
of aliens in their population. In certain local-board jurisdic- 
tions, in which the element of alien population exceeded 80 
per cent of the total, the burden placed upon the citizen 
population was very great. ... If in two communities of 
equal population the citizen population of one were 100 per 
cent of the whole and in the oth^ 60 per cent, the remainder 
being composed of aliens, the two communities, though equal 
in population, in resources, in industries, and in need of labor, 
the efforts, and the enterprise of men of military age, would 
fall under a very unequal tax upon their man power. The 
all-citizen community would be required to furnish twice as 
many men as the half -citizen, half -alien community. 

POSITION OF THE ALIEN SOLDIER 

The Provost Marshal General* reported 1,«43,801 
aliens registered under the first draft, and estimated 
that of these (21-30) nearly half a million (457,713) 
had been called for examination, and 16.72 per cent — 
nearly 17 out of every himdred — certified for service; a 
few in ignorance of their right to exemption, but vir- 
tually all of them voluntarily waiving that right. 

The position of the aliens, even if they had declared 
their intention to become citizens, was unenviable. 

^Report of the Provost Marshal Omeral, 1917, p. M. 
*Ibid., p. 53, Table 26. 

256 



CITIZENSHIP VIA MILITARY SERVICE 

They still owed technical allegiance to European sov- 
ereignty — ^many of them to the nations with which we 
were formally or practically at war. Many of them 
were of the cobelligerent nations known as "the 
Allies/' but were here in evasion of military-service laws 
or other embarrassing legal obligations at home, making 
personally undesirable their return to the old country; 
and as for those of German, Austrian, Bulgarian, or 
Turkish nationality, there was for them short shrift — 
upon capture while fighting against armies of the Cen- 
tral Powers — only the dismal certainty of summary exe- 
cution as traitors. Their only possible shadow of pro- 
tection would lie in completed American citizenship. 

Furthermore, there was the fact that only American 
citizens are eligible for conmussions as officers in the 
military service of the United States; but in the new 
army, and the augmented navy and marine corps — ^to 
say nothing of the merchant marine — ^a very large num- 
ber of officers would be needed. This last consideration 
seems to have been the one which chiefly impressed the 
Commissioner of Naturalization; for, in his explanation 
<rf the necessity for the legislation of May 9, 1918, 
which let down the bars to citizenship for the benefit of 
aliens and declarants taken into the military service of 
the nation, he twice refers to it: ^ 

No man engaged in the actual military and naval opera- 
tions of our country can attain to the rank of commissioned 
officer unless he be an American, either by birth in the 
United States or by naturalization therein, irrespective of 
his training or qualifications. As this restriction, made for 
peace times, was no less a detriment to the country in limiting 
its range of selection for commissions to citizens than to those 
who demonstrated their efficiency, legislative action was 
taken to remove this restriction. . . . 

^ Annual Report cf the Commiasioner of NaturaliMotion, June 80, 
1918, pp. 8, 81. 

257 



AMERICANS BY CHOICE 

. . . The foreign-bom residents of the United States, non* 
declarants and declarants, had not claimed exemption from 
military service because of their alienage; but, unless he 
could claim full American citizenship, none of them, however 
valiantly he might fight, could receive a commission as an 
officer, which is the laudable ambition of every soldier. 

REVOLUTIONARY LEGISLATIVE ACTION 

The revolutionary character of the legislative action 
with which Congress undertook to meet the situation 
in its various aspects is apparent in the description of 
it given by the Commissioner of Naturalization in this 
same report:^ 

Another authority which Congress conferred upon the 
Bureau in aid of the national undertaking in Europe was a 
new code of procedure by which recognition should be given 
to certain foreign residents of the country . . . that elimi- 
nated the delays so necessary in the general provisions of the 
naturalization law. The requirement for posting petitions 
for naturalization for at least 90 days before the court could 
acquire jurisdiction of them for the purposes of admitting the 
applicant to citizenship was so changed as to admit of the 
hearing of the petition for naturalization, filed by members of 
K^rtain enumerated exempted classes, without any delay, the 
time for hearing being dependent only upon the convenience 
of the court. 

The Act of May 9, 1918, authorized petitions for natiuraliza- 
tion and immediate hearing for any alien who serves in the 
military or naval branches of the Govemmetit, upon any 
United States vessel, any vessel of the American merchant 
marine, or anyone honorably discharged from the National 
Guard of any State, Territory, or the District of Columbia, 
within six months after honorable discharge therefrom. It 
repealed the provisions of the law that previously extended 



^ Annual Report of the Commiasioner of NaiuralizaUon, June 90, 

1918, pp. 30-31. 

258 



CITIZENSHIP VIA MILITARY SERVICE 

the right of an alien to petition for naturalization after an 
honorable discharge from the military or naval branches of 
the Government at any time after such honorable discharge, 
and, with few exceptions, reduced the period of time to six 
months after such service and honorable discharge. The pro- 
visions of the law heretofore existing were saved to those 
holding honorable discharges from the military service where 
the service was performed prior to January 1, 1900. This 
provision was included in the law for the distinct purpose of 
preserving to the veterans of the Civil and Spanish-American 
Wars the rights which previously had been given to them. 
The number of aliens now holding discharges from military 
service prior to the date stated who have not applied for and 
received American citizenship is small and constantly being 
reduced. 

To accomplish the provisions of this code of procedure it 
was necessary to create a corps of examiners to aid in the 
administration of a new statute under conditions wholly 
strange and different from those ordinarily prevailing. The 
law requires, very properly, that each candidate for natural- 
ization whose immediate hearing is contemplated shall appear 
before a representative of this Bureau before filing his petition 
for naturalization. This particular provision has made it 
possible for the machinery of the law to operate with the 
minimum of friction. Indeed, there has been no friction at 
any point in this new code. 

The War Department presented the largest number of 
candidates for naturalization under the new law. Their loca- 
tion and distribution were general throughout the United 
States, extending from points in Maine, throughout the 
country, to the Pacific coast, in the various cantonments, 
army camps, posts, and military stations. So insistent was 
the demand for immediate action to naturalize the soldiers of 
foreign birth in our ranks, in order to enable units to move 
solidly and prevent dismemberment, that the Bureau detailed 
immediately such of its experienced officers as it could spare 
to take charge of instructing the newly appointed examiners, 
even though their removal from their regular stations resulted 

in embarrassments to courts, court officials, and thousands 

259 



AMERICANS BY CHOICE 

of candidates under the general provisions of the law. From 
various sources throughout the United States men qualified 
in law and typewriting were nominated by citizens interested 
in accon^plisbing this great need for our military forces. In 
less than two weeks the process of naturalization had b^un 
in many of the cantonments, and by the end of June, 63,99S 
soldiers had become entitled to all of the rewards of the 
American soldier by having citizenship conferred upon them. 
The necessity of this legislation was clearly shown by the 
report of the I^ovost Marshal Greneral, from which it appears 
that there were 123,277 soldiers not naturalized. This total 
comprised 76,545 foreigners who had not declared their in- 
tention, and 46,732 declarants. 

CITIZENS AT HEABT BUT " ENEMY ALIENS*' 

A very important by-product of this legislation went to 
the benefit of persons of foreign birth, long resident- 
many of them practically life-long residents — ^in the 
United States, but still aliens, and many of them enemy 
aliens, in those states which at that time permitted voting 
upon the declaration of intention without the completion 
of naturalization. In many thousands of such cases, 
these persons, technically aliens, not only had sons and 
grandsons in the military service of the nation as volun- 
teers or willingly drafted soldiers, but were themselves 
of the highest degree of loyalty, enlisted to their last 
ounce of energy and resources in the country's cause, 
and in good faith believing themselves to be citizens in 
full standing for every American purpose.^ 

An important provision of the Act of May 9, 1918, had for 
its purpose the relief of those subjects of the Central Powers 
who are able to establish their loyalty to the United States. 
£ver since the States of Indiana, Missouri, South Dakota, 
Nebraska, Kansas, Arkansas, and Texas have been admitted 

^ Anntud Report of the Commissioner of Na^alissation, Jane 90^ 
1918, p. 38. 

260 



CITIZENSHIP VIA MILITARY SERVICE 

to statehood, aliens have been allowed to vote under the 
constitutions of these States upon the making of their declara- 
tions of intention to become citizens of the United States. In 
several other States this condition prevailed* but in recent 
years there have been such changes in the constitutions of all 
of the States* except the seven named* that the franchise is 
limited to American citizens. With the operation of the pro- 
visions of the law requiring alien enemies to register there 
were disclosures of himdreds of thousands of loyal residents 
of the United States who believed themselves to be citizens, 
but were found never to have completed their natundization. 
Cases have been reported of unnaturalized foreign-bom resi- 
dents of the United States who have lived here over 70 years; 
persons who were brought here as infants by their parents 
and who settled in those States where foreigners have always 
enjoyed the right of franchise. Instances were shown of those 
who had fought ii^ the Civil War; where they had held offices 
of trust and responsibility, both of an elective and appointive 
nature, such as members of the State legislatures, mayors, 
judges, postmasters, and in x)ther capacities. The registra- 
tion required of persons bom in the Central Powers, who had 
not completed their American citizenship, disclosed the most 
shocking state of affairs. Men and women who have their 
children and grandchildren in the military forces of the 
United States were disclosed as being not only as aliens but 
enemy aliens; with no means for removing the stigma. 

The relief jm)vided by Congress permitted such alien 
enemies to be naturalized under certain restrictions 
which need not now be detailed, except to mention that 
the Bureau of Naturalization was empowered to inter- 
pose objection in any case at its discretion, and obtain 
continuance at its pleasure. 

As was pointed out by Representative Howland of 
Ohio, in 1910, in hearings before the House Committee 
on Inmiigration and Naturalization, there has always 
been a public sentiment in favor of allowing honorably 
discharged soldiers to vote, regardless of naturalization. 
Both such soldiers and their children have in good f aitk 
18 ««1 



AMERICANS BY CHOICE 

believed themselves to be citizens. It appeared in those 
hearings, by the way, that no requirement of citizenship 
for enlistment in the army, navy, or marine corps had 
existed in the United States until 1894, when an Act was 
passed,^ providing that at least a declaration of inten- 
tion should be required for a first enlistment. This 
was suspended during the Spanish-American War, but 
reinstated in force after the dose of that war.' 

Representative Meeker of Missouri presented to the 
House of Representatives in the summer of 1918 the 
results of a personal inquiry regarding the attitude of 
the nations of the world regarding the relations between 
citizenship and military service.' Space is not here 
available for even an outlind of what this inquiry dis- 
closes; suflBice it to say — though it is obvious enough — 
that never in the history of any niodern nation save 
this has there been a wholesale sweeping into citizen- 
ship, by reason of military service alone, of a very large 
number of aliens upon an exhibit of qualifications con- 
sisting in the last analysis of ability to pass the physical 
tests of admission to the military service of the nation. 

True, the form of an inquiry as to character and fit- 
ness was maintained; but the fact is substantially, that 
not only was full citizenship conferred upon every for- 
eign-born soldier who desired it, but appreciable moral 
pressiu^, to say the least, was exerted to induce many to 
accept who cared nothing about it or perhaps did not 
want it, as well as upon large numbers who had but 
scant understanding of what it was all about. A few 
definitely refused to be naturalized, for reasons vari- 

1 Section 2, Act of August 1, 1894 (UniUd States Statuies^-Large^ 
«16). 

* Section 12, Act of March 2, 1899 (SO United States Statviea-ai' 
Large, 979). 

* Speech of Jacob E. Medser, M.C., of Missouri, July 12, 1918. 
Beprint from Congressional Record; Government Printing QflBloe^ 
1918. 

262 



CITIZENSHIP VIA MILITARY SERVICE 

ously stated and inteipreted; a few could not get the 
required indorsement of their officers (who in absence of 
others were accepted as witnesses) ; on the whole, how- 
ever, it may be said that the mass of those admitted 
under the "military naturalization" procedm^ knew 
well enough what was happening, welcomed it gladly, 
and were proud of the new status thus suddenly con- 
ferred upon them. There is no purpose here to criticize 
or demur to what was done; but it should be clearly 
understood that it went far to overturn and nullify all 
the elaborate procedure of hypercritical precaution, so 
carefully constructed by the Naturalization Service 
during twelve years, to the end of straining out of the 
raw material of adopted citizenry every gnat of alien 
disqualification. 5^70^^ dl ^Xl^.l . \(fX ^ , 

ALL SAFEOUArIs ABANDONED 

In the previous year, 1917-18, even though the war wasi'^ 
already in full blast, of l£,18d petitions denied mor^ 
than two-thirds (8,422) were denied for the strictly 
technical reason of "incompetent witnesses," "dedaraV 
tion invalid," and "want of prosecution," and only\ 
1,720 for "immoral character" and "ignorance." In 
the last year before the outbreak of the war (the fiscal 
year ending June 30, 1914), of 118,572 petitions dis- 
posed of, 13,133 were denied, most of them (8,986) for 
these three reasons; only 1,735 for reasons going 
definitely to the question of character and personal 
fitness embodied in "immoral character" and "igno^ 
ranee." These figures are cited only to emphasize the 
fact that up to the moinent of the installation of the ( 
system of military naturalization — ^and even after that 
time outside of that system — ^the policy of meticulous 
vigilance was maintained. In the six or seven weeks 
between the enactment of May 9th and the end of the 

fiscal June 30, 63,993 soldiers of foreign birth were 

268 




J 



AMERICANS BY CHOICE 

scooped into citizenship complete for every purpose. 
One year later, June 30, 1919, the total number of these 
military naturalizations had reached 12S,9S5* The 
total number of petitions granted in the entire period 
1908-18, even including the militaiy naturalizations 
up to July 1, 1918, had been only 848,777. 

Under the provisions now in view, aliens generally, 
who were in the army, navy, marine corps, or United 
States merchant marine, who had made declarations of 
intention, could be naturalized wiliiout proof of five 
years' 4'esidence in the United States, if it could be 
shown that such residence could not be established; 
aliens in the military service during the war could peti- 
tion for naturalization without previous declaration or 
proof of residence, and the machinery ci naturaliza- 
tion, hitherto enlisted in the cause of delay, was now 
devoted to every possible espediUon. Hearings were 
as nearly immediate as possible. Aliens who had been 
accepted previously into the military or naval service 
on condition of becoming citizens were required to 
prove only three years' residence. Honorable dischari 
from previous service were accepted as evidence of bol 
residence and satisfactory character when suppoi 
by the evidence of two witnesses, and where such 
sons were actually in the service there was comph 
waiver of the requirement of certificates of arrival, 
well as of the usual ninety days' posting and the statu- 
tory intc9*val of thirty days before an election. 

The proceeding might be held in the most convenient 
court. Persons, other than enemy aliens, who had erro- 
neously believed themselves to be citizens, who had 
lived in the United States for at least five years preced- 
ing July 1, 1914, could be natiuralized without dedara- 
tion of intention. And the payment of any fees was 
excused in applicants in the miUtaiy service, except in 
those states where the derk of court is required to turn 

264 



CITIZENSHIP VIA MILITARY SERVICE 

into the state treasuiy his half of the receipts; in those 
states only that half needed to be paid. 

ALL RACE BESTBICTIONS BSOIOYED 

Furthermore, the e£Pect of the law was such as to remove 
the racial restrictions, so far as soldiers were concerned. 
A number of Japanese and Chinese aliens were admitted 
to citizenship under the military naturalization law. A 
dispatch to the Associated Press from Honolulu, dated 
February 14, 1919, cited Judge Horace Vaughan, of 
the United States District Court for Hawaii, as having 
*' already granted naturalization to 184 Japanese who 
entered the service," and as holding that they were en- 
titled to citizenship under the law. Indeed, the law 
does say, repeatedly, **any alien.** 

It was provided, too, that any American citizen, 
native or foreign-bom, who, as would have been the 
case under previously existing law, had lost or might 
be deemed to have lost his citizenship by enlistment and 
oath of allegiance to another sovereignty in the military 
service of "any country at war with a country with 
which the United States is now at war" might fully 
and forthwith restore his American citizenship simply 
by taking before any United States consul, or any court 
having authority to confer citizenship, the oath of 
allegiance to the United States. 

In a word, the Act of May 9, 1918, overturned every- 
thing the Bureau of Naturalization and the courts had 
been contending for and making into law at great ex- 
pense of time, money, and devoted labor. The bars 
were not simply let down; they were obliterated. 

ORDINARY NATURALIZATION DISRUPTED 

"The soldier naturalization work completely dis- 
rupted," says Commissioner Campbell, '^the other 

265 



AMERICANS BY CHOICE 

naturalization work that arose in the courts under the 
general provisions of the naturalization law, almost 
the entire force of naturalization examiners being 
necessary for the task," . . . "even though their 
removal from their stations resulted in embarrassment 
to courts, court officials, and thousands of candidates 
for naturalization under the general provisions of the 
law/; 

It is impossible at this time to say, or even to estimate 
with any degree of confidence, how many of the aliens, 
thus hurriedly naturalized, actually saw the battle 
lines in Europe, or even endiu*ed the perils by sea in- 
volved in transport to the other side. A large number 
of them never got farther from home than the army 
can^ to which they were first sent. No statistics on 
this subject have as yet been collated, or perhaps ever 
will be. It is the impression of the Naturalization Serv- 
ice, doubtless justified by the fact, that the majority 
of the foreign-born soldiers thus naturalized at the 
camps actually did get overseas, even though the armis- 
tice prevented their ever further imperiling their lives 
for the country and flag to which they had thus twice 
sworn allegiance. The main reason for the haste was, 
as the Commissioner says, to finish the naturalization 
of the alien members of units in time for embarkation. 
The courts engaged in this work at the large encamp- 
ments, and particularly at the points of rendezvous for 
embarkation, worked overtime. Eight courts were used 
at Newport News alone. Every eflfort was bent to 
catch the men before they went overseas; in many 
cases aliens thrown into casual units were quickly nat- 
uralized for the special purpose of permitting them to 
catch up with their own organizations. 

"Enemy aliens,** as a rule, were handled separately. 
In one "job," 855 Serbs and Rumanians from Transyl- 
vania, which was then a part of Austria-Hungary, 

266 



^ CITIZENSHIP VIA MILITARY SERVICE 

were turned in a trice into full-fledged American 
citizens. 

Many got away without being naturalized, but made 
up for it when they came home again, not a few with 
wound stripes to reinforce their title to the new privilege. 
There were naturalizations even in the hospitals, where 
men in beds raised their right hands to take the oath of 
allegiance. Little doubt about their knowing what 
they were doing. 

On the other hand, undoubtedly there were many 
who did not at all understand. At one of the large hear- 
ings at one of the far Western camps surreptitiously 
brou^t their certificates of naturalization to two 
women investigators for one of the Government War 
organizations, and wanted to know what they meant. 
• " Would you be so good as to tell us what these papers 
are? " they said. " We got some papers before, and had 
to go to court as witnesses. We had a great deal of 
trouble. We would like to know if these papers will 
get us into more trouble.'* 



STATISTICS OF ALIEN REGISTRATION 

The total registration under the operation of the Selec- 
tive Service Act, during the whole period, June 5, 1917- 
September 12, 1918, according to the report of the 
Provost Marshal General,^ was 23,908,576. Of these 
registrants' — ^roughly speaking, one-fifth of the total 
population of the United States — 20,031,493 were citi- 
zens; 3,877,083 were aliens. Of the citizens, 1,336,967 
(6.67 per cent) were foreign-bom and naturalized. Of 
the aliens, about one in three (1,270,184 — 32.76 per 
cent) had declared intention to seek citizenship. More 
than two and one-half millions (2,606,901 — 67.24 per 

^ Second Report of the Provost Marshal General to the Secretary qf 
War^ 1918, p. 89. 

267 



AMERICANS BY CHOICE 

cent) were aliens out-and-out, still owing full allegiance 
to other sovereignties, and of nationality, so far as the 
war was concerned, divided as follows: 

TABLE XXX 

Allegiance of Aliens Rbgistebbd Under the Selbctivs 

Servicb Act^ 



NUMBUB 



Pbb Cbnt 



Tbtal registration 

AgesM-31 

Ages 18-20, S2-45 

G>be]ligerent8 (the Allies) 

Ages 21-31 

Ages 18-20» 32-45 

Neutrals 

Ages 21-31 

Ages 18-20, 32-45 

Enemy and alHed enemy. 

Ages 21-31 

Ages 1&-20. 8iMi5 



3,877,083 
1,703,006 
2,174,077 

2,228,980 
1,021,063 
1,207,917 

636,601 
249,034 
387,567 

1,011,502 
432,909 
578,593 



100.00 



57.49 



16.42 



26.09 



We have no figures to show how many of those aliens 
and declarants registered in the registration of Septem- 
ber 12, 1918, were below the age of 21 years; therefore it 
is not possible to say just what proportion were avail- 
able for naturalization under the special provisions of 
the law of May 9th. The previous registration had 
applied altogether to men above the age of 21, and of 
course all of those in the subsequently registered dass 
82-45 were naturalizable so far as age was concerned. 

The classification of registrants under the registra- 

^ Second Report cf the Provost Marehal General to the Secretary cf 
War, on the Selective Service System to December 20, 1918^ p. 90, 
Table 23. 

268 



CITIZENSHIP VIA MILITARY SERVICE 

tion of September 12, 1918, never was completed, being 
stopped by the armistice of November 11th; therefore 
the availability for service of the citizens and aliens has 
been reported only for those between the ages of 21 and 
31. Of the 1,708,006 aliens and declarants of this age 
classification, a little less than one in three (538,363 — 
31.61 per cent) had declared intention. The fitness of 
these for service is shown by the following analysis: 

TABLE XXXI 
/Fitness fob Ssbyicb of Ausn Rbgibtbantb^ 



Placed in Class I. 
Declarants — 
Nondedarants. 



Placed in deferred classes. 

Declarants 

Nondedarants 



NUICBXB 


Pbb Ckmt 


414,889 


24.88 


160,594 


29.64 


258,795 


21.79 


1,288,617 


75.67 


877,769 


71.86 


910,848 


78.21 



^ Second Report of the Provost Marshal General to the Secretary of 
War, on the Operations i>f the Selective Service System to Decenriber 
20, 1918, p. 91, table 25. 



ALIENS AND MILITARY SERVICE 

As the Provost Marshal General says, in discussing the 
intricate legal situation which the legislation of May 9» 
1918, was calculated in part to meet, *'it was realized 
that, from the point of view of international law, not 
all aliens stood on the same footing in this country/' 
He analyzed the differences as follows: ' 

(a) An alien occupying a diplomatic post enjoys immunity 
from military service, as well as from many other burdens, 

^ Second Report of the Protost Marshal General to the Secretary of 
War, on the Operations of the Selective Serrioe System to December 
2Q, 1918, p. 88. 

269 



AMERICANS BY CHOICE 

for he b the repies^italive of a foreign country, present by 
consent and invitation^ and is protected by a number of 
privileges not enjoyed by a private citizen. Diplomatic 
privileges do not extend to consuls, as they are not diplo- 
matic officers, but merely representatives for commercial 
purposes. 

(b) A transitory alien friend cannot be compelled to serve 
other than mere police duty, for otherwise commercial inter- 
course would be interrupted and the person might be required 
to aid a coimtry in which he is a stranger. 

(c) An alien friead who is domiciled, that is to say, who is 
a permanent resident, can be compelled to serve, for other- 
wise he would receive the benefits of the government without 
sharing the burdens. An alien's declaration of intention to 
become a citizen, though it does not make him a citizen, is 
conclusive evidence that he is properly to be considered a 
permanent resident. 

(d) An alien enemy cannot be forced to serve, for otherwise 
he would be compelled to fight against his own coimtry. 

(e) A national of a country with which the United States 
has a treaty containing appropriate provisions may enjoy 
exemption from compulsory military service. Some of our 
treaties exempt all of the citizens of each c^ the high contract- 
ing parties. Others exempt only certain designated classes. 

The situation described in paragraph (c) was the one 

under force of which Congress, in the Sdective Service 

Act of May 18, 1917, based the draft "upon liability to 

military service of all male citizens, or male persons, 

not alien enemies, who have declared their intention to 

become citizens," between the designated ages. As the 

Provost Marshal General pointed out in his first report, 

heretofore quoted, the exemption of alien nondedarants 

would have created great injustice in the enforcement of 

the local quotas in states and regions disparate in the 

ratios of native bom and aliens; therefore, in legislation 

of May and June, 1918, Congress changed the basis of 

apportionment to meet this inequity, and incidentally 

270 



CITIZENSHIP VIA MILITARY SERVICE 

so that thereafter it became incumbent upon the alien 
to bear the burden of proof of his right to exemption. 

It is fair to assmne, as the Provost Marshal General 
said,^ 

that it was impossible for the local and district boards or 
any other governmental agencies independently to ascertain 
whether or not a registrant was a nondeclarant alien, because 
such an inquiry would involve a search of the records of the 
naturalization courts. Federal and state, throughout the 
entire country^ to ascertain a negative — wz., whether a per- 
son had not declared his intention C'an obviously impossible 
and absiurd inquiry," as one judge has said). . . . The regula- 
tions and instructions required local and district boards to 
give every alien ... a full and fair hearing, or a full and fair 
opportunity to be heard, on any claim of exemption that he 
might have. . . . Local boards were authorized to inquire into 
the status of any registrant where they had reason to believe 
that the particular registrant was a nondeclarant alien and 
had failed through ignorance to claim exemption, and, if such 
were found to be the case, the boards were required to ex- 
empt him. 

Legal advisory boards were established to aid regis- 
trants — ^the coiu1;s generally upheld the right of out-and- 
out aliens to exemption — ^moreover, in regions where 
there were large numbers of aliens, the local draft boards 
often, if not usually, included men of foreign race or 
descent as well as men interested in and closely familiar 
with the foreign-born population, who took every pains 
to inform the ignorant and protect them in their rights. 
On the whole, it is highly probable that the spirit of 
the law in this regard was substantially observed 

^ Second Report of the Provost Marshal General, 1918, p. 95 
' A complete and current index of declarants in the Naturalization 
Bureau at Washington would have made this a simple matter— :but 
such an index never was up-to-date, and even the attempt to keep it 
at all was abandoned altogether in 1915-16, as the Commissioner 
acknowledged in his report for that year. 

271 



AMERICANS BY CHOICE 

throughout the couniiy. The Naturalization Burdau — 
virtually helpless as it was to prove or disprove claims 
of alleged nondedarants — had referred to it more than 
50^000 



FOBEION BORN EAGER TO SERVE 

The Provost Marshal Greneral declares that **the mass 
of foreign-bom residents were themselves permeated 
by the spirit of readiness to waive their exemptions and 
voluntarily accepted the call to military service.^ 

Thousands of nondedarant aliens of cobelligerent and even 
of neutral origin welcomed the opportunity to take up arms 
against the arch enemy of all; the records of correspondence 
in this office contain doquent testimony to this spirit. The 
figures of alien classification indicate this, and the local 
boards report explicitly that the number of nondedarant 
aliens waiving their exemption was very large (191^491). 

There came eventually into being a '^Foreign 
Legion/' made up principally of nondedarant aliens, a 
large proportion of whom, because of birth within the 
territorial sovereignty of Austria-Hungary, were tedi- 
nically enemy aliens. Their spirit is well exemplified 
in a letter written by one such "enemy alien" at a time 
before the army had awakened to the fact that these 
men, whatever the technicalities of the prevailing polit- 
ical geography might seem to show, were Allies in spirit, 
with better cause to fight their titular sovereign than 
any other sort of American; the author was a Jugo- 
slav, who had been offered exemption because of his 
"Austrian" nationality: 

... I received the civil dothes sent from Cleveland, and at 
the same time a thought occurred to me which never left me — 
that I should fed ashamed to leave the army and go back to 
civil life. Indeed, how I love my young, healthy life, how I 
long to be free again, going my own ways without hearing the 

^ Secmd Report cf the PravoH Marshal Oeneralp 1918, p. 96. 

272 



CITIZENSHIP VIA MILITARY SERVICE 

ocMnmand of another. But alas, am I justified to think of my 
own liberty and happy life, when the moment is here that 
calls on every young man to give liberty to others? Away» 
you selfish thoughts. On into the battle: I am a Slovene 
myself, and my fathers and grandfathers never had an oppor-* 
tunity to fight for liberty. Indeed, they fought for himdreds 
of years under the command of Hapsburgs to continue slavery 
and tyranny. . . . Good by, my beloved young life; I shaQ 
not return to my happy home until the day has come when I 
can proudly see the liberated Jugoslavia in a liberated world. 
Then I shaJl return, conscious that I have done my bit. If I 
shall perish — ^I am afraid I will — ^let it be so; the only thing 
I am sorry about is that I don't possess hundreds of lives, 
giving them all for liberty. 

Dear brother, the suit of clothes you sent me I sold to-day 
to a man for thirty dollars, who thinks less than I do. 

The provisions for immediate naturalization turned 
the '* Foreign Legion" into a legion of citizens, and took 
out of the category of aliens thousands of men of like 
spirit. As for those of neutral nationality who with- 
drew their declarations of intuition in accordance with 
the provision made by Congress, and lapsed into purely 
alien status, the following tabulation from the second 
report of the Provost Marshal General, although only 
partially complete, is illuminating:^ 

TABLE XXXn 

Neittraib Withdbawino fbom thb Ssbyice 



Total neutral alien declarants registered June 5, 

1917-S^t. 11, 1918 

Placed in deferred dass (66.62 per cent) 

Placed in Class I , 

Exempted on withdrawal <3i declaration 



77.644 

61,726 

25,918 

818 



In this group only three per cent availed themselves of 
the privilege. 

^Second Report of the ProvoH Marshal Qenerak I9I8, p. 102. Table 90, 

273 



AMEBICANS BY CHOICE 

Of the significance and extent of the response to the 
opportunity for immediate naturalization, the Provost 
Marshal General says: ^ 

One test of the spirit of loyalty among aliens may be found 
in the number of naturalizations applied for and granted to 
registrants since the United States entered the war. Such 
action inspires a s^itiment of admiration for their readiness 
to enter the war in the service of their adopted country. The 
Bureau of Naturalization reports that the total niunber of 
naturalizations in the United States between October 1, 1917, 
and September 30, 1918, was 179,816; and that since the 
passage of the Act of May 8, 1918, the number of naturaliza- 
tions accomplished in camp, up to November 30, 1918, was 
155,^6. And there were only 414,389 aliens placed in Class I 
up to September 11, 1918 (including declarants and non- 
declarants), and as a large portion of these must have gone 
overseas prior to June, 1918, it is plain that the opportunity 
for naturalization found a hearty response from the great 
majority of ahens to whom it was offered. 

AUSTBIANS WHO WEBE NOT FOB AUSTBIA 

Concerning the technically enemy aliens of the Austro- 
Hungarian allegiance, the same report shows that when 
Austria-Hungary became an enemy nation in December, 
1917, it affected the status of some 239,000 registrants, 
and that thereupon the camps were found to contain 
"thousands of Austro-Hungarian declarants, not de- 
ferred on ordinary grounds, and also a large number 
(probably about 9,000) of Austro-Hungarian non- 
declarants who had waived their alienage exemption." ^ 
"A great majority of these men," says the Provost 
Marshal General, "were of the oppressed races of 
Austria-Hungary, and therefore sympathetic with the 
cause of the Allies and ready to remain in camp." As 

^ Second Report of ihe Provost Marshal Oensralp 1918, p. 102. 
2 Ibid., pp. 104, 105. 

274 



CITIZENSHIP VIA MILITARY SERVICE 

an evidence of this the report cites the fact that in one 
camp, regarded as typical m absence of complete returns 
called for by the Adjutant General of the army in 
October, 1918, as to the aliens who desired discharge 
or were suitable for discharge under the head of enemy 
aliens:^ 

Out of a total of 1,589 aliens in this camp in October, 1918, 
only 289 asked for discharge when the opportimity was offered, 
or less than 20 per cent. Of these aliens, 383 were technically 
enemy aliens, virtually all being either of Austro-Hungarian 
or of Turkish allegiance; and 189, or a few more than 36 per 
cent, applied for discharge. Of the cobelligerent aliens, 1,006 
in all, and composed almost entirely of British, Italian, and 
Russian subjects, only 24 applied for discharge, or a little 
more than 2 per cent. Of the neutral aliens, 200 in all, 84 
api^ed for discharge, or 42 per cent. These contrasts be- 
tween the several groups show just such cleavage as we might 
expect. The general figures indicate how slight was the dis- 
position of these alien groups to withdraw from the oppor- 
tunity of taking arms against the world foe. 

THERE WAS HITMAN WAB-TIME PSYCHOLOGY 

It would have been less than human, in the hectic state 
of public feeling conditioning all the preparations for 
war, had there not been instances — ^perhaps very many 
instances — ^in which aliens were enlisted in spite or in 
ignorance of their right to exemption; in which they 
were virtually forced by local sentiment, displayed in 
various more or less illegal and outrageous ways, to join 
the army; but, on the whole, those who either actually 
or by default waived their exemption were willing 
soldiers, and their performances were quite equal in 
fidelity and courage to those of the native-bom or nat- 
uralized citizens. 

^Second Report of the Provo9t Marshal General, 1918, pp. 101, 102. 

276 



AMEBICANS BY CHOICE 

The Provost Marshal General is to some d^ree 
candid about this: ^ 

That the boards occasionally aDowed themselves the 
patriot's privilege of pleading with the man who had not fully 
reflected on his duty is not to be doubted. An Italian was 
about to daim exemption on account of alien citizenship. 

''Are you sure you want to do this?" asked the chairman 61 
the board. 

"Why not?" was the inquiry. 

"There are two reasons,*' said the offidal. ''One is the 
United States, the other is Italy. Two flags call you to the 
colors. There is a double reason for you." 

"I'U go," he said. 

But that the boards should be disparaged for thus at times 
taking on the attitude of a recruiting officer no one would 
maintain. Here, as in all other incidents of the draft, the 
situation varied somewhat in different localities; and without 
a doubt there were rare and sporadic local instances of care- 
lessness and of bias which led to improper inductions. . . . 
These various instances of induction <^ nondedarant aliens, 
whether properly or improperly made, led to a number of 
diplomatic protects on their behalf by the representatives of 
foreign governments. The numb^ of these protests reaching 
this office from the Secretary of State was some 5,852 in all. 

DIPLOMATIC BEQUESTS FOB EXEMF^IO^ 

The list of these protests is interesting; it is arranged 
here in the order of the number of cases, but for a fair 
assessment of the sentiment value involved, one should 
take into consideration the war* statu/s, and the relative 
proportions, of the nationalities represented in the total 
registration. These statistics are not in all cases avail- 
able; btit so far as the report of the Provost Marshal 
Greneral gives them, they are given in the last column: 

^ Second Report of the ProvoH Marshal General to the Secretary cf 
War, on the Operations of the Selective Service System to December 
90, 1918, pp. 96>97* 

276 



CITIZENSHIP VIA MILITABY SERVICE 



TABLE XXXm 

DiPLOlCATIC RSQITBSTO FOB DiSCHABGB OF AlIBNB, AND TOTAL 

Bbgibtbation of Ausnb, bt Cottntbt of BnrxH 



Ck>BSLLia- 

■RKNTB 


NUM- 
BMROW 

QUBBTS 


NmiBBB 

Rxou- 

TMRWiD* 


NsuraALB 


Nttm- 
bbb ov 
RB-t 

QUBSTS 


NUMBBB 

RBouh 
tbbbds 


Russia 

Italy 


1,488 

166 

110 

65 

28 

22 

18 

12 

5 

5 

4 

8 

8 

2 

2 


808,508. 

652,071 . 
88,881 
62,484 

467,468'.' 
56,607* 

4. 

16,701 
28,500 

4 

18,814 

4 

4 

4 


Switzerland . . . 
Spain 


005 

502 

404 

241 

216 

100 

85 

61 

7 

5 

4 

4 

4 

2 

1 


21,888 
44,820 


Oreece 


Norway 


62,656 


Portugal 

Cuba 


Penm^rk r r , , , 


88.457 


Sweden 


00,005 


Crreat Britain 


Mexico 


102.617 


Japan. 

Braxil 

Belgium 

China ,. 

PftTiftmA. 


Netherlands.. . 

Persia 

Colombia. ..... 

Argentina 


27»100 


^ronrfk 


Peru 




Guatemala . . . 
Honduras .... 


Yenesuda 

Chile 




Siam 


Santo Domingo 








Total 


1.877 


2,228,080* 


Total 


2,780 


686,601' 








EnSMT AXfB 


Nttmbbb ov 

RBQUBflTB^ 


NUMBBB 

RaouraBSD* 


Tvakey. 
Bulgarii 
Austria. 
German 




071 
804 ' 
62 
8 


81.608 


1 


10,878 




751.212 


y 


158,800 


^. •**.•••. ....••• 




Total 




1,845 


1.011.502 ' 






Grand tot« 


J 


5,852« 


• 















^ Stoond Report of the ProtfoH Marshal General, 1018, p. 400. 

* Ibid,, p. 800. 

' This total represents the registration from all the BritLdi Empire. 

* Not separately listed. 

' Includes nationalities not listed in this table. 

* jSfc. as per Reports. 



19 



277 



AMERICANS BY CHOICE 

BECIPBOCAL CONSdUFTION AMONG COBELUGEBENTS 

A large factor in the diplomatic interchanges arising out 
of induction or attempted induction of aliens into the 
military service was the situation regarding cobelliger- 
ents. It does not call for extended description here; 
suffice it to say that the policy of reciprocal conscrip- 
tion and of crediting registrants, whether citizens or 
aliens, with the fact of their enlistment under the flag 
of any of the Allied nations, largely relieved this situa- 
tion, so far as the nondedarant alien was concerned. 
A collateral development was the upgrowth of desire 
on the part of representatives of the oppressed races of 
Central Eiurope to organize armed forces under their 
own commanders, and to proceed more or less inde- 
pendently to the battle line. Of this the Provost 
Marshal Greneral says: ^ 

The situation thus presented • • . was finally relieved in 
part by two measures. In the fia*8t place, the War Depart- 
ment conceded that aliens of the oppressed races, who had 
already enlisted in the Polish foreign l^ion, should not be 
required to be discharged and returned to the American 
draft; but that in future no such enlistment should be sanc- 
tioned. In the second place, the Army ApiHx>priation Act 
authorized the organization of the Slavic Legion . . . into 
which could be enlisted aliens of the oppressed races — 
Czecho-Slovak, Jugo-Slav, and Ruthenian (omitting Polish), 
who were otherwise exempted under the draft. . . . Com- 
putations . . . give estimates for the number of nudes of 
military age who would have been eligible for enlistment 
under this act ranging between 188,000 and 880,000. 

OF GEBltfAN DESCENT, BUT LOTAL AMERICANS 

Tlie Provost Marshal General takes occasion to pay 
high tribute to the thousands of registrants of German 

^ Second Beport cf the ProvoH Marshal Oeneral, 1918, p. 107. 

278 



CITIZENSHIP VIA MILITARY SERVICE 

stock who "loyally stood by the American flag/* not- 
withstanding the "natural distrust" at first attending 
them in public opinion, "and the notorious intrigues 
of the German government to secure their support." 
The opportunity afforded to such of them as could 
satisfy the courts and the Naturalization Service of 
their loyalty, to become American citizens, was availed 
of by them in large nimibers. It is regrettable that, as 
the Provost Marshal General says: ^ 

Unfortunately, time has not sufficed to analyze the natural- 
ization papers and thus discover the variances between the 
different nationalities in this demonstration of loyalty to their 
adoptive country. 

DESERTION, AMONG ALIENS AND CITIZENS 

It has been asserted by ill-informed persons representing 
on the one hand those who attribute inherent defi- 
ciencies and evil tendencies to the immigrant as such,. 
and on the other those who seem to think that the immi- 
grant as such is somehow superior to the native-bom 
American, either that the desertions from the army or 
evasions of military service were inordinately numer- 
ous on the part of foreign bom as compared with the 
native bom; or, per contra, that "the proportion of 
desertions among the native bom is about twice as 
great as among the foreign bom/' ^ In point of exact 
fact and essential justice, neither of these views is justi- 
fied. The Provost Mardial General deals directly, and* 
with broad justice, with this situation: ^ 

Of the 474,861 deserters reported, the registration cards of 
185,081 state that they are aliens. Of this niunber, ^,706 

^ Second Report of the Provost Marshal General, 1918, p. 102. 
« Scott Neaping in New York Call, April 24. 1919. 
' Second Report of the Provost Marshal General, 1918, p. 206; Appen- 
dix table 77-A, p. 462. 

279 



AMEBICANS BY CHOICE 

had declared their intention to become oitisens, and were, 
therefore, subject to draft, while 129,^268 had not declared such 
intention, and were, therefore, on proper proof of alienage, 
entitled to exemption. There were also 83,107 enemy alien^ 
who, of course, would not have been accepted in any event. 

There are two main reasons for the large proportion of 
alien desertions. The first is that many aliens, knowing that 
under the selective-service law (and also, for many countries, 
by treaty) they were entitled to exemption, believed that, by 
stating on the registration cards that they were aliens, they 
had performed their full duty with respect to the draft; they 
ignored the regulations which required them to submit pnx^ 
c^ alienage. The second is that many of them did not speak 
English, were ignorant of the laws and customs of this country," 
did not know that they were required to keep their load 
boards informed of their addresses, and failed to realize their/ 
obligations to this country under the selective-service law. 
And the difficulty experieaced by the local boards in reading 
and writing their names frequently caused the mail notices 
addressed to these registrants to go astray. 

Apart from the foregoing explanations, however, which 
would suffice to show that such aliens did not desert in the 
ordinary sense, but merely failed to come forward to claim 
their exemption, there was undoubtedly a large exodus €i 
aliens from some of the border states, and those near to the 
seaboard, where the easiest course fOr these ignorant and mis- 
guided persons seemed to lie in flight beyond the national 
boundaries. 

The figures upon which the Provost Marshal General 
thus comments are given by him in Table XXXIV.* 

It is clear from these figures, and regardless of the 
allowances made by the Provost Marshal General, as 
quoted above, that nearly 11 out of every 100 aliens 
registered, as against a little more than 3 out of every 
100 citizens, who, in one way or another evaded or sought 
to evade the draft; also that it is simply not true that 

* Sec(mdR£portqfthePr(W)stMarshd6erieral,l91S,p.fm^ 

280 



CITIZENSHIP VIA MILITARY SERVICE 



*'the proportion of desertions among the native bom 
was about twice as great as among the foreign bom/' 
True, the citizen-deserter percentage of the whole 
number of registrants is 2.71» as against an alien- 

TABLE XXXIV 

CoicPABiscnT OF Reported DESEBnoNS of Ausn and 

CinzEN Reg»tbant8 



Dl»BBTION8 


NXTMBSB 


Total alieii and citisen registrants, June 5. 1917 
to Scot. 11, 1918 


10.679^14 


Totii] desertioDS. ,.»....,.., x r ^ r » t r .,,,,.,.. . 


474.861 


Total alif^n rf^strants 


1.708.000 


B/qx>rted alien desntions 


185,081 


Total citizen reiristrants 


8,976,808 


RfiDorted ritiisen desertions. .................. 


289.780 







deserter percentage of 1.75 . . . but there were nearly 
six times as many citizen registrants as alien. In order 
even to equal the alien ratio, the citizen deserters would 
have had to be considerably more than three times as 
numerous as they were. But no such plausible excuses 
could have been made for them! There are no avail- 
able figures to show how many of the citizens who thus 
evaded service were of foreign birth. 

WAR*8 TEST OP "tHB BfBLTING-POT '* 

The essential quality of manhood in America was 
tested in all this business, and gave the lie direct alike 
to those Americans who were wont to sneer at the alien 
among us, and to the German autocracy which counted 
upon those of Grerman descent in this country to prove 
disloyal to America. ''The cosmopolitan composition 
of our population was never more strikingly disclosed/' 
says the Provost Marshal General, ''than by the recent 

281 



AMERICANS BY CHOICE 

events of the World War, Then the melting pot stoo4 
in the fierce fires c^ the national emergency; and it^ 
contents, heated in the flames, either fused into the 
compact mass or floated off as dross." And he goes on 
to say:^ 

The great and inspiring revelation here has been that men 
of foreign and of native origin alike responded to the call to 
arms with a patriotic devotion that confomided the cynical 
plans of our archenemy, and surpassed our own highest ex- 
pectations. No man can peruse the muster roll of one of our 
camps, or the casualty list from a battlefield in France, with- 
out realizing that America has fulfilled one of its highest mis- 
sions in breeding a spirit of common loyalty among all those 
who have shared the blessings of life on its free soil. No need 
to speculate how it has come about; the great fact is demon- 
strated that America makes Americans. 

It is no part of the province of this volume to mul- 
tiply words about the way in which these adopted 
citizens of every racial blood gave account of them- 
selves in the thousand ways of war service under their 
new-pledged flag. That is history, which, as General 
Crowder said, can be read broad upon the face of every 
list of those who fell — ^foreign and native bom side by 
side, their intermingling blood poured forth for '^Amer- 
ica.'* The diaiy of a German officer, found on the 
battlefield,^ tells what the common enemy found: 

Only a few of the troops are of pure American origin. . • . 
But these semi-Americans fully feel themselves to be the true 
bom sons of their country. 

AN OLD PRACTICE WITH A NEW SIGNIFICANCE 

Who shall forecast the effect of this wholesale admission 
of diens to full citizenship and potential political power 

^ Second Report of the Provost Marshal General, 1918» p. 86. 

282 



CITIZENSHIP VIA MILITARY SERVICE 

in the United States? How many of these men were 
among those whom, in earlier proceedings, the rigorous 
precautions of the past had kept at arm's length? They 
came up in courts far from their home jurisdiction; no 
longer was the esteem of neighbor a prerequisite; no 
longer was it necessary to have lived even one year in 
any particular vicinage — or, indeed, to have any resi- 
dence at all! There can be no checking up, even now, 
to see whether even a criminal record should have de- 
barred the applicant; the Bureau of Naturalization was 
more than 500,000 behind in the examination of nat- 
uralization certificates even before this flood of new 
ones was poured in upon its overworked force! 

In the old days, before the establishment of the Nat- 
uralization Service, there was hurried admission of 
thousands of aliens, regardless of qualifications, within 
short periods, and it was deemed a dreadful menace to 
our institutions. Of course this was very different &om 
every point of view; but was the difference sufficient 
to guarantee real assimilation into the spirit that we 
like to believe characterizes sound American citizenship? 

WHAT SOME JUDQES THOX7QHT OF IT 

The questions addressed by the Americanization Study 
in the sununer of 1919 to the naturalizing judges 
throughout the country included this question: 

Do you believe that the admission of large numbers of 
aliens under the Act of May 9, 1918, solely on the ground of 
military or naval service, without the usual requirements of 
residence, etc., operated on the whole to the advantage of 
the United States? 

The paucity and hesitation, even reluctance, of the 
replies are a striking evidence of the impossibility of 
answering the question. Of 356 judges who gave any 

288 



AMERICANS BY CHOICE 

attention at all to the question, 110 frankly declared 
themselves unable to express any opinion whatever. 
Thirteen were in grave doubt, inclining to the n^ative; 
16 said only, "I hope so"; 108 replied flatly, "No," 
The others (109) in various phrases expressed their 
a£Bb*mative. But many of these affirmatives were 
greatly qualified. Some thought the advantage applied 
only or chiefly to those soldiers who had volunteered; 
others believed that the mental and physical training 
and the psychological effect of imperiling his life for 
the flag would offset the evils involved in hasty admis- 
sion of the otherwise unqualified individual. Many 
argued that, whatever the doubts about the wisdom ot 
the policy, it was "only fair," "it is their right," "you 
cannot deny citizenship to a man whom you compel to 
fight for the country," etc. 

"I held up about 68 Germans and Austrians," says 
one judge, whose vote was an emphatic "No"; "but 
the government at Washington advised taking them 
in — and they were." 

In a number of instances the judges declared that 
they went against their own judgment in admitting 
men whom they regarded as unfit — ^naturalizing them 
only upon the insistence of the representatives of the 
Naturalization Service. An eloquent illustration of 
the about-face in the policy of the Bureau! 

"No, decidedly!" cried a Michigan judge. "It was 
a colossal blimder!" 

"An impulsive act of Congress," answers another; 
while an Iowa judge voices the opinion of many in 
saying: 

Mere willingness to fight is not necessarily an indication 
of either patriotism or fitness. 

Among these judges were several worthy of note who 
officiated at the naturalization of very large numbers 

284 



CITIZENSHIP VIA MILITARY SERVICE 

of soldiers. The striking fact is that these, almost 
without exception, were in various degrees enthusiastic 
in their expressions of belief that the policy was a good 
one. Some contented themselves with a mere "Yes" 
for answer. Among these was one who naturalized 
more than 10,000 men at one of the great camps of de- 
barkation. Here are a few characteristic expressions 
from others: 



"They gave the best evidence of loyalty." 
"It was the best thing to do under ^e circumstances." 
"I do not see how the government could do otherwise with 
men in the service before allowing them to go overseas." 

"Yes. I have naturalized 400 and 500 men at a time, and 
seen their enthusiasm for thb country, which, in my judg- 
ment, was no sham." 

"My policy was to decide for the applicant wherever I 
could under the facts." 

"I found in a majority of cases aliens in the armed service 
were as enthusiastic as our own native-bom sons." 



HERE WAS "attachment TO OUR PRINCIPLES"! 

The naturalization of an alien under our laws [says Com- 
missioner CampbeU]^ may be compared justly to the "coming 
of age" celebration of the heir of a great estate. It is the 
formal recognition of an accomplished fact, the attlainment of 
manhood with all of its implications of the putting away of 
childish things and the assumption of the obligations that 
mark the mature and responsible personality. . . . The 
vital thing to bear in mind in considering the statistics of 
naturalization is that these figures represent human beings, 
and human beings in that most important stage of human 
progress stepping upward from the infantile stage of bUnd 
and unquestioning obedience, backed by external compulsion, 
to the plane of political maturity which not alone has a part 
in the making of laws, but, what is more impcnrtant, must 

^ Report of the Commiaeioner qf Immigrationt 1917, p. 1. 

285 



AMEBICANS BY CHOICE 

obey the laws from an inward and sdf-imposed sense ct 
obligation. . . . Genuine citizenship b primarily a state of 
inward feding> and only secondarily one of knowledge. It is 
not impossible for one to be a good citizen who is ignorant of 
the forms of our government or who even has no very clear 
mental conception of the basic principles upon which it is 
founded. 

The completion of the nationalizing process is marked 
for every essential spiritual purpose, as Professor 
Weatherly said,^ "when the things of the spirit are 
held in comimon and cherished by all," or, as Renan 
expresses it, when the people " have a comimon glory, 
by reason of having " done great things together. 



9> 
99 



How may a"* man more convincingly show his "at- 
tachment to the principles of the Constitution,'^ his 
benevolence toward "the good order and happiness" 
of his country, than by imperiling his life for it? 
"Greater love hath no man than this." 

A candidate for naturalization, in ordinary condi- 
tions exhibiting knowledge of the legal relationship 
between the Federal and state governments, knowing 
the name of the President of the United States, the 
date of the battle of Bunker Hill, the cause of Shay's 
Rebellion, and when the yellow fever came to Boston, 
may have no more idea of what the flag of the United 
States means and might mean than he has of the mental 
processes of the ichthyosaurus; his very plenitude of 
intellectual accomplishment may indeed make him 
only the greater menace to the essential welfare of his 
comimumty. 

But when he becomes a citizen in the very act and 
fact of going forth under that flag to lay down his life 
for what it stands for — ^what better thing can he do, 

^Proeeedings of the American Sociological Society, 1910, voL v., p. 
57 et aeq, 

286 



CITIZENSHIP VIA MILITARY SERVICE 

what better evidence can he oflfer, of his "inward and 
self-imposed sense of obligation? '^ Nay, more, how 
better may he show that he is enlisting in the service of 
his new country something that was kindred in the old? 
There was a ringing challenge to aU our smug self- 
sufficiency in what the Bohemians bore on their banner 
in that Cleveland parade: 

Amebicanb, Do Not Bb Dibcoubaged: 

We Have Been Fiqhtino These Ttbants 

Fob Thbee Hxtndbed Ybabs! 

Many of us looked upon these men as somehow 
sneaking into a privilege, overlooking the fact that 
they were bringing us a gift! 

ASSIMILATING THE ENEl^ES OF TYRANNY 

We are hardly yet awake to the wonder of what hap- 
pened, to the magnitude of the work of national assim- 
ilation that took place aU in a moment. We were very 
stupid about it. One of the most important officers 
of our army, charged with great responsibility in the 
preparations for the war, naively confessed some time 
after the United States had entered upon it, that he 
did not know who were the Czecho-Slovaks, or from 
what part of the world they came! And it was only 
with the greatest difficulty that the army authorities 
were made to realize that most of the races making up 
that political nightmare known as Austria-Hungary 
desired nothing so much as the chance to help over- 
throw the unspeakable tyranny from which they had 
fled, against which they and their fathers had *^been 
fighting for three hundred years." Better than the 
Allies themselves they understood the cause of the 
Allies, yet to the American army authorities they were 
only "enemy aliens"! 

287 



AMERICANS BY CHOICE 

It was in keeping with our statistical customs, not 
only in the Naturalization and Immigration Bureaus, 
but in the very census itself, to class an Austrian as an 
Austrian, knowing little and caring less about the 
world of difference between a Magyar and a Czech, 
between a Croat and a Slovak — though all were '* Aus- 
trians *' to the superficial eye of the census enumerator — 
and the General Staff of the United States army, which 
was going to war against '* Austria" with absurdly, un- 
pardonably vague, notions as to what an *^ Austrian'' 
might be! It required a vigorous campaign of educa- 
tion before there could emerge even a fair, working in- 
teUigence in this regard; but emerge it finally did, and 
the anti-Austrian ^^Austrians" at last got their chance 
to go forth as American citizens under the Stars and 
Stripes to help give the coup de grdce to the old oppressor 
of themselves, their fathers, and their fathers' fathers. 



EPISODES OF MILITART NATURALIZATION 



^* 



In one army division, at Fort Riley, Kansas, thirty 
nationalities were represented by the candidates for 
citizenship, including not only the pseudo-Austrians, 
but Rumania, Serbia, Bulgaria, Montenegro, Armenia, 
Syria, Guatemala, Honduras, the Azores, and most of 
the rest of the civilized world. At Fort Ril^ was made 
the record of "forty-three citizens in forty minutes." 
At Camp Devens, Massachusetts, more than 2,000 men 
were admitted to citizenship and took the oath of alle- 
giance in one operation, lined up on the parade-ground 
by nationaUties. A New York State court naturalized 
soldiers of fifty-six racial varieties on the first day of the 
visiting court. 

In a session of court held in a Tennessee encampment 
the court crier opened the ceremonies with his, ^Qyez! 
C^ez!" and a procession of dignitaries, military and 

288 



CITIZENSHIP VIA MIUTARY SERVICE 

civil, marched in under the flags for the ceremonial — a 
solemn invocation, an address by a venerable judge, 
and the crash of "The Star-spangled Banner," Then 
the general made a speech, m which he welcomed each 
of those who a little while before had been "strangers 
and foreigners,'' and dubbed him "one of otir men/' 

"Fellow citizens, comrades!" he struck home with 
booming voice in his peroration, "we will lash ourselves 
together with hoops of steel, and go forth to avenge the 
outrages that have been conmiitted. There is no power 
on earth that can keep us from our purpose! " 

Some soldier started the song, "Keep the Home Fires 
Biu-ning," and the aliens of a little while before, many 
of them hardly knowing the English word, joined in, 
with lusty emphasis upon and new significance in the 
refrain, 

**Till the boys come homer* 



Down in Alabama, a government official at a similar 
session apostrophized Liberty in strident Polish, fol- 
lowed by a second lieutenant in similar vein, but in 
Italian; and even those of other tongues, including 
English, who could not understand the words, knew 
well enough or felt in their hearts the drift of it. 

As has been said, some got across without naturaliza- 
tion, and one aftermath of that was an extraordinary 
scene in the Walter Reid Hospital at Washington. The 
opportimity returned to the woimded there, in dramatic 
guise. An orderly walked through the wards smnmoning 
all men who desired to become citizens to gather at once 
in the library, to be taken before the judge. 

There was a scrambling from cots, men with missing 
limbs, lads with heavily bandaged faces, soldiers in 
every manner of hospital n£glig6. The thump of 
crutches was heard along the halls — ^more than a hun- 
dred answered the first call. When the officer in charge 

' 289 



AMERICANS BY CHOICE 

looked over the battered and motley assembly^ saw the 
lame and helpless being assisted into motor vehicles 
for the journey to court, he gave an order designed to 
produce more formal dress for another occasion, but did 
not dampen the ardor of that going! And before the 
judge they held up their hands, or stumps of hands, 
and swore their fealty to the country to which already 
they had given better proof. 

Out at Camp Zachary Taylor, near Louisville, Ken- 
tucky, is a great ash tree, now come to be known as 
*' Naturalization Tree." Its arms, in benedicticm, have 
been spread out over many hundreds of new citizens 
as they took the oath of allegiance and marched away 
upon their first American duty. That tree is for them 
a monument, a memorial of a Great Occasion. 

In one of the Eastern camps three officers, helping 
the Naturalization Service in this business, looked up 
at one another in the spell of a common thought : 

"^Here we are. Major Schmidt, Captain Pulaski, and 
Lieutenant Martinelli'^ — such might have been their 
names; they were of races as various — "all of foreign 
birth, helping to make Americans!" 

'Twas a pregnant thought, and it typified what was 
going on all over the coimtry, in preparation for the 
"doing of great things together," for the new nation's 
acquisition of "a common glory in the past ... a will 
to do still greater things in the future." 

In the varied procession that passed on this errand 

before just one court came a Gentleman from Verona 

and a Merchant of Venice, as the judge himself 

styled them; a Filipino who had served two years in 

the Philippine constabulary; an Abyssinian count, 

born in Somaliland and claiming kinship to IQng 

Menelik and to speak twenty-seven languages. Then 

there was Dugga Ram, a Hindu, whom the judge made 

an exception to the rule against Asiatics; and the man 

290 



CITIZENSHIP VIA MILITARY SERVICE 

from Russian Poland, who denied having any sovereign 
at all; the Armenian who said he would refuse citizen- 
ship if to get it he had to acknowledge himself a Turkish 
subject; the technically alien color sergeant who had 
served for years in the regular army and had been 
wounded in the Philippines. 

An old soldier of the Civil War, still an alien in the 
eyes of the law, a Kentuckian seventy-six years old 
with a wife and six children, aU bom on this soil, and 
Americans beyond cavil, took advantage of the oppor- 
timity to file his tattered old army discharge of 1865 
in lieu of "first papers." There will be, till he dies, two 
Great Dates in that old fellow's life — 1861, when, like 
the aliens of this war, he pledged his life to maintain 
the United States, and 1918, when the United States 
formally accepted him into full recorded fealty and 
fellowship. Yet the Fad had been a himian reality for 
nearly sixty years! 

There were not a few officers who had been commis* 
sioned in oversight of the fact that their alienage legally 
should have barred them. The drfect was swiftly 
removed. And there were English and Irish and 
Scotch and Welsh — ^and others, too — ^who had been 
here so many years and were so saturated with all that 
is essential of Americanism that their naturalization 
seemed a formality almost absurdly superfluous. 

To all of these at various times and under diverse 
conditions — sometimes in glaring noonday inbreaks of 
dreary camp routine; sometimes at night in the last 
hours before the grim setting forth for France — ^great 
words were spoken to solenmize and signalize the trans- 
action. Perhaps the best of all was that tense sentence 
of General Bell: 

I beg cf you not to take this oath of allegiance to the UnUet 
States urdees His in your heart to do so. 

291 



AMERICANS BY CHOICE 

Let it not be forgotten that nobody compelled these 
men to utilize this privilege. The law stipulated only 
that they ^^Trtay petition." Their alienage would have 
exempted them from service and the peril that awaited 
them. 

At first, the certificates of naturalization were deliv- 
ered; but later, as the flood of applicants became over- 
whelming and the complications involved hurried 
departure overseas, before the papers were ready, and 
other considerations, the delivery was delayed, and the 
men were advised to arrange to have their precious 
'Mast papers'' sent rather to their homes, or even 
retained in Washington until after the war. This was 
a deep disappointment to the new citizens; and at 
Camp Upton, for one example, a judge, who knew 
men by heart, caused the drawing up of a mimeo- 
graphed temp<M*ary certificate, properly embellished 
with "SS," "Be it known," and all the rest of the 
imposing verbiage, with the scddier's name suitf^bly 
prominent in mid-page. 

THOSE WHO WENT WITHOUT CITIZENSHIP 

Many alien soldiers who were entitled to naturalizar 
tion went overseas without having been naturalized; a 
large number before the permission had been made 
available. Many others, still in the cantonments, had 
not yet been reached by the process. The situation 
with regard to such of these as, on their discharge, took 
steps to get the citBenship to which they were entitled 
is suggested, even if not completely set forth, by the 
former chief examiner of one of the large districts, 
quoted by the Commissioner of Naturalization in his 
report for 1919: ^ 

^ Report of the Commisnoner of NaturaiisuslUm^ 1910» pp. 21» 82. 

292 



CITIZENSHIP VIA MILITARY SERVICE 

After the armistice a different situation arose. Many 
thousands of soldiers have been, are being, and for some time 
will be discharged who did not have the opportunity to be 
naturalized while in the service. The work in connection 
with their naturalization . . . devolves solely upon the force 
ci this service; . . . the army is no longer in a position to 
render aid. . . . The demands upon the field-naturalizaticm 
offices are so great that both civilian and soldier naturaliza- 
tion have had to suffer. Because of inability to furnish a 
sufficient allotment for additional clerical assistants in the 
office of the derk of one of the largest naturalization courts 
in the United States, the clerk is able to care for but a small 
proportion of the soldier applicants as promptly as should be, 
and, under his present allowance, will be able to naturalize 
only approximately a half dozen daily. In another office of 
the clerk of a large naturalization court, civilians and honor- 
ably discharged soldiers are being turned away without 
receiving attention; and this is equally true in the field nat- 
uralization offices. So large a number of soldier applicants 
are coming into the field offices that in some it has become 
necessary to take the names and addresses of the apphcants 
as they call and send notices to them at a future date when 
they can hope to have their applications attended to. Notices 
have also been inserted in the newspapers notifying them of 
the time they may appear, in order to save llie time and 
expense of useless trips to the offices of examiners. It has 
also been necessary to close the doors of naturalization offices 
when the number of applicants admitted to offices constituted 
as many as could be accommodated. This has resulted in 
turning away from 100 to 150 soldiers and civilians daily in 
several cities. Because of insufficiency of appropriation, it 
has become necessary in one field office to limit the taking of 
civilian petitions for naturalization to only two days of the 
week in order to take care of the applications of honorably 
discharged soldiers. 

These demands upon this service and the offices of the 
clerks of courts are so great that the government is being 
severely criticized for not providing facilities for both the 
soldiers and civilian foreign bom to take steps 
20 «^3 



AMERICANS BY CHOICE 

toward procuring their American citizenship to which they 
are justly entitled. 

A GREAT COMPOSITE RECORD OF LOTAI/TY 

Mr. Raymond F. Crist, then Director of Citizenship 
in the Bureau of Naturalization, pays a well-deserved 
tribute to the loyalty and the sacrifices of the foreign 
bom, and points to the enhanced responsibility laid 
upon us by the service these men gave. In his report 
to the Commissioner of Naturalization,^ ** Concerning 
Americanization Activities,'' Mr. Crist says, in part: 

The names upon the roll of honor of the nation that were 
cabled back by the American Expeditionary Forces in France 
give emphatic testimony to the loyalty of the foreign bom. 
The names on the rolls represent all Eim)pean nationalities. 
So strongly in evidence were these names that they might 
well have been the rosters of the dead and wounded of any or 
all the European countries. The percentage of distinctly 
non-Anglo-Saxon names was exceedingly high. These lists 
still give mute testimony to the fact that the immigrant and 
the immigrant's sons have laid down their lives for the land 
of their adoption. When the final records are computed they 
will imdoubtedly show the presence in the military forces of 
our nation of the full quota of those of foreign birth. Their 
presence in our military and naval forces has worked a trans- 
formation with them. It has created an after-war debt and 
obligation upon the United States. The alien-bom soldier 
has retmmed to America an educated and transformed indi- 
vidual. He is an American in all the senses. 

Without intention to cavil or quibble about what 
Mr. Crist says — ^for what he says is essentially true — 
it is needful to remember that neither the stress of 
emotion imder which these mass ceremonies at the 
camps were conducted, nor the act and fact of natural- 
ization itself, nor yet, in any substantial way, the 

^ Report of the Commiasioner of NaturalizaHon, 1910, p. 37. 

294 



CITIZENSHIP VIA MILITARY SERVICE 

experiences in the army, could make new creatures of 
these men. They were afterward — ^they are iiow, 
especially in the diill reaction from the exuberance of 
that excited period — ^what they were before — "just 
folks" — goody bad, and indifferent, like the rest of us. 

But there is this difference in what it means to them: 
They were welcomed into citizenship without the heart- 
breaking, gnat-straining suspicion through which, in 
normal times, they would have had to go if they went 
at all. And no politician iu*ged or herded them into 
voting status and power at any stage of it. For their 
American citizenship and share in the common sov- 
ereignty they are under obligation to nobody. They 
bought what they got, as it were, with their own blood. 

What intellectual preparation or textbook schooling, 
what weary treading of red-tape labyrinth, what minute 
inspection by government f unctionaiy in zealous search 
for undotted or uncrossed letters in a seven-year-old 
document, would better test or attest an alien's capac- 
ity for citizenship, or make his induction safer for 
Democracy? 

Anyway, these men — ^those not dead on foreign fields 
as their first, and last, service to the flag — ^have gone 
back to their communities with a new status, and, we 
may hope, with a new sense of their relation to and 
responsibility for the nation's welfare. It remains to 
be seen what use they and the rest of us will make of 
these new things. 



THE FOREIGN-BORN WOMAN, HER HOME AND HER 
CHILDREN, IN AMERICAN POLITICS 

The foreign-born woman plays directiy in American 
politics a part somewhat, but not much, more important 
than that played by snakes in the zoSlogy of Ireland. 
There are several reasons for this besides the fact that 
hitherto she has shared the legal disabilities conmion 
to her sex in the American political scheme — ^which fact, 
by itself, has now been largely mitigated by the final 
ratification of the Nineteenth (Woman Suffrage) 
Amendment to the Constitution of the United States; 
though even that applies only to the ballot, and has 
not removed either the legal or the general traditional 
limitations and inequities under which women, in most 
parts of the country, still abide. So far as the ballot is 
concerned, the American woman, native or naturalized, 
is now acknowledged to be an individual person. 

But the foreign-bom woman, if married, is subject 
to a substantial limitation. She has citizenship only 
if her husband has it; she derives it, not by virtue of 
any act or wish or character of her own, but by strict 
^inference from that of her husband. However much 
she may desire to become an American citizen, she can- 
not do so unless her husband chooses to become one; 
however desirable in her own right or fitness, the unfit- 
/' ness of her husband, or his rejection for any other 
reason, tp^o/odo excludes Aer. And, i^er cofi^a, howev^ 

much she might desire to remain a subject or citizen of 

29(1 



FOREIGN-BORN WOMAN IN POLITICS 

the country of her birth or former residence, the nat- 
uralization of her husband, with or without her consent, 
even with or without her knowledge, ij>so facto inflicts 
American citizenship upon her. True, this is tech- 
nically subject to the provision of the law requiring 
that she must herself be eligible for citizenship; but, 
as has been stated elsewhere in this volume,^ there is 
disagreement among the authorities as to whether this 
proviso was intended by Congress to apply only to 
women of those Oriental races, which are ineligible 
per se, or is applicable generally to the individual 
woman; also, there has been some attempt to hold that 
the wife is not naturalized by the naturalization of her 
husband if she bontinues to reside in the old country. 
Some judges will not naturalize a man if his wife remains 
abroad. Cenerally speaking, however, the construction 
is that the wife, whoever and wherever she may be, 
comes into American citizenship willy-nilly with the 
acceptance of her husband. 

More than that, a woman bom and residing in an- 
other country becomes an American citizen by her 
marriage with <me; the clergyman, or other official, who 
pronounces them man and wife attests also an auto- 
matic and instantaneous change of jurisdiction and 
allegiance. It works equally the other way about — ^an 
American woman, marrying an alien in this country, 
in the house in which abe was bom and has lived for 
twenty years, forthwith, and regardless of any wish of 
hers in the matter, becomes inatarder in the eyes of 
American law — and generally of international law as 
well — a citizen or subject of the sovereignty to which 
her alien husband owes allegiance. It is conceivable, as 
is elsewhere remarked, that her act in marrying an 
alien might deprive her of any citizenship at lUl, since 



^ See cliap. iii on Cituensliip, p. 40 ei $eq. 

9Sn 



AMERICANS BY CHOICE 

no country can actually confer upon any person citizen- 
ship in another. This, however, is academic, since 
practically everywhere it is fundamental in the law 
that a married woman's citizenship goes with that of 
her husband. 



REGARDLESS OF QUALIFICATIONS 

By this means she may become a citizen, regardless of 
her age or minority or moral character, without having 
resided in this country five years, or any other length 
of time; without any inquiry as to physical or mental 
qualification; without taking any oath of allegiance; 
without necessarily being, or even claiming to be, '^well 
disposed to the peace and good order of the United 
States'' or ^* attached to the principles of the Constitu- 
tion." Coming to this country as an American citizen, 
she cannot be rejected or deported because of ai^ 
views she may entertain on any subject, or any conduct 
on her part, however immoral or otherwise prejudicial 
it may be deemed. She is a citizen of the United 
States, entitled to all the rights, privileges, and immuni- 
ties attached to that exalted state. There has been 
more than one case in which a woman, about to be 
deported as immoral, has been able to avoid deportation 
by marrying a citizen. 

X7NMARRIED WOMEN HAVE MALE RIGHTS 

The unmarried foreign-bom woman or widow stands, 
as far as citizenship is concerned, upon her own feet, 
afid becomes a citizen under the same conditions, and 
upon the same terms, as if she were a man. She must 
be of one of the races admissible imder the law, must 
have resided in the United States or within its jurisdic- 
tion continuously for the five years next preceding her 

298 



FOREIGN-BORN WOMAN IN POLITICS 

application, and at least two and not more than seven 
years before that application must have filed her declar- 
ation of intention; she must (unless a dumb person) 
be able to speak (and» if the court sees fit to require it> 
also to read and even to write) the English language; 
she must present her two citizen witnesses, and must 
satisfy the court that she is not an anarchist or a be- 
liever in polygamy, and that she is in all respects fit 
to become a citizen of the United States, attached to 
the principles of the Constitution thereof, "and well 
disposed to the good order and happiness of the same." 
She must abjure any former allegiance and renounce 
any title of nobility which she may have borne. 

If she be a widow with children, she must list them 
in her application, and such of them as are minors will 
gain their new citizenship with hers. But in order to 
gain citizenship with her they must be imder twenty- 
one years of age when she is naturalized, and must 
become residents of this country before they are twenty- 
one. The child is not a citizen until he becomes a 
resident. 



DANGERS OP "dERTVATIVB CITIZENSHIP** 

The subject of "derivative citizenship'* is one that han 
been much and deservedly on the mind of the Natural^ 
ization Bureau, especially since the aspects of citizen- 
ship brought to the front by the war came into wider 
attention. In his report to the Commissioner of Nat- 
uralization for the year ending June SO, 1919, Raymond 
F. Crist, as Director of Citizenship, points out that on 
the whole the male applicants for citizenship 

. . . are men who have had such opportunities to acquire 
knowledge of our language and of our institutions of govern- 
ment, and to adopt American customs, as their environments 

299 



AMERICANS BY CHOICE 

permitted. They have not been passing their lives within the 
four walls of their homes; they have had a much greater 
opportunity for contact with the American public than the 
foreign-bom women. The husband may have gone to the 
public schools of his community and acquired a practical 
equipment not only of our language, but of such character as 
is attained through what is usually called a "common-school 
education." Because he has acquired these qualifications for 
American citizenship he may be admitted. His admission to 
citizenship confers a like right upon his wife to exercise the 
franchise to-day in those states where suffrage is universal. 
To-morrow, when that right is acquired byall,theoonferring of 
citizenship upon the wife will also enfranchise her. 

The man has to pass an increasingly rigid examina- 
tion; he is personally put through a severe inspection 
of hb antecedents, his character, his personal opinions. 
His wife becomes a citizen without any examination 
whatever. The most meticulously particular court, the 
most painstaking naturalization examiner, cannot pre- 
vent her becoming a citizen and a voter without exclud- 
ing the husband, who may, on his own account, be ex- 
cepticmally desirable. 

The Director of Citizenship goes on to say: 

(jenerally the foreign-bom women reside in an atmosphere 
and an environment wholly foreign. They have no oppor- 
tunity, as a rule, to come into any sort of contact with Amer- 
ican thought. They are as though they had never left their 
European homelands and were still in their native cities and 
towns. However much their condition of ignorance of our 
language, customs, or governmental institutions may be in 
evidence, they are, nevertheless, clothed with full American 
citizenship upon the naturalization of their husbands. There 
are approximately 2,000,000 women who will receive citizen- 
ship through the naturalization of their husbands within the 
next few years, and the addition of such a large number of 

citizens who know nothing whatsoever of their responsibilities 

300 



FOREIGN-BORN WOMAN IN POLITICS 

presents a grave problem, and one which should be given the 
most attentive consideration by the legislative body. It 
would seem to be advisable to have some restrictive measure 
provided in the admission to citizenship that would condition 
the admission of a married man to the responsibilities of 
citizenship upon the qualifying of his wife. 

TThe vital importance of this question of "derivative 
citizenship" is dear in the statistics gathered by the 
Americanization Study for the fiscal year 1913-14. Of 
the 26,284 naturalization petitions covered by that 
analysis, only 154, or .6 of 1 per cent, were those of 
women. But more than two-thirds (68.5 per cent) were 
married, from which it is evident that, in the large 
majority of these cases, foreign-bom women were swept 
into citizenship by the naturalization of the husband. 
For less than one in ten of them were married to women 
bom in the United States. And even these American- 
bom women had lost their citizenship through marriage 
to aliens, regaining it only when their foreign-bom 
husbands became citizens. 



CHILDREN OF ALIENS HERE AMERICAN BORN 

These statistics bring out also another extremely inter- 
esting, and to most people surprising, fact; that is, that 
the children of our foreign-born citizens largely were 
bom in this country and are therefore, in their own right, 
American citizens. Probably most persons think of the 
foreign-bom population as coming to this country with 
a horde of foreign-bom children. This appears to be 
contrary to the facts. As can be seen in Table 56, 
in the Appendix, four out of five of the petitioners 
studied had children, and nearly three-quarters of them 
had native-bom children only. One-fifth had foreign- 
bom children only, and the rest had both foreign and 

801 



AMERICANS BY CHOICE 

native-bom. The total number of foreign-bom children 
under twenty-one years of age was 49843. 

''deriyative citizenship*' almost equals the direct 

The thing that appears plain and highly significant in 
these figures is the fact that every 100 certificates of 
naturalization granted carried into citizenship on the 
average of 93 other persons, of whom 62 were women, 
virtually regardless of their own qualifications, and 31 
boys and girls imder twenty-one years of age. The 
number of unmarried women and widows was alto- 
gether negligible. And these 62 women were virtually 
all foreign bom, the proportion of those men having 
native-bom wives, who were thus restored to their 
birthright citizenship, being only 9.1 per cent. (It 
should be remarked, however, that the proportion of 
petitioners having native-bom wives varies greatly — 
from less than 4 per cent in one court to more than 
SO per cent in three of the smaller courts.) 

Hitherto, no information whatever has been avail- 
able as to the number of persons carried into citizenship 
by the naturalization of the father. Assuming, as 
probably it is safe to do so, that the ratio has generally 
been maintained in the past, the totals of "derivative 
citizenship" become portentous. In 1910, the census 
reported 6,646,817 foreign-bom white males over 
twenty-one years of age. Of these, not quite one-half 
(8,034,117, or 45.6 per cent) were naturalized. It is not 
safe to assume that all of the remainder were unnatural* 
ized, because it is not dear that the enumerators were 
careful to report as naturalized those who, though 
foreign bom, had been automatically carried into citi- 
zenship by their father's naturalization before they 
were twenty-one. Possibly a part of the relatively large 

number of cases (11.7 per cent) in which citizenship was 

802 



FOREIGN-BORN WOMAN IN POLITICS 

not reported may be accounted for by ignorance or 
doubt as to the status of the father. 



WOliAN SUFFRAGE WAS WIDESPREAD 

However that may be, it is sufficiently evident that a 
vast number of mothers, actual or potential, have been 
accorded full and irrevocable citizenship, and the voting 
power involved, through the naturalization of their 
husbands. Of these, the proportion of those to whom 
it really meant anything, or means anything yet, is 
small. The danger, as far as the ballot was concerned, 
was and is inconsiderable. Yet it was potentially large, 
in a good-sized part of the country. Prior to the ratifica- 
tion of the Woman Suffrage Amendment women already 
had full or partial suffrage in most of the states, as will 
be seen in the following table: 

TABLE XXXV 

Yeabs in Which Full and Fabtial Suffbaob Was Granted to 

Women in Each State 



Full 




State 


Date 


Wyoming .... 


1869 


Colorado 


1893 


Idaho 


1896 


Utah 


1896 
1910 


Washington .. 


California... . 


1911 


Arizona 


1912 


Kansas 


1912 


Oregon 


1912 


Alaska 


1913 


Montana 


1914 


Nevada 


1914 


New York. . . . 


1917 


Michigan 


1918 


South Dakota 


1918 


Oklahoma 


1918 



Partial 



ScHOOii AND Tax 



State 


Date 


Illinois 


1913 


North Dakota 


1917 


Nebraska 


1917 


Indiana 


1917 


Rhode Island.. 


1917 


Arkansas 


1917 


Vermont 


1917 


Texas 


1918 


Wisconsin 


1919 


Minnesota. . . . 


1919 


Missouri 


1919 


Maine 


1919 


Iowa 


1919 
1919 

• • • • 

.... 


Ohio 







I^tate 


Date 


New Jersey. . 
Connecticut.. 

Delaware 

New Mexico. 


1827 
1893 
1898 
1910 















































303 



AMERICANS BY CHOICE 

The ratification of the Sufih'age Amendment makes 
every woman a voter for all purposes, subject only to 
the provision in the Constitution or statutes of such 
states as prescribe for those foreign bom a residence 
qualification, as in the cases of New York and Rhode 
Island. The latter state, for example, provides "that 
no woman citizen of foreign birth shall be entitled to 
vote unless she has resided in the United States five 
years." 

It is to be remembered that the question of citizen- 
ship involved many considerations besides the right to 
vote; it is an exceedingly intricate and important sub- 
ject, including title to property, the parental relation, 
etc. It would seem to lie within the powers of indi- 
vidual states to govern by statute the qualifications of 
voters, by means of a residence or educational standard, 
personal oath of allegiance, or what not. The only thing 
they cannot now do under the Constitution of the 
United States, so far as women are concerned, is to 
exclude any citizen from the ballot box by reason of sex.^ 
But only Congress can grant full citizenship to the 
foreign-born married woman regardless of that of her 
husband, and to make such citizenship optional with the 
wife would occasion much confusion in international 
law, as well as in domestic matters. It is relatively 
simple from the point of view of lay ethics and com- 
mon sense; but by no means so simple as it looks. 

APPLICANTS CAME AS YOUNG MARRIED BCEN 

The elaborate statii^ics compiled by the Americaniza- 
tion Study from examination of more than ^,000 peti- 

^This was accomplished by the Nineteenth Amendment to the 
Constitution of the United States. The Fifteenth Amendment, pro- 
claimed in 1870, already prohibited exclusion on the ground of 
"race, color, or previous condition of servitude." 

804 



FOREIGN-BORN WOMAN IN POLITICS 

tions for naturalization seem to indicate that the great 
majority of immigrants who subsequently seek citizen- 
ship are young married men, accompanied by foreign- 
bom wives; but their children are bom in the United 
States, and are therefore citizens by right of birth. These 
men do not file their petition for citizenship, in the 
average case, until they have been in this country more 
than ten years. In the meantime, their children, who 
presumably do not wait to be born imtil their parents 
have become American citizens, live in homes presided 
over by alien parents who still ding to the thought, 
traditions, and customs of the old country; what these 
children get of the American atmosphere they get in 
the public schools and in the streets. And it probably 
is fair to infer, as many students have inferred, that a 
large measure of the breakdown of home control and 
discipline, showing in the greater percentage of delin- 
quency among young people of the second generation, 
is due to this exotic condition of the homes; to the fact 
that the children are acquiring an American life of their 
own without the old restraints; they have lost — ^never 
had, indeed — something they would have had in old- 
coimtry homes, and have gained nothing to take its 
place because the homes are still "foreign." The chil- 
dren quickly learn "the ropes" of American life; they 
feel themselves superior to their parents in this respect, 
and this inevitably undermines the parental authority.^ 



THE MOTHER MUST BE " AMERICANIZED " 

The mother is the keystone of the home. Some way 
must be found to take her into the American life. The 

^ This aspect of tlie matter is admirably discussed by Miss S. P. 
Bredcenridge in New Homes for Old, Chapter VI, on "Care of the 
Children," especially pp. 153 et seq., Americanization Studies, New 
YotK Ibtrper & Brothers, 1921. 

805 



AMERICANS BY CHOICE 

citizenship which she gains willy-nilly through the 
naturalization of her husband, even after she has lived 
here for ten years, bears no necessary relation to her 
life or character. As Mr. Crist in the Naturalization 
Bureau's report for 1919 implies, she is confined within 
the four w«Jls of her home, chained to her household 
routine; and nothing in the ritual or system of nat- 
uralization calls upon her to be American in any respect. 

The position, reactions, and influences of the foreign- 
bom woman in American social life — any aspect of it, 
domestic, industrial, political — cannot be intelligently 
understood or discussed unless and until we cease to 
think of her as in any sense a peculiar animal, or even a 
human being different in any fundamental way from 
other human beings. She lived her life in the old 
country, grew up from childhood, married, came to this 
coimtry, bore her children here or before she came here, 
conducts her home, and participates or fails to partici- 
pate in all the activities of life, under exactly the same 
kind of motives and impulses, and with essentially the 
same kind of results, as would be the case with an 
American woman with the same antecedents, educa- 
tion, resources, in the same circumstances. 

She has, however, an additional handicap, and it is 
of the utmost importance to bear this handicap in mind 
in the consideration not only of her place in the general 
problem of the assimilation of the foreign-bom popula- 
tion, but of her possibilities and influence as a potential 
voter, helping to decide by her ballot the great questions 
which in America are supposed to be settled at the 
ballot box. 

Consider the native-born woman, of the old stock, 
as she has actually functioned in the widening field of 
political activity opening to her with the spread of 
woman suffrage. It is no wonder, but it is true, that the 
mass of women thus enfranchised have shown the 

806 



FOREIGN-BOBN WOMAN IN POLITICS 

results of the long-standing belief that 'Hhe place of 
woman is in the home/' She has had no reason for 
learning, and little opportunity to learn, the things per- 
taining to political life; she has not imderstood its 
problems, grasped the significance of its slogans, or 
brought her mind to bear upon its significances. 

Slowly, very slowly, there has grown up a group, larger 
and larger in numbers, but still very small in propor- 
tion, active and intelligent in the movement for en- 
franchisement, developing rapidly— perhaps even more 
rapidly than would have been the case with men — ^in 
the intellectual grasp of the subjects involved. But 
the mass of the American-born, English-speaking 
women of the country have remained what they were 
before — devoted mothers, quiet, homekeeping house- 
wives, not only content to leave these matters to their 
husbands and sons, but more or less bored by "politics" 
and on the whole somewhat resentful toward the effort 
to enlist them in the turmoil. A large proportion of 
them have been, in fact, relatively oblivious to the 
whole business. 

MUST LEARN POLITICS BY POLITICAL ACTIVITY 

It is the activity in the political function that both 
awakens interest and inspires intelligence. Why should 
a woman, brought up in the old, restricted, domestic 
tradition, forthwith become a vital, vigorous, political 
force merely because the ballot is put into her hands? 
Those who have been in the long fight for suffrage have 
been thinking, talking, agitating, and when finally their 
effort came to success they were ready for the new 
responsibilities and activities; indeed, they often have 
gone beyond the desire for mere participation in the 
routine of the layman's place in ordinary party politics, 
and have shown disitinct tendencies toward not only 

307 



AMEmCANS BY CHOICE 

independence, but what the old-timers would call 
radicalism, to say nothing of going farther into the 
ranks of the avowed radicals. A large number of these 
were active and vociferous in the Progressive party in 
191£, and in subsequent years. But the vast bulk of 
their sisters viewed all this askance or with relative 
indifference, and indifference decreasing slowly but 
steadily with the lapse of time. In those states which 
have had woman suffrage the longest and most com- 
pl<5tely, the interest and participation of the average 
native-born woman has been the most general and the 
most intelligent. 

This is, and undoubtedly will continue to be, the case 
with the foreign-bom woman. She will emerge from 
the status of a household drudge, subject to the taboos 
of tradition, the circumscribing effects of residence in a 
foreign land, and the various other kinds of narrowness 
in her life, just so rapidly and by just so much as she is 
made aware that it is to her interest to do so, is im- 
pelled by influences from without herself, and is taught 
by political activity itself to realize its practicability 
and value in the concrete things oi her life. 

Thus far, only one or two of the foreign racial groups 
have, as such, exhibited any material response to the 
political opportunities opening before their women. 
The outstanding group is that of the Bohemians, who 
for many years have been, comparatively speaking, 
awake to both opportunity and duty. They have long 
been more articidate politically than any others, earlier 
participating in the movement for woman suffrage, and 
passing on in the more radical directions. Next have 
come the Scandinavians, excepting the Swedes, who 
seem to have been more subject to the old Teutonic 
conservatism about the "place of woman." 

Geierally speaking, and as might be expected under 

the circumscribing influences of all kinds, the foreign- 
SOS 



FOREIGN-BORN WOMAN IN P(MJTICS 

bom woman has epitomized all the spiritual, intellec- 
tualy social, and political traditions and heritages with 
which immigrants come to America. The children, the 
husband, the working uncles and male cousins, all mix 
immediately with the civilization of the street, the 
factory, the shop. They have to learn English with all 
possible promptness in order "to get along." They 
hear the political patter of the street comer, they listen 
to the soap-box orator, they have to have some sort of 
relations with the politicians in order to do business of 
any kind. 

But the woman is shut in by the four walls of her 
home. If she lives, as she mostly does, at the top of 
long flights of tenement-house stairs, she is too weary 
to venture out where she may hear of the wider things 
and doings of the world. She has no clothing in which 
to go more than a stone's throw from her door. The 
routine of her life is pretty much that of a prison. 

FEW WOMEN SEEK NATITRALIZATION 

Or, if she be unmarried, the conditions are little better 

so far as concerns encouragement to oe interested in 

political affairs. It is only potentially that she is a 

factor in the political future of the dDuntry. The fact 

that the statistical analysis of the Americanization 

Study of more than 26,000 naturalization petitions 

filed in twenty-nine courts in the fiscal year 1913-14 

showed only 154 women petitioners indicates that the 

unmarried foreign-bom woman does not excite herself 

on the subject of the ballot. The real problem of the 

foreign-bom woman, so far as her equipment as a voter 

is concerned, has reference almost entirely to the vast 

number of women who are carried into citizensl^p and 

potential voting power by the naturalization c^ their 

husbands. This is a serious matter. 
21 809 



AMERICANS BY CHOICE 

The Naturalization Bureau makes much of its effort 
to enlist the interest of the women, by calling their 
attention to the educational opportunities in the vicinity 
of their homes; it may be conceded that this has had 
beneficial results in general, and has been vastly better 
than the former policy of ignoring the newly made 
woman citizen; but even giving full value to the claims 
made by various persons as to the increased interest 
and response of the wives of naturalized men, the total 
of actual accomplishment, as against the total of avail- 
able foreign women is negligible. The plain fact of the 
matter is that the foreign-bom women, naturalized by 
the act of their husbands in the proportion of more than 
sixty women to one hundred men, pay just as much 
attention to the business and to their new opportuni- 
ties, as might be expected in the circumstances. 

During the war it was even the subject of resentment, 
on the part of the wives of alien enemies, that they were 
thus forced into American citizenship regardless of their 
wishes or sympathies. In many instances of the so- 
called "military naturalization," elsewhere described,^ 
in which the husband had been taken regardless of his 
personal sympathies, and had become, while in uniform, 
a citizen under the provisions of the law which waived 
all questions of length of residence, and to a great extent 
the other qualifications which would have been insisted 
upon in ordinary times, the wife was a rampant enemy, 
aggravated by the conscription of her man — ^and often 
also of her grown sons — ^yet she became automaticaUy 
a citizen of the United States, regardless of length of 
residence, without being required even to go through 
the empty form of an oath of allegiance. Forthwith she 
was absolved from the necessity of registering as an 
alien enemy; forthwith she became for all purposes as 

^ See chap, ix, p. 255 et seg. 

SIO 



FOREIGN-BORN WOMAN IN POLITICS 

much an American citizen and as much a voter poten- 
tially as any Daughter of the American Revolution] 



SOME COURTS NOTICE THE WIVES 

Some of the courts — ^the number of such is steadily in- 
creasing — ^have taken judicial notice of this extraor- 
dinary situation^ and scrutinize with substantial care 
the qualifications of the wife. Many of them refuse to 
naturalize a man whose wife still resides in the old 
country. In his report to the Commissioner of Natural- 
ization for the fiscal year 1918-19 Mr. Crist, as 
Director of Citizenship, dwells upon this matter, quot- 
ing especially an order issued May 27, 1919, by Judge 
Gustav Anderson in the Circuit Court for Baker 
County, Oregon, which goes about as far as the court 
can go under existing law. The text of the order, so 
far as this aspect of the question goes, is as follows: 

It appearing to the court that . . . when married men 
become citizens their wives become so also by virtue of the 
marriage relation, and that it b therefore important that when 
a married man becomes a citizen his wife should also be quali- 
fied for the like duties of citizenship: it is therefore 

Ordered that . . . such applicant who is a married man is 
hereby directed to inform his wife of the foregoing provisions 
and to qualify with him for such citizenship, and that, unless 
for sufficient cause shown to the court it b otherwise ordered, 
the wife of each married man shall attend court with her 
husband at the time of the final hearing upon his petition for 
admission to citizenship of the United States. 

Judge George 6. Bingham, in the Circiut Court for 
Marion County, Oregon, previously, in September, 1918, 
had issued a similar order, in which he directed that if 
the petitioner be married he should be accompanied by 
his wife not only in applying to the school authorities 

811 



AMERICANS BY CHOICE 

for assistance in preparation, but also in his attendance 
upon the court. 

Similar action in other courts is referred to by* 
Mr. Crist in the same report : 

In one judicial district, comprising eight courts of New York 
State, the Supreme Court has required that the wife of the 
petitioner appear in court with the petitioner at the time of 
the final hearing. In other places the question has been con- 
sidered and various steps taken. The reports show that some 
judges have required a rather complete knowledge of our 
language and form of government. Some of the tests have 
befsn such as merely to show that the wife could speak Eng- 
lish, knew the name of the President and the number of years 
of his term of office, and other elementary details. Con- 
tinuances of cases have occurred where dense ignorance of 
the English language is demonstrated by simple questions, 
such as, " Where do you live? " and, " How many children have 
you?" Upon failure to comprehend these questions the con- 
ferring of citizenship has been deferred to a later period. 

Of course, in considering the question of the appearance of 
the wife some difficulties have been encountered. In numbers 
of cases sickness of either the wife or the children, domestic 
duties at the hour of the hearing, the necessity for bringing 
small children into court or leaving them in Ihe custody of 
others, represent some of the difficulties to the easy observ- 
ance of this requirement of the courts. In the opinion of one 
of the judges it is well to have the women appear in court, if 
for no other reason than that it takes them out of their homes 
and gives them some idea of what our government in actual 
operation means. After their experiences under t^iese cir- 
cumstances, even though it be accompanied by some sense of 
nervousness, the consensus of opinion appears to be that such 
a requirement is not only wholesome in its effect,. but quite 
necessary. 

OBSTACLES OF DISTANCE AND EXPENSE 

The Director of Citizenship does not mention one of 
the most serious difficulties in the way of a general 



FOREIGN-BORN WOMAN IN POLITICS 

practice of this kind, operating in sparsely settled dis- 
tricts; that is, the matter of expense. When a man 
ha^ to transport himself and his two witnesses any- 
where from twenty to two hundred miles, pay not 
only their cost of transportation, but usually their 
wages for time lost, to say nothing of his own loss of 
wages or time, or anything paid as extra compensa- 
tion to the witnesses, and this tioice within the space 
of some ninety daySy the necessity of adding the cost 
of taking also his wife becomes serious if not pro- 
hibitive. And in most cases, in city or country alike, 
a young mother is so tied down by the routine of 
domestic duties, care of infants, etc., that a con- 
siderable absence from home is flatly impossible. If, 
in addition to this, she has no interest in the matter, 
or is frankly hostile, it is likely to mean that she will 
not go to court, and her husband's petition may be 
denied for "want of prosecution." 

The Naturalization Bureau and the comts have done 
all they can under existing law to bring to bear upon 
the foreign-bom woman who will be made a citizen by 
the naturalization of her husband the influences tending 
to awaken in her a sense of her opportunity, privileges, 
and obligations. Strictly speaking, the court has no 
lawful right to summon a woman from her domestic 
duties to be a party to her husband's naturalization. 
The spirit of the law of substantially all countries from 
time immemorial has been to regard the citizenship of 
a woman as merely incidental to that of her husband. 
There was little or no necessity or reason for her to play 
any part in the business as an individual. She became 
American with her man, just as his goods and chattels 
did. No political activity or responsibility on her part 
was implied. And she, if she were an American by 
birth, or a widow Apericanized by the citizenship 

of her deceased husband, would lose her citizenship 

813 



AMERICANS BY CHOICE 

instanter upon her marriage with an alien here or 
elsewhere. 



WOMAN SUFFRAGE OPENS A NEW ERA 

Woman suffrage entirely alters the situation. Now she 
becomes, at least potentially, a political factor in her 
own right as an individual. No longer may her fitness, 
or her probable action as a voter, be in any way assumed 
from that of her husband. He becomes a citizen by a 
process presmned to search out his qualifications, and 
after preparation designed to perfect them. The law 
has provided hitherto no process by which hers may be 
adequately ascertained. Yet her vote, her political 
action in any respect, may aggravate the evil embodied 
in his by duplicating it; may cancel all the public 
benefit embodied in his by her opposing action. 

Whatever may have been said in the past, it is hard 
to find any argument adequate on the whole for con- 
tinuing this antediluvian principle and process. Every 
adult individual should come into or stay out of voting 
rights on his own merits, and not otherwise. It may 
well be argued that even minors as young as sixteen 
years should not come into citizenship by the act of 
their parents, so far as concerns their becoming voters 
at twenty-one, without act of their own. 

The voice of naturalizing judges all over the country, 
who have expressed themselves on this subject, is pre- 
ponderantly in favor of a radical change in policy. The 
Naturalization Bureau does not go so far, but stresses 
what it regards as the need of an educational test of the 
wife as a condition precedent to the naturalization of the 
husband. In his report for year ending June 80, 1919, 
to the Conmiissioner of Naturalization, Mr. Crist says: 

It would seem to be advisable to have some restrictive 

measure provided in the admission to dtizeoship that would 

314 



FOREIGN-BOKN WOMAN IN POLITICS 

condition the admission of a married man to the responsi- 
bilities of citizenship upon the qualifying of his wife. . . . 
Since the local educational authorities are both willing and 
anxious to afford these women, as well as their husbands, every 
educational facility and opportunity, a requirement of an 
educational nature would not seem to be unjust. 

This would be pretty drastic, and almost put the hus- 
band in the same position that the wife is in now — ^making 
his citizenship dependent upon her fitness ! The trouble 
is not that the wives of the naturalized males are igno- 
rant or unfit, but that they are automatically made into 
voters regardless of their fitness. Why penalize the 
man? Why not devise a way of enfranchising him, if 
fit, while withholding the ballot from her, if unfit? 

OPINIONS OF NATURALIZING JX7DGES 

The judges see it more directly. The Americanization 
Study addressed a questionnaire to all of the natural- 
izing judges, containing two questions on this subject: 

First — ^Would you favor legislation to permit the natural- 
ization of a married woman in her own name, if personally 
acceptable, regardless of the alienage of her husband, or his 
failure to obtain or refusal to seek naturalization? 

Second — ^Would you favor reserving to a native-born 
American woman, if she desired it, the American citizenship 
which, under the present law, she sacrifices by marriage to a 
foreigner? 

It is impossible to tabulate the answers, because of 
the many cases in which the judges advance qualifica- 
tions preventing their replies from being classed as 
categorical; but generally it may be said that of 333 
replies to the first question, 204, or nearly two-thirds, 
are in the affirmative, 104 are in the negative, and 25 
are noncommittal, uncertain, or so qualified as to 
represent doubt. 

815 



AMERICANS BY CHOICE 

To the second question, of S64 replies, 220, again not 
quite two-thirds, are in the affirmative, 127, or almost 
exactly one-third, in the negative, and 17 noncom- 
mittal. Curiously enough, many of those who answer 
"Yes" to the first question answer "No" to the second, 
and a large nimiber would condition their affirmative 
to both questions upon the woman's permanent domi- 
cile in this country. Of those who vote "No" on the 
second point many express the sentiment: 

If an American woman isn't satisfied to marry an Amer- 
ican man, let her lose her citizenship. 

A somewhat conspicuous fact is that, generally speak- 
ing, the judges of the East and South are opposed to 
any change in the law to admit women on their indi- 
vidual responsibility or to save citizenship for American 
women marrying immigrants, while those of the West 
generally favor both — especially the former proposal. 

"The law looks upon a married couple as cme/' says a 
New Jersey judge, "and I do not think it woidd be good 
public policy to sjp^t their nationality." 

"It would introduce great confusion in certain parts of the 
law/' objects a Federal judge in New England. 

"We favor no such pussy-willow policy," answers one Ohio 
judge, who, by the way, would require "twenty-one years' 
continuous residence," admit at all "only heads of families 
with children," and generally '' make it harder for foreigners to 
become natundized." 

'*Few men," objects a judge in Indiana, "would feel right 
toward either the govramment or his wife {sic). Few men 
have reached that stage of mind where he would be satisfied 
with such preference." 

"With the husband of one nationality, and the wife of 
another, what would be the nationality of the children?" 
demands a New Jersey judge. "What laws would govern the 
taking of personal property or the inheritance of real estate? 
A citizen married woman might have an alien enemy 
husband!" 

816 



FOREIGN-BORN WOMAN IN POLITICS 

A Federal judge in Maryland dwells upon the physical 
fact that the children are a joint product, even though 
husband and wife are separate individuals. And he 
seems to think that both of the questions imply the 
opening of large danger, in respect of the enforcement 
of Chinese and Japanese exclusion, though he does not 
say why or how such a peril would arise. 

From a Texas judge and many others come warnings 
that such a policy would give rise to endless domestic 
friction. An Alabama judge would cut round this by 
permitting the woman's declaration of her desire to be 
or remain an American citizen, notwithstanding the 
alienage of her husband, to naturalize her minor 
children. 

The general trend of opinion among the judges is to 
the effect that the institution of woman suffrage has 
abolished the old idea that the wife must accept her 
politics from her husband. As one Nebraska judge 
puts it: 

It is an outrage that the status of the wife should be in- 
fluenced by that of the husband. A man and wife are two; 
we long since departed from the theory that they are one. 

650,000 "derivative voters*' extant 

The logic of the situation in which we find ourselves 
seems inexorable. Whatever the theory upon which a 
woman takes the nationality of her husband, the fact 
is that once she has been naturalized and become 
available as a voter, she is potentially as much a force 
for good or ill politically as he. However much pains 
may have been taken to ascertain and certify his fit- 
ness, she comes in substantially without examination, 
without any of the precautions which are at least pre- 
sumed to protect the ballot box from unfit or unworthy 

approach. 

817 



AMERICANS BY CHOICE 

The Commiasioner ci Naturalization reported' at 
the end of the year 1918^19, that, during the thirteen 
years since the enactment of the law of 1906, the total 
number of certificates of naturalization issued had been 
1,0799459. If it be correct to assume that 60 or more 
women are swept into citizenship with every 100 certif- 
icates, this would mean that during those thirteen 
years something like 650,000 individuals, available as 
voters wherever woman sufiErage prevails (subject to 
the five-year-residence limitation in certain states), 
have been automatically made citizens regardless of 
any fitness or volition of their own. And this says 
nothing of the additional future voters added throu^ 
the automatic naturalization of children. In his pre- 
vious report Commissioner Campbell said:^ 

Since 1906 there have been 861,819 who have been admitted 
to citizenship upon direct application, and an equal number 
of wives and children have derived citizenship from the act 
of the petitioner. Following this average through, and the 
average has been higher down to and including the last fiscal 
year, it will be seen that about 1,250,000 have had the title 
conferred upon them without justifying the nation in any 
belief that its ability for self-government has been increased 
thereby. 

LABOELT AN IGNORANT VOTE 

We are dealing now, however, chiefly with the question 
of the married women, mothers and housewives, who 
are or now have been herded into the mass of voting 
citizens without volition or substantial interest or 
appreciation on their part. The children, particularly 
those under sixteen, may be left to the process of the 
schools and their general absorption into the life of the 
streets and the contacts of social life which quickly 

^ Report of the Commissioner qf Naturalixaiion, 1919, p. 16. 
* IHd., 1918, p. 28. 

818 



FOREIGN-BORN WOMAN IN POLITICS 

teach them not only the English language, but some 
sense of what it means to be American. In no appre- 
ciable degree are the adult women subjected to this 
Americanizing process. 

In the vast majority of cases, the potential vote thus 
added is an uninformed and often ignorant vote. Its 
characteristics are weU summarized in a memorandum 
prepared by Miss Cornelia Marvin, State Librarian of 
Oregon, in the course of which she says: 

Women are left behind in intelligence by the fathers and 
children. They do not learn English, they do not keep up 
with the other members of their families who are constantly 
in touch with Americans, and there is frequently the tragedy 
of the mother of the family who cannot read English and 
cannot understand the conversation in English which goes on 
about her. She is a ''back number," and as such cannot be 
an effective citizen. 

Women may, and undoubtedly will be, voted in herds, quite 
ignorantly, and so will be a menace — ^if they vote at all. This 
cannot be prevented entirely by naturalization, but a woman 
who has gone through the naturalization ceremony, who 
has prepared herself for the examination, and who has taken 
the oath of aUegiance, will not be so easy a subject for the 
unscrupulous. 

It is dangerous in war times to have alien enemies who are 
unknown as such. During the last year or two there have 
been cases of people who were enemies to our country, who 
swore that they were natundized against their wills by the 
acts of their husbands; that they never had any desire to 
become American citizens. 

It is inconvenient at present for women not to have their 
own certificates of naturalization, as, at the time of registering 
for election, and in some other cases, it is necessary to present 
evidence of citizenship, and the woman must present her hus- 
band's certificate of naturalization. The Bureau of Natural- 
ization proposes that a woman may receive an honorary certif- 
icate chiefly to remedy this. 

Not being required to go through the naturalization cere- 

819 



AMERICANS BY CHOICE 

mony the women miss the opportunity for education, and we 
miss the opportimity to stimulate and educate them through 
the preparation for the examination, and through the 
ceremony. 

If women should become naturalized through their own 
acts, they will prepare for the examination, and they will 
undoubtedly urge on backward husbands. Often it would be 
a great advantage to have the wife studying for the examina- 
tion at the same time, as she ordinarily has more leisure than 
the husband who, after a hard working day, needs the stimu- 
lus of his wife's interest in order to apply himself to the history 
and laws necessary for him to acquire before his appearance 
in court. 

Possibly [Miss Marvin adds], if we open the opportunity to 
foreign women through the naturalization process, the time 
wiU come when American-bom women, arriving at the age 
when they may vote, will take the oath and will go through 
some dignified ceremony which will impress upon them their 
responsibility as citizens. 

Still remains, regardless of any steps which may be 
taken in the future, a great mass of woman citizemy, 
to be reached by some process of education at least 
designed to awaken these potential voters to a sense of 
their privileges and their obligations. How may this 
be done? 

POUTICAL INDIFFERENCE NOT PEGULIAB 
TO FOREIGN BORN 

Their mere indifference to politics hardly can be urged 
against them. Our own people are notorious sinners in 
this respect. The Commissioner of Naturalization 
repeats ancient history when he says: ^ 

Surveys have been made from time to time to ascertain the 
participation in the various rights of American citizenship by 
native and foreign-bom citizens. In one large city a survey 

^ Report qf the Commieeioner of NaturaltMaiiant 1918, p. 28. 

SdO 



FOREIGN-BORN WOMAN IN POLITICS 

showed that of the first seven prominent business men 
approached none had registered. Of the 80 preachers who 
were requested to state whether they had voted or registered, 
12 had registered and 6 of them had voted. Among the 
foreign-bom citizens and newly naturalized 97 had regiistered 
and voted. 

But these voters were men. Nearly all of the statis- 
tics on which generalizations have been based deal with 
"foreign-bom males of voting age." The statistics of 
over £6,000 naturalization petitions gathered by the 
Americanization Study deal almost exclusively with 
men, save as they show that every ten certificates bring 
into citizenship more than six married women and more 
than three minors. With the ratification of the Suffrage 
Amendment to the Constitution, these six or more mar- 
ried women acquire the ballot. In many states they 
had it long before that. What about them? 



MANY WERE CALLED, BUT FEW RESPONDED 

With enthusiasm entirely commendable, the Natural- 
ization Bureau describes its efforts to arouse in the 
foreign-bom seekers after citizenship an interest in the 
opportunity before them, by notifying each candidate, 
declarant, or final petitioner, of the school privileges 
available for him. In the report of the Bureau for 
1916, the Conmiissioner says: ^ 

During the year, for the purpose of including the wife in 
this citizenship-betterment campaign by the public schools, 
the bureau wrote a special letter personally addressed to the 
wives of 49,094 petitioners and declarants, telling them of 
the advantages which would result from their attendance 
upon the public schools. The name of each wife was also 
sent, upon an individual card, to the public school in the 
conmiunity where the candidate lived. This inclusion of the 

^ Report qf the Commiseioner of NahAralixationt 1916, p. 46. 

S21 



AMERICANS BY CHOICE 

wife in the 8C<^)e of this activity was to enaUe her to get some 
ccMiceptioii of the meaning of an American home and aid her 
in establishing it for her famfly. . . . Intense interest is mani- 
fested upon the part of these wives and mothers, as in many 
instances they bring their babies to the schooboom and whik 
they sleep the mothers devote their time to learning to read, 
speak, and write our tongue in addition to receiving instruc- 
tion in the more domestic subjects. In order to insure extend- 
ing this influence to the wife of every declarant the bureau, 
with the approval of the department c^ labor, changed the form 
of the declaration of intention so as to require the indusion of 
the name c^ the wife therein, no provision having been made 
for her name in the form as originaUy pr^Mired. Approxi- 
matdy a quarter of a million women of foreign allegiance 
will be thus brought within the province of the Bureau of 
Naturalization through the filing of declarations of intention 
and petitions for naturalization by their husbands. 

Welly this is all very fine as rhetoric and the expression 
of pious wishes. But what comes of it in reality? An 
elaborate table in the report for 1919^ shows that in the 
fiscal year ended June 30th the names of 108,395 wives 
of candidates were furnished to the school authorities in 
cities and towns showing a total population of nearly 
35,000,000 people with a ^^foreign-bom white male of 
voting age" population of more than 4,400,000. And 
on the next page are tabulated reports of 166 school 
superintendents as to classes for foreign-bom persons 
in English and citizenship, showing: 

TABLE XXXVI 

Maxdium Enbollment m Citizenbhip and Enoiisr 
Clabsbs in the United States in 1919 



Men 

Women.... 
Unclassified. 



Total. 



11,854 
2,783 
1,287 



15,874 



^ B£Z)ort of ike Commissioner cf Naturalization, 1919, p. 78. 

822 



/ 



FOREIGN-BORN WOMAN IN POLITICS 

Every bit of it valuable, no doubt. Presumably, also, 
the complete figures would present a much larger total, 
but, as an exhibit of goods, it is hardly up to the promises 
of the show window! 



FOBEION-BOBN WOMEN WITHOUT POLITICAL 

EXPERIENCE 

The fact is that the married women of foreign birth, who 
are made citizens by the naturalization of their hus- 
bands, have had, as a whole, not the slightest practical 
interest in any stage of the business. In the old country 
from which they came they had, as a rule, no participa- 
tion in government ; the traditions of the society in which 
the majority of them grew up relegated women to 
domestic employments, made them subordinate to 
their husbands in every phase of public life; they have 
been slow to learn the language here, and the proposal 
that they go to school in order to fit themselves for a 
function about which they know nothing and care 
less meets with little enthusiasm on their part-^as the 
statistics of the Naturalization Biu^au plainly show. 

The intelligent woman's advent to politics always 
has been dreaded by the professional politician. He 
felt it in his bones that she might not have the poUtical 
superstitions and docility that have been exhibited 
by the average male voter; she might ask questions 
and display initiative; she might remember with an 
eye to reprisals the things that politicians, legislators, 
and executives have done to the interests of women in 
ages past. He grew eloquent about the "place of 
woman in the home,'' the demoralizmg atmosphere of 
the polling place, and so on. And, as for the foreign- 
born woman, he knew, first, that the foreign-born hus- 
band as a rule was opposed to having his wife and 
daughters meddling in such matters, and second, that 

823 



AMERICANS BY CHOICE 

all she would do» ansrway, would be to duplicate the 
vote of her husband or father. 



THET ARE GOOD MATERIAL 

As has been said, very few of the foreign-bom women, 
made citizens and voters by the naturalization of men, 
thus far have displayed much interest in politics. 
Where there has been participation by them, what has 
been their attitude? There is not much testimony on 
the subject, but what there is is largely to identical 
effect. 

The rule is [says an investigator at Los Angeles] that 
the wives follow the party allegiance of their husbands, and 
vote with them. The more intelligent, however, often think 
and act independently, voting for what they believe is the good 
of their children. The parents of the public-school children 
teach them to follow the guidance and advice of the teachers. 
I myself, as one of the accredited speakers of the Parent 
Teachers' Federation of Los Angeles, have marked hundreds 
of ballots for foreign women, and I am called up on the tele- 
phone before each election and questioned about candidates 
and measures. As a rule my advice is taken without ques- 
tion. The foreign woman acts in such matters according to 
her individual nature and her intelligent understanding. Some 
of them vote secretly because their husbands have forbidden 
them to go to the polls. 

Miss Jane Addams, whose long and intimate ac- 
quaintance with foreign-bom women, through her pro- 
tracted residence in Hull House, Chicago, entitles her 
to speak with peculiar authority, describes a typical 
experience at a polling place in the Hull House neighbor- 
hood, which is populated almost entirely by immigrant 
families: 

It was a great satisfaction to me to see what good judgment 

the women showed. There was one Irishwoman, very bright, 

S24 



FOREIGN-BORN WOMAN IN POLITICS 

who could not read, and therefore I was allowed to go into the 
booth with her to help her mark her ballot. The first proposi- 
tion was about bonds for a new hospital. The Irishwoman 
said, *'Is the same bunch to spend the money that run the 
hospital we have now? Then I am against it." The next 
proposition was about a subway; the next about a hospital 
for contagious cases, and so on. There were ten propositions 
to be acted upon. I was scrupulous not to influence her; yet 
on nine of them she voted, from her own common sense, just 
as the Municipal League and the City Club had recommended 
as the result of painstaking research. Italian women came in 
to vote who knew more about our city]i,than their husbands, 
who were away digging railroads during six or nine months 
of the year. 

Mrs. Emma Smith Devoe, President of the National 
Council of Women Voters,* describes the foreign-born 
woman citizen as taking in governmental affairs, as 
soon as she realizes that she is a voter, a most serious 
and o^iscientious interest, *' making aln^ost a religious 
duty of it." The women, she says "are particularly 
impressed with the sacredness of the ballot, and they 
always vote for the betterment of himianity as they 
see it." 

Almost every foreign woman's vote [says Mrs. Lucy B. 
Johnstone, wife of the Chief Justice of Kauasas] ' "represents a 
home where there are children who are going to the public 
schools now and fast becoming Americanized. The foreign- 
bom women are, in the main, ambitious for their children, and 
for that reason are learning, in their way, about our institu- 
tions, and are zealous to take advantage of our free educa- 
tional opportunities.' 



^Quoted in "The Immigrant Woman and the Vote," by Vira 
Boardman Whitehouse, in The ImmigratUa in America Rmew, 
September, 1915. 

*Ibid. 

22 ««« 



AMERICANS BY CHOICE 

Senator Helen Ring Robinson of Cokmulo lemaric- 
ing that ^the Italian wom^i frequ^itfy do not vote, 
while the Pde always votes and takes a keen interest 
in local politics/' says: ^ 

In the matters affecting the family poise* sudi as voting of 
a bond issue* the acquisition c^ the water sui^ly by the caty, 
etc., I find the immigrant w<Hnan usually more keenly o«i- 
cemed than her husband. 

The immigrant woman in the coal camps — like the immi- 
grant man — often votes blindly at the dictate of the boss; but 
the daughter of the immigrant woman often shows an inde- 
pendence, an understanding, and a vision, in matters of puMic 
concern, well worth the emulation of Daughters of the Amer- 
ican Revolution I wot of — and Colonial Dames. It is the 
daughter of the immigrant woman, grown to the full stature 
of citizenship, who is proving one of the most useful elements 
in our Colorado electorate. 

Miss Edith Knight Holmes, editor of the Woman's 
Department of the Portland Oregonian, wrote that: 

Personally, I have noticed women who were bom in various 
Eiu*opean countries going early in the morning to vote, as soon 
as the breakfast was over. They study their ballots carefully 
and seem most conscientious in marking them. I know an 
old Scotch lady who sat up half the night to study her ballot* 
A little English lady whom I know always tries to be at the 
polls. She goes with one of her sons to vote. 

In families where there are several little children, sometimes 
the mother next door will stay with the babies while the 
mother of the family votes, and then when she returns she 
takes care of her friend's baby while she, too, casts her vote. 

Of course, this is special pleading, and it is easy to 
exaggerate. Over against it might well be told that 
ancient story of the housemaid who was said to favor 

^Quoted in "The Immigrant Woman uid the Vote,'' by Viia 

Boardman Whitehouse, in The ImmigranU in America Renew, 

September, 1915. 

826 



FOREIGN-BORN WOMAN IN POLITICS 

woman su£Erage on the ground that it woidd augment 
the family income: 

My father and my two brothers each gets five dollars for 
his vote, and now mother and me will each get five — ^that 
makes twenty-five dollars, all for a little while in one day. 

The fact is, abundantly verified, that the foreign- 
bom woman, when she votes at all, brings to the 
function a deep sense of solemnity; it is new to her to 
participate in government; she has not acquired from 
the streets a cynical contempt for the ballot, as her 
husband and sons are likely to have done. The effect 
of government upon her home and her children is a 
more desperate matter to her, and it will take long to 
demoralize her attitude on the subject. 

But the fact is, also, that foreign-bom women have 
not in any large measure awakened to the opportunity. 
Their devotion to their homes has taken on no public 
or political aspect. They are confined^to those homes, 
not only by tradition, ignorance of American life and 
the English language, and the inertia of their exist^ice, 
but even more by overwork and by the unremitting 
detail of family duty and care. They have hardly heard 
of their new and increasing privileges, and generally 
regard them, when they do hear of them, as only a new 
burden, unfamiliar and to be ignored if not resented. 
It is only in the home, and by a realization of its direct 
and inevitable effect upon the home, her home, that 
any interest in or enthusiasm about political action can 
reach her. 

HOW THE WOMEN CAN BE BEACHED 

There would seem to be four ways in which the foreign- 
bom woman citizen can be reached with effort to 
interest her in the political aiq)ect of her citizenship: 

827 



AMERICANS BY CHOICE 

1. The normal, direct attack oi the political organ- 
izations, and vduntaiy efforts, organized and unor- 
ganized, of public-spirited citizens or oth^s interested 
in ** getting out the vote." Generally speaking, the 
politicians have scarce^ as yet discovered the voting 
power of the foreign-bom woman citizen — especially 
such as do not speak the English language. The vote 
and political influence of the foreign-bom woman have 
been negligible eveiywhere — except possibly in a few 
places where they have been rallied in a local-option elec^ 
tion. One investigator reports two or three towns in 
Illinois where a ^^wet" result was attributed to the vote 
of foreign-bom women. Other reports would indicate 
that the foreign-bom woman, like her En^ish-speaking 
sisters, have tended to favor the abolition of the saloon 
with its resulting (or, anyway, expected) reduction of 
home-coming drunkenness and deductions from the 
pay envelope. 

In districts where politically active social settlements 
and similar organizations are influential, and in states 
which have had woman suffrage the longest, there is a 
considerable appearance ci foreign-bom women at the 
polls. But they are relatively few in numbers, and con- 
sist of younger women from the more radical parties, 
from those racial groups which display the keenest and 
most aggressive social intelligence, such as the Bohemi- 
ans, and from such as in their own countries have had 
some experience with some measure of woman suffrage, 
such as the Swedes and Finns. There is quite as much 
tendency among foreign-bom women as among native- 
born — ^perhaps considerably more — ^to follow the hus- 
band's lead in politics and to duplicate his vote. In 
general, the political organizations have as yet made 
little effort to capitalize the "derivative vote." The 
mass of it stays at honiie. 

2. The campaign of the public schools, with or with- 

S28 



FOREIGN-BORN WOMAN IN POLITICS 

out the inspiration of the Naturalization Bureau, to 
induce the foreign-bom woman to avail herself of formal 
educational work in the schools. As we have seen, she 
does not, to any appreciable extent, respond to this 
campaign. Social settlements, even attributing great 
influence to them — ^though as a matter of fact few ci 
them exert any political influence whatever — ^are rela- 
tively few and far between; churches, as such, and 
other institutions of the same general kind, cannot be 
counted as substantially effective in this direction. The 
foreign-born woman goes to church in large numbers, 
but she does not get there any great impulse to interest 
herself in community affairs. She goes back to her 
babies and her washtub. 

It is in her home, in the intervals between domestic 
duties and within arm's length of the cradle and the 
kitchen table where she feeds her children, that she 
must be reached with this inspiration and instruction, 
if in any large measure she is to be reached at all. This 
brings us to 

S. The Home Teacher. The movement in favor of 
the creation of a teaching force, employed by the public 
and organically a part of the public-school system, to 
go into the neighborhoods and into the homes and 
carry instruction in English, common-school branches, 
and the elements of civics, follows logically from the 
treatment of the foreign-bom woman citizen as an in- 
dividual, and from the fact that she must be dealt with 
in or dose to her home. Classes grouped within a small 
section of a neighborhood, intensively instructed by 
teachers who realize the difficulties and limitations of 
their pupils, take on the aspect of social occasions, hdp 
to arouse a neighborhood spirit, encourage mutual 
acquaintance, and most effectively instruct those whom 
it is desired to reach. A movement of this kind, spread- 
ing over the country and backed by the public as such, 

329 



AMERICANS BY CHOICE 

follows the natural line of least resistance and tacUes 
the problem where it really lives. 

4. The direct and indirect influence of the children 
upon the mother. This is the best of all. And» while 
we are exciting ourselves about the ignorance and in- 
difference of the foreign-born woman, and bemoaning 
her possible influence upon her children, it is well for 
us to remember that these children are in the American 
public schools, talking the English language, absorbing 
whatever there may be of "Americanism" in the social 
atmosphere about them, in daily sight of the Stars and 
Stripes, singing "The Star-spangled Banner," gaining 
enthusiasm for and pride in our country, and, what is 
most important, taking home daUy to their foreign-born 
parents the direct and indirect influences of what they 
are learning, seeing, and feeling. The extent of this 
leavening process is impossible to estimate, but un- 
doubtedly it is enormous. 

A SPECIFIC EXAMPLE — IT WORKS 

Perhaps the most striking and unmistakable exhibit 
of this process is to be found in the city of Grand Rapids, 
Michigan, where the work of the Americanization 
Society presents concrete and visible results. The work 
in process there since the fall of 1918 is susceptible of 
definite and even statistical study. It has produced 
effects upon elections which can be stated in figures, 
and results in homes upon concretely discoverable 
human beings about which there can be no question. 
It is socially physiological, so to speak; working in a 
normal way in consonance with known political methods 
and customs, along the rational lines of least resistance 
— ^making use of the natural, spontaneous life oi the 
people in their ordinary social and political relationships 
and in their homes. 



POBEIGN-BORN WOMAN IN POLITICS 

A battle with machine politics over a matter of local 
administration, especially as affecting the treatment of 
the poor, convinced those interested in the unselfish 
conduct of the city's business that the way to win, 
and the only way, was to appeal to the people direct 
and get them to vote. There was no fear as to 
how th^ would votie, but the effort was not addressed 
to that aspect of the question. The slogans speak for 
themselves! 

Whether or not you vote is not your business; it is Unde 
Sam's business. HOW you vote is your business. 

It's always safe to trust aU the people. If aU the pec^le 
vote, they "^nH vote right. 

Cast ^your own ballot. When you don't vote, somebody 
else votes for you. 

How many ^otes has a man? You say one. If you don't 
vote somebody else has TWO votes. 

Tags were the weapons directly used, and they had a 
profound effect. Committees of women, drawn from 
mothers' clubs, women's dubs, parents' associations, 
etc., gave out the tags at the polls, asked the voters 
ta wear them, and pinned them on when they could. 
The only way to get a tag was to vote; everybody who 
voted found it to his interest to wear one; and those 
who didn't have tags wished they had. For the tag 
said: 

"I am an American. I voted. Did you?" 
The effectiveness of these tactics in arousing not only 
sentimental enthusiasm, but that kind of practical per- 
sonal action at and in ike ballot box which decides Sec- 
tions, is convincingly attested by the great increase in 
the registration and in the total vote.^ 

^See Table XLV, and accompanying comment, in this volumt^ 
p. 862 et ieq. 
> 881 



AMERICANS BY CHOICE 

The essential purpose of the job was to get to the polls 
every individual entitled to vote; but incidentally, or 
perhaps better to say» fundamentally, to train the rising 
generation as to their privilege and duty of participa- 
tion in public a£Fairs, and to accjplerate the naturaliza- 
tion and Americanization of the alien. In order to 
accomplish the first of these last two purposes, the 
campaign was carried into the public schools; in order 
to accomplish the second, great stress was laid upon 
naturalization. There were three other slogans: 

Send the alien to the county d[«*k. 
An early tag helps the flag. 

Get your tag early. Ask the man who has none 
WHY? 

This meant embarrassment for the untagged, and 
when the school children began to plague the untagged 
adult males it became unendurable. Woe to that 
father who came home at night without a tag! The 
family was disgraced in the eyes of the children. He 
was nagged, not about how he voted, but about why he 
didn't vote at all! 

Meanwhile, woman suffrage was established in Michi- 
gan, and the women came in for their share of the bom- 
bardment. A great campaign was b^gun to make the 
women realize their political responsibilities. It bore 
fruit in the registration of 26,000 women for the election 
in April, 1919; in one day 1,500 women registered. For 
the primary dection in March the tag system got out 
^,700 votes, and it was estimated that a blizzard raging 
on that day prevented at least 3,000 more. At the 
April election all the candidates recommended by the 
Citizens' League were elected, although the tag system 
involved no pressure as to particular candidates or 
causes. There were thirteen different matters to be 
voted upon, and the result showed notable discrimina- 
tion in the voting — ^by 37,000 voters, while from 5,000 

8S2 



FOREIGN-BORN WOMAN IN POLITICS 

to 7,000 votes could not be cast because of inadequacy 
of the polling facilities. 



WHAT THE CHILDREN DID 

The children were a vital factor in the campaign. After 
the elections they were asked to collect tags and bring 
them to school. Out of 29,000 tags given out at one 
election, they brought back more than 17,000. After 
the next election they brought back 27,000 out of 37,000. 
Flags were given as prizes to the schools showing the 
highest totals. 

In the schools — and all schools were enlisted, paro- 
chial and private as well as public schools — ^the chUdren 
wrote letters, and later little essays, describing their 
experiences, telling why it was important to vote, and 
what the issues were. The response was instantaneous, 
enthusiastic; and it requires no special imagination to 
infer the e£Fect in individual homes, not only in com- 
pelling American citizens to vote, but in virtually 
forcing alien fathers and mothers to avoid embarrass- 
ment at their own firesides by expediting their efforts 
to gain citizenship. 

Space is not available for extensive quotation of the 
children's essays; but their general tenor, and the 
reflex influence of their spirit upon the homes, may be 
imagined from such excerpts as these: 

By an eleven-year-old boy, fifth grade: The men and 

women who are citizens of the United States are regular 

voters; if they are not, they should be. ... If all the people 

voted, we should have a clean city. If your mother has to do 

all the dishes, you can say, '* Why, mother, I can do the dishes 

while you go and vote." Your father may have to rake the 

yard. Why not rake the yard yourself and let your father go 

and vote? Then the children and their parents will be good 

citizens. 

333 



AMERICANS BY CHOICE 

By a giri in the sixth grade: The American government is 
governed by the pec^le by means of voting. If peoi^e do not 
vote it is their fault that we have poor officials. • . . The 
anarchist and the other people who ignore our government 
are both destroying it, only the anarchist destroys it violently 
and the people who ignore it, slowly. Some aliens come here 
to enjoy aU our privileges without becoming citizens. They 
save their money and go bade to their old country. But some 
aliens appreciate our government, and are now of the best 
citizens we have. . . . Join hands with the American govern- 
ment. Mother, do not let Dad do it alone! 

There is plenty of direct testimony as to the effect 
of this enterprise in the home, not only of the American 
citizens, but of the aliens. Thousands of mothers who 
otherwise might have remained prisoners to indifference 
and drudgery have been fairly driven out into the 
liberation of social contacts and into a broader life of 
interest in all the things that make for responsible 
citizenship by the interest of their children. 

It is in their homes that the foreign-bom women must 
be reached with inspiration and enlightenment as to 
their part in the process of self-government and the 
privileges, duties, and responsibilities — ^and activities — 
which are essential to anything worthy to be called 
American citizenship. 



XI 

THE POREIGN-BORN VOTER IN ACTION 

There is not and never has been in the United States 
anything that could be segregated as the "labor vote," 
although such a thing has been the dream of many 
labor leaders, the bugaboo — or rather the ignis fatuus — 
of politicians of m^y parties, and a permanently 
legendary figure in the popular speech. The absence of 
such a vote is the principle reason for the political 
futility of most of the efforts of the Socialist parties. 

Tune and again, since the beginning of our existence 
as a nation, efforts — some of them with a measure of 
success promising or menacing according to one's sym- 
pathy and point of view — ^have been made to get united 
political action on the part of citizens who worked with 
their hands as supposedly distinguished from those who 
worked with their brains. The effort never has come to 
other than temporary local success; although it may be 
conceded that. In some measure, the issues upon which 
the efforts were predicated afterward came to be those 
upon which the great parties fought out their battles; 
or, more likely, came slowly to substantial acceptance 
through economic development or sometimes as the 
direct fruit of campaign agitation. 

The reasons for this failure to precipitate and organize 
the mythical "labor vote" are many and diverse, but 
certain of them are essential and fairly evident: 

First, the fact that in this country social and indus- 
trial conditions have hitherto been, and probably for 

885 



AMERICANS BY CHOICE 

an indefinite period will continue to be» such as to 
emphasize individualism. It is true, despite any denials 
or theories, that industry, initiative, enterprise, always 
have won, still win, and will continue to win advance- 
ment above the herd. The top is still open for those 
who can win to it by their own inherent qualities. There 
has been here, there is now, no permanent industrial or 
social caste classification to circumscribe ambition and 
create either a persisting intellectual leadership of 
"'labor" or a stable body of hand-workers susceptible 
of political coherence or direction. All efforts to 
crystallize ^* class consciousness" for political action 
have failed, and probably will continue to fail as long 
as the social bars are down so that individuals can pass 
freely from one class to another. 

Second, the immensity of our territory and the great 
diversity of interests and issues in the forefront of 
public attention in one section and another. Seldom, if 
ever, have the conditions which might have solidified 
any class been sufficiently widespread or synchronous 
to serve the purpose of united political sentiment or 
action. Add to this the fact that politicians of both 
the great parties, more or less intentionally, have man- 
aged always to frame the issues so as to encourage this 
diversity. 

Third, the deliberate and long-standing policy of 
the most influential of the general leaders of the labor 
organizations — ^Mr. Samud Gompers for the most con- 
spicuous example — of keeping those organizations free 
from the entanglements and distractions of party poli- 
tics, definitely preventing their acting as a political 
unit; by intention confining their activities to the in- 
dustrial, the economic field. This alone, without regard 
to the fact that the higher-grade unions (using that 
expression solely with reference to skill) seldom see 

their interests to be common, so far as the ballot box 

S86 



FOREIGN-BOBN VOTER IN ACTION 

is concerned. The radical agitation for the establish- 
ment of '*One Big Uhion," to include all classes of 
laborers as distinguished from capitalists, while it con- 
templates chiefly the exercise of industrial and eco- 
nomic power, includes the intention to concentrate 
political power as well. 

Fourth, and most important, the fact that "labor,** 
in the sense in which most politicians, and virtually all 
of the public, use the term, means chiefly the unskilled 
workers who contribute muscle to industry. These are 
to a great extent unorganized, without any conscious 
unity of interest or purpose; their approach to both 
industry and political action is as individuals — indi- 
viduals of more or less shifting residence and compara- 
tively little feeling of political responsibility. More- 
over, it is a matter of common knowledge that the great 
industrial concerns have fostered the existence of 
masses of unskilled labor, in excess of the actual needs 
of industry, in order to maintain an "overstocked** 
labor supply, for the purpose of constant wage-compe- 
tition to keep down costs. This competition has the in- 
evitable effect of discouraging united action of any kind. 
And, still further, we have found ^ that the unskilled 
laborer of foreign birth, on the average, is not available 
for political activity because he is rot naturalized. 

This body of thie unskilled, industrially indispensable, 
but politically unassimilated, inarticulate, and un- 
wholesome, consists almost entirely now, and must 
consist increasingly, of inmiigrants. Like any other 
mass of material in an organism, potentially digestible 
and useful but actually undigested and in the circum- 
stances indigestible, it has clogged the process of assim- 
ilation and is infecting the body politic with dangerous 
toxins. The wonder is that we have got along with it 

^ See Appendix Tables of Occupations, Tables LXIII and LXIY . 

SS7 



AMERICANS BY CHOICE 

so well. One of the reasons may be the very fact that 
its influences are not in the ordinary sense political. 

Foreigners: the word is used advisedly. For out of 
the welter of prejudice and misinformation surrounding 
the subject has emerged clearly the fact that by the 
time the alien man reaches the point of applying for 
citizenship and the political power that goes with it» he 
has been in this country uptoard of ten years^ has ad- 
vanced materially in social and economic status, and 
the process of assimilation is far on its way, if not sub- 
stantially complete. In a majority of cases, he has 
passed out of the category of what is usually known as 
"common labor." 



DIVIDED BY BACIAL TBADITIONS 

Another thing, conspicuous here as in no oth^ country 
where "labor" might be regarded as directly a political 
factor, is the fact that even had these thousands of men 
been individually available for prompt assimilation, or 
manageable in their groups as material for political 
manipulation, they have constituted such a hodge- 
podge of conflicting racial and national antecedents, 
prejudices, and inhibitions that any coherent political 
action by them always has been out of the question. 
Scandinavian and Slav, Austrian and Italian, British 
and German, Greek and Turk; Protestant and Catholic^ 
Jew and Gentile — to say nothing of those smaller clan, 
village, and even family feuds, often of long-forgotten 
origin, within the racial groups ... at every turn 
some hoary animosity, bom, perhaps, centuries ago out 
of historic or obscure conflicts of which the average 
native-bom American maybe never heard in his life, 
has kept and doubtless long will continue to keep these 
racial groups apart and practically preclude any possi- 
bility of getting them to work together. The events 

S88 



FOREIGN-BOBN VOTER IN ACTION 

and political by-products of the World War have only 
further confused and intensified these causes of disunion. 

The Socialists alone» of all the considerable political 
parties, have tried to unite ^' labor" (chiefly meaning 
unskilled labor) by efforts to convince all the racial 
groups of a common political interest superior to any 
racial interest. They have almost completely failed. 

Politicians, large and small, have been to some extent 
aware of this diversity of traditions and interests among 
the racial groups, based upon ancient or current con- 
troversies in old countries; but their approach to the 
subject always has been pragmatical and opportunistic, 
and usually unintelligent without real information 
about or understanding of the explosive matters with 
which they were meddling, or any but temporary or 
local concern about the consequences. The Fiume con- 
troversy, interesting both Italians and Jugo-Slavs; the 
Irish situation; the war between the Poles and the 
Bolsheviki in Russia; and conspicuously the whole 
stupendous question of the League of Nations — ^all are 
JBne examples of international and interracial conflicts 
and emergencies of which American politicians of both 
parties have taken advantage for their own purposes 
without regard to consequences to the welfare of the 
world — or of their own country, for that matter. 

•jiLIENS NOT WITHOUT POLITICAL INTLUENCE 

As we have seen, the foreign born who become citizens, 
and as such are eligible to participate in our political 
processes, do so on the average only after a residence in 
this country of more than ten years. Also, notwith- 
standing the legend to the contrary, there appears to 
be no material distinction of race in their interest in our 
politics or their desire to become citizens. But it would 

be a cardinal mistake to suppose that the great mass of 

889 



AMERICANS BY CHOICE 

the unnaturalized foreign bom, who have no votes them- 
selves, represent no political influence. Neighborhood 
sentiment is a very great force in politics. The politi- 
cian pays special heed to the wishes of voters; but he is 
exceedingly mindful of the desires, enthusiasms, and 
hatreds of those in his district who are audible all the 
year round. This is all the more true when he is of the 
same racial origin as the bulk of the population that 
surrounds him in a ** Little Italy," a ** Little Hungary," 
a "New Bohemia," or a "Ghetto." 

THERE IB NO "FOREIGN VOTB" 

What we have said of the mythical "labor vote" is 
equally true of the mythical "foreign vote." Under 
circumstances of tense feeling between Italians and 
Jugo-Slavs, between Irish and English-bom, between 
Swedes and Norwegians, the vote of Italian-bom citi- 
zens and those of Serbian antecedents cannot be cor- 
ralled together for a candidate of either racial origin, 
or for a ticket representing sympathy or tolerance for 
either, and so on down the lines; but no politician ever 
has been able to unite in one political movement all 
the heterogeneous mass that could, by any stretch of 
words, be called the "foreign vote." There is no "for- 
eign vote," any more than there is a "labor vote." 

The wholesale enfranchisement of women, native and 
foreign-bom citizens alike, under the Nineteenth 
Amendment to the Constitution of the United States, 
brings into the situation a new and confusing factor, 
about which it would be perilous to propheay. Foreign- 
bom women, largely ignorant of everything that we are 
accustomed to regard as "American," subject to all 
of the influences and limitations involved in the word 
"foreign," are swept by our naturalization laws helter- 
skelter into citizenship by the mere f act of their majv 

340 



FOREIGN-BORN VOTER IN ACTION 

riyj gor filial relation to a natur alized man, without any 
resEnctionis as to lengtib of residence or personal fitness. 
And now the constitutional amendment has armed 
them with the ballot, with the potential capacity not 
only to strengthen, but to oflPset and nullify, the vote of 
the intelligent; not only to offset and nullify, but to 
double the political power of the ignorant, the misled, 
and the corrupt. Fortunately, however, as we have 
pointed out elsewhere, this is a potential rather than an 
actual peril. The foreign-bom woman is, and will con- 
tinue to be, very slow in assuming the power for mis- 
chief, or for good, which we have thrust upon her.^ 

OLD EVILS ABOLISHED 

There was a day in American political history when, 
especially in the great cities along the Atlantic sea- 
board, the immigrant, in many cases the newly landed 
immigrant, was herded to the ballot box, sometimes 
without even the empty formality of naturalization, to 
cast an open ballot thrust into his hand by his padrone 
or some one else of his race who saw to it that he got his 
pay, usually in cash, but sometimes in the form of a job. 
Such practices, while they survive sporadically in out-of- 
the-way mining regions or the like where supervision of 
elections is lax or lacking, are no longer in vogue. 

The naturalization law of 1906, faithfully executed 
by the Naturalization Bureau, has completely abolished 
the old naturalization frauds and abuses, and the in- 
creasingly effective protection surrounding the ballot 
box, with the substitution of official ballots for the old 
voting ticket or open ballot, with more or less of the 
nonpartisan, alphabetical arrangement of candidates 
known as the ^^ Australian" ballot, has made direct 

1 See chap, ix, on "The Fordgn-bom Woman m Politics,** p. 296 
etseq. 

23 «*1 



'-^ 



AMERICANS BY CHOICE 

corruption, vote buying, not only perilous as a form of 
crime, but relatively useless because of the difficulty 
of knowing whether the goods are delivered. There is 
still bribery, but more and more it takes the form of 
payment for voting at all, of continued tenure of jobs 
within the gift or control of politicians and other oblique 
and indirect forms of remuneration. 

It would be possible to occupy much space in this 
volume with a history of bygone days, when natural- 
ization was a farce and a scandal, and the ignorant 
immigrant vote a real factor in American politics. As 
early as 1835, this was a source of alarm to the native 
Americans, the emotion being intensified and com- 
plicated by the religious sectarianism which was a large 
factor in the nativistic Know-Nothing movement. 
Congress was memorialized about 

. . . the ease with which foreigners of doubtful morals 
and hostile political principles acquired the right to vote, and 
pointed to this as a soiqx^ of real danger to the country. 
The petitioners saw with great concern the influx of Roman 
Catholics. To such persons, as men, they had no dislike. To 
their religion, as a religion, they had no objection. But 
against their political opinions, interwoven with their religious 
belief, they asked legislation. ^ / 

In those days the "New Immigration," though the dis- 
tinction between "old" and "new" now current had 
not been created, was more particularly of Irish and 
German — ^both races now generally regarded as of the 
"old," the more desirable kind! 

Ostrogorski, in his Democracy and the Party System in 
the United StateSy says: * 

^ McMAstesr, Hutory qf the People of the Untied States, 7 :970--iAted 
in Wame's The Tide of Immigration^ p. 242. 

' Moisei Bcovleyitch Ostrogorakd, La DhnoeraHe el VorganiaaHon dee 
partis politiques, Paris, 1903, voL ii, pp. 94-95. Translated into 
English by Frederick Clarke, with prdaoe by James Bryce. 

842 



FOREIGN-BORN VOTER IN ACTION 

Owing to the facilities offered by the American naturaliza- 
tion laws, the immigrants began to enjoy the rights of citizen- 
ship after a short period of residence. Ignorant, with no 
political education, these new members of the Conmionweahh 
took service at once in the party organization, and blindly 
followed the word of command. Coming from comitries the 
inhabitants of which were languishing in vnretchedness and 
d^radation, as in Ireland, or gasping under the vexatious 
regime of police-ridden and grandmotherly governments, as in 
Grermany with its Polezei'Staat,\the immigrants could not resist 
the seduction of the word ''democrat," and joined the ranks of 
the Democratic organization wholesale, bound hand and foot. 

Ostrogorski took his view from the situation in 
New York City, as many other writers have done; over- 
looking the fact that to a great extent the new voter, 
both native and foreign-born, has usually and natu- 
rally followed first the political partisan preference of 
his father and his racial associates, and second, the 
trend of party success. The dominating party machine 
in any city naturally has the prestige of success, and its 
ability to deliver patronage, large and small, draws those 
to whom a job is the vitally important thing in life. 
In New York City the power of the ignorant vote 
always has been a great source of strength to Tammany, 
which happens to be Democratic; in Philadelphia the 
same thing may be said of the local organization, which 
happens to be Republican. 

COBRUPTION WAS NOT AN IMPORTATION 

It is a common impression that the backbone of political 
corruption lies in the so-called "foreign vote." OstrO" 
gorski paid his respects to that idea. Said he: ^ 

\Moisei Ikovlevitch Ostrogorski, La DSmocratie et Vorganisation 
dea partis poliiiques, vol. ii, p. 345. See also "The Alarming FropoT-- 
tion of Venal Voters," by J. J. MeCook, The Forum, vol. xv; "The 
Sale of Votes," by J. B. Harrison, The Century, vol. xlvii; and 
"Money in Practical Politics," by J. W. Jenks, ibid,, October, 1892. 

848 



AMERICANS BY CHOICE 

The most shameless venality is often met with in the 
country districts, particularly in the states of the Atlantic 
seaboard; nay, even in New England, inhabited by the 
descendants of the Puritans. Votes are sold there openly, 
like an article of conmierce; there is a regular market quota- 
tion for them. And it is not only needy people who make a 
traffic of their votes, but well-to-do farmers, of American 
stock, pious folk who always go to church on Sunday. If the 
farmer's son b an elector and dweUs under the paternal roof 
the father receives the price of his vote and that of their help, 
who is under a sort of moral obligation to vote for the same 
candidate as his master. A good many would not take a 
bribe from the party which they regard as hostile; they keep 
faith with their own party, but they, none the le^ demand 
money for their vote, in the form of an ind^nmity for their 
trouble, for loss of time, for traveling expenses. In some 
country districts a quarter or a third of the electors make 
money out of their votes. 

HOBiE-GROWN IN ADAMS COUNTY, OHIO! 

Once at least in our political history we had an oppor- 
tunity to see Ostrogorski's assertion convincingly 
illustrated, and legally attested by "judicial notice" 
of a competent court, in the case of Adams County» 
Ohio, where, a decade ago, in 1910, one brave local judge» 
by the name of A. Z. Blair, haled before him a whole 
countryside of fanners, and disfranchised for con- 
fessed corruption pretty much the whole population. 
Here was exactly the situation described by Ostrogorski 
— "votes sold openly, like an article of commerce," . . . 
"a regular market quotation," . . . "well-to-do farm- 
ers, of American stock," ... "a third of the electors 
make money out of their votes." By stress of a special 
grand jury Judge Blair brought out complete and all 
but universal confessions, and imposed fines and dis- 
franchisement upon the majority of voters in a whole 
rural county. 

844 



FOREIGN-BORN VOTER IN ACTION 

It b instructive [said the OttUook in its editorial com- 
ment] to note that this slump of citizenship has not occurred 
among foreigners or negroes, nor in the slimis of cities, but in 
a purely rural population, and among voters of native Amer- 
ican stock. ^ 



WHO IS THE BUYER OP VOTES? 

Incidentally it may be remarked that in all this business 
of election bribery, which in past years has been all but 
omnipresent in American politics, the emphasis is laid 
upon those, American or foreign-bom, who sell their 
votes. Even if it were true that the purchasable voter 
was chiefly the voter of alien race, every sale implies a 
purchase. Before any voter can sell his vote, somebody 
must be prepared to buy it. The seat of corruption 
lies, not in the venal voter alone, but also in the system 
that gathers money for the purpose of buying him. 
And that system, from the very beginning, has been 
devised and engineered by the American politician, 
and those behind him in American business life who 
desire to control elections and the people's repres^ita- 
tive selected therein, for their own "business" ends. 
It would not be difficult to point to elections of very 
great importance in America — even Presidential elec- 
tions — ^in which the vote of great states was swayed 
one way or the other by the margin represented by 
the out-and-out purchase of votes at so much per 
head. Nor would any person above the age of six 
years seriously debate the question of the native- 
American origin of the people who incited and paid 
for the corruption. 

William S. Bennet, then a member of Congress from 
New York City, and of the House Conunittee on Immi- 

^ The OuUook, New York, January 14» 1911» vol. xcvii, p. 42. 

345 



AMERICANS BY CHOICE 

gration and Naturalization, put his finger exactly on 
the center of this question when he said:^ 

Much of our trouble in the past has ^nmg from the belief 
among newly made citizens, justified by far too much evi- 
dence, that we ourselves have regarded elections as conten- 
tions to be decided not at all by argiunent, persuasion, or 
reason, but by trickery, treachery, bribery, perjury, assault, 
forgery, deceit and even murder. . . . The new and impres- 
sionable citizen of even but twenty years ago had held out to 
him at election inducements to all that was worst in his char- 
acter. If he held our elections and our institutions Hghtly, 
we had ourselves to blame for it. . . . Man moves much 
along lines of least resistance, and the stranger adapts himself 
to conditions as he finds them. Make your elections riotous 
and corrupt, and your new-made, foreign-bom citizen riots 
and sells his vote with the native-bom. . . . 

The new citizen has neither political inheritance, prejudice, 
nor scars of conflict. He votes always in the present, some- 
times for the future, but never in the past. Being poor, it is 
quite true that when there is corruption, he is among those 
approached. Being ambitious, the lure of minor place some- 
times weighs with him more than principle. 

Mr. Bennet, on the same occasion, emphasized the fact 
that a sharp distinction must be drawn between the 
mass of immigrants constituting the bulk of the foreign 
population, especially in the cities, and the small por- 
tion thereof actually participating in political activities: 

It should be carefully borne in mind that in no great city 
is the naturalized voter a newly arrived immigrant. ... In 
cities the newly made voter is a resident in this coimtry cer- 
tainly for five, and usually for more, years, before he votes even 

^ William S. Bennet, address, "The Effect of Immigration upoa 
Municipal Politics," before Conference for Good City Government, 
and Fifteenth Annual Meeting of National Municipal League, in 
conjunction with American Civic Association, at Cincinnati, Novem- 
ber 15-18, 1909. See Proceedings of National Munieipal League, 
1909, p. 142 a seq, 

S46 



FOREIGNBORN VOTER IN ACTION 

for the first time. Candidates in foreign-speaking localities 
frequently address audiences the majority of whom, either 
by age or alienage, are imable to vote. . . . The 644,000 
electors who had a right to participate in our recent election 
were, thus, either native-bom or having five years or more of 
residence. Of the 644,000 who registered about 590,000 voted. 
These divided their votes roughly as follows: Gaynor, Tam- 
many and Democrat, .250,000; Bannard, Republican and 
Fusion, 175,000; Hearst, 150,000. Four years ago, the vote 
was, Tammany, 226,000; Hearst, 224,000; Republican, 
137,000. Therefore this year both the Tammany and Repub- 
lican candidates gained at the expense of Hearst. The exact 
significance of this is immaterial and accounted for readily 
by a variety of causes. The important fact remains that 
150,000 voters, without particular leadership or organization, 
left the party ranks and voted for an individual of their 
choice. 

There is no substantial support, either in any careful 
study of elections as a whole or in particular, or in the 
experience of those who have lived dose to the political 
processes of our country, for the widespread impression 
that the foreign-bom voter is more given to or victim 
of political corruption than any other class. 

ATTEMPTS TO FIND THE "FOREIGN VOTE*' 

It is exceedingly difficult to identify the part played in 
any particular election, or in elections generally, by 
foreign-bom voters. Political leaders and others who 
make analyses of election returns have their theories 
and prepossessions, and find in figures what they want 
to find,'^to defend policies, support theories, and sustain 
positions generally. In the presidential election of 
1020, this was especially evident. Those who supported 
the Republican ticket and platform and those who 
supported the Democratic; those vi<Jently opposed to 
the League of Nations and those devotedly in favor of 

847 



AMERICANS BY CHOICE 

it — alike found in the election returns, manipulated to 
suit their views, sustenance for argument as to the part 
played in the result by this, that, and the other racial 
group or political faction. Even the Socialists, whose 
basic theory is the most definitely declared of all 
political theories, find in a growing vote evidences of 
wide acceptance of their doctrines; in its shrinkage 
merely the desertion of mere protestors or sentimental- 
ists who really do not understand Socialism at all! 
Personal prejudice and predilection exhibit themselves 
notoriously in political figuring. The process usually 
consists of more or less gratuitous assumptions, from 
which one may prove statistically — ^whatever he wants 
to prove. 

An exceptional instance of an attempt to analyze an 
election without preliminary bias appears in a study of 
"The Political Mind of Foreign-bom Americans,'' 
contributed by Dr. Abram lipsky to Popular Science 
Monthly several years ago,^ in wMch he undertook by 
analysis of the election returns from a number of 
Assembly Districts in Greater New York, predominantly 
of a certain racial complexion, to infer the attitude of 
those racial groups on certain subjects. But it is dear 
that the inferences, however they may have been 
justified by the figures from this election, were based 
upon questionable assumptions. Still more important, 
it is altogether fallacious to assume that in another 
election, wherein the issues were stated differently or 
the general political atmosphere was different, these 
very districts, these very individual voters of whatever 
race, might not vote quite otherwise. A state of mind 
among the Italian-born voters, provoked, for example, 
by their understanding of the attitude of Mr. Wilson 
on the s ubject of Fiume, might produce Republican 

^ Popular Science Monthly, New York, October, 1914, vol. Izxxr, 
pp. 897-408. 

848 



IX)BEIGN.BORN VOTER IN ACTION 

votes in one election; whereas a year later, in an elec- 
tion in which their interests at home or abroad were 
believed by them to be otherwise affected, their votes 
might be overwhelmingly Democratic. 

One of the questions which Doctor Lipsky undertook 
to answer from the election figures was whether the vot- 
ers in the selected districts "read the Hearst papers reg- 
ularly." He inferred his answer from the vote cast in 
those district3 for the candidates which happened to 
be favored by the newspapers owned by William Ran- 
dolph Hearst. But the basic assumption was fallacious, 
overlooking entirely the notorious fact that repeatedly 
el^ions in New York City have been won in spite of 
the opposition, or lost in spite of the support, of vir- 
tually the entire newspaper press of the city. As logic- 
ally might one assume from any election that the vote, 
pro or contra, on any subject represented the circula- 
tion of some particular group of newspapers whose 
views the election indorsed. 

Nearer the probabilities, but still subject to the same 
kind of discount, is Doctor Lipsky's generalization as 
to the showing of one election on the subject of the atti- 
tude of certain racial groups as regards Tammany Hall 
and Socialism. This analysis is not without a certain 
degree of general significance. 

Doctor Lipsky's conclusion that "native-bom Ameri- 
cans of American parents are opposed to Tanunany gov- 
ernment'' is based upon a comparison of figures from 
districts predominantly of native Americans, in the elec- 
tions for governor in 1910 and for mayor of New York 
in 1913, his primary assumption being that the can- 
didacy of Judge Edward E. McCall for mayor em- 
bodied "Tammany" pure and simple, while that of 
John A. Dix for governor did not make "Tammany" 
a state issue. From this point of view Doctor Lipsky in- 
terprets the fact that the percentage of votes for McCall 

S49 



AMERICANS BY CHOICE 

in those districts was strikingly lower than those for 
Dix in the state election of three years before: 

TABLE XXXVn 

Per Cent of New Yobk Cnr Vote Cast for McCall m 1913 
AND Dix in 1910 bt Votebs of Nativb Pabents 



Abbbmblt Dibtbict 


Pbb Cent 
or Nativb 
Pabbnts 


1913 
McCall 


1910 
Dec 


15th Manhattan 

19th " 

25th " 

27th " 

4th Queens 

17th Brooklyn 

11th " 

18th 

5th 

10th " 


45.8 
40.0 
44.1 
51.5 
41.3 
45.6 
38.0 
39.0 
38.1 
38.6 


33.7 
33.2 
35.3 
37.6 
81.1 
24.7 
34.9 
28.8 
25.8 
36.6 


58.1 
52.8 
48.4 
55.8 
46.2 
43.6 
50.5 
46.3 
44.1 
53.3 



But the Russians and Austrians also said ^^No" to 
Tammany, as Doctor Lipsky reads the figures: 

TABLE XXXVni 

Per Cent of New Yobk City Vote Cast fob McCall in 1918 
AND Dix in 1910 bt Russians and Austbians 



assbmblt 
Dibtbict 


Russians 
Pbb 

Cbnt 


Aus- 
tbians 
Pbb 

Cent 


Both 

Pbb 

Cent 


1913 
McCall 


1910 
Dix 


8th Manhattan. . . 


54.4 


14.2 


68.6 


40.2 


52.8 


6th 


30.4 


30.8 


61.2 


22.8 


40.0 


4th 


35.6 


25.2 


60.2 


51.1 


61.7 


26th 


34.6 


6.7 


41.3 


80.0 


41.0 


2d 


35.6 


1.4 


87.0 


57.6 


67.5 


10th 


22.3 


12.5 


84.8 


29.3 


52.2 


8l8t 


12.9 


4.9 


17.8 


24.1 


44.7 


' 21st Brooklyn ... 


31.2 


5.9 


87.1 


27.1 


48.6 


23d 


33.3 


3.9 


87.2 


25.7 


40.9 


14th 


16.1 


5.9 


22.0 


46.6 


61.5 


22d 


13.0 


3.0 


16.0 


24.3 


38.5 



350 



FOBEIGN-BORN VOTER IN ACTION 
The Irish voted for Tammany, as usual: 



TABLE XXXIX 
Per Cent op Nibw York Citt Votb Cast for McCall in 1918 

AND DiX IN 1010 BT THB IriBH 



AssBicBLT District 


PsbCknt 
or Ibish 


1913 
McCall 


1010 
Dix 


18th Manhattan 

16th " 

11th " 

14th " 

5th " 


16.4 
14.0 
12.2 
12.4 
11.2 


61.0 
51.7 
55.6 
54.7 
64.4 


58.1 
61.4 
60.5 
61.2 
67.6 



Allowance must be made here for some falling oflf of 
the vote in a municipal as compared with a state elec- 
tion; but a still greater allowance must be made for the 
fact that "Tammany" was indeed a state issue — ^Dix 
was distinctly charged by the opposition with being 
Tammany's candkiate, and there were, as always, con- 
fusing and inestimable factors of a subtle kind — such, 
for instance, as the fact that McCall had an Irish name, 
and Dix didn't; or that the name "John A. Dix" had 
a sound hbtorically familiar — even if not one regularly 
American-born person in a hundred could remember 
who the historic "John A. Dix" was! 

Some years the Germans are supposed to have sup- 
ported Tammany; this particular time Doctor Lipsky 
seems to find that they did not — ^in districts in which 
Germans made up a considerable percentage of the 
population. (See Table XL.) 

Think what you will of the Italians' attitude toward 
Tammany; you can stress the fact that the vote for 
McCall was so much below that of three years before 
for Dix, or you can philosophize about the fact that it 
was no greater! Doctor Lipsky 's inference that, on the 

851 



AMERICANS BY CHOICE 

whole, they supported Tammany is based on the figures 
from six dlistricts. (See Table XLI.) 

TABLE XL 

Pbb Cent op New Yobk City Vote Cast fob McCall in 1918 



AND DiX IN 1910 BY 


Gericanb 




AsBBiiBLT District 


PbbCsnt 
ofGbsmans 


1913 
McCali. 


1910 
Dnc 


8d Queens 

20th Brooklyn 

19th " 

28d " 

1st Queens 

22d Manhattan 


21.4 
20.2 
18.6 
11.2 
11.1 
21.2 


81.1 
26.8 
81.9 
84.6 
41.4 
88.4 


49.8 
41.8 
48.8 
49.4 
66.2 
60.2 



TABLE XLI 

Peb Cent of New Yobk City Vote Cast fob McCall in 1918 

AND Ddc in 1910 by the Italians 



Absbmblt Dibtbict 


Pbb Cbnt 
or Italians 


1913 
McCall 


1910 
Dix 


8d Manhattan 

1st " 

28th " 

8d Brooklyn 

2d Manhattan 


80.8 

26.2 
26.8 
28.2 
18.6 


67.6 
69.6 
42.6 
68.7 
67.6 


77.7 
67.8 
66.8 
78.1 
67.4 



"We are able," says Doctor Lipsky, "to say that a 
decided *no* was given to Tammany by native Amer- 
icans of native parents, and by the Russians and Ger- 
mans; a decided ^Yes' was given by the Italian and 
Irish." 

The thing that stands out in these figures, whatever 
else may be said, would seem to be the fact that, like 
the native Americans of native parentage, the voters of 
foreign racial antecedents changed their suppcHi; with 
changing circumstances and influences. The conven- 

862 



FOREIGN-BORN VOTER IN ACTION 

tional view of the foreign-bom voter is that he votes in 
herds, as he is told to vote, and that in New York City 
Tammany does the herding. Well, in the mayoralty 
election of 1913, judging by these figm'es, it is evident 
that Tammany's "herding" was not wholly successful 
with those "new-immigration" voters classed as Rus- 
sians and Austrians! All sorts of factors, local and 
general, fundamental and temporary, almost wholly 
incalculable, enter into elections, and one is free to 
analyze and interpret to suit himself. 

On the subject of the "political mind of the foreign- 
bom voter" as regards Socialism, Doctor Lipsky pre- 
sents some interesting figures from ten assembly dis- 
tricts in which the Socialist candidate for mayor in 1913 
received over 10 per cent of the total vote. 

TABLE XLH 

Pbb Cent of Sociaubtic Vote in New Yobk City in 1910 and 

191S BT Nationality 





Socialist 


Nativb 
or 












ASBKMBLT 
DiSTBICT 


Vote 


Nativb 
Par- 

BNT- 
AGE 


Aus- 
trian 


Ger- 
man 


Irish 

• • • • 


Ital- 
ian 


Rus- 
sian 




1910 


1913 




21st Brooklyn . . 


12.4 


16.1 


12.6 


5.9 


4.1 


9.1 


31.2 


«3di 


12.5 


15.8 


19.6 


3.9 


2.2 


1.6 


4.6 


33.8 


19th 


11.0 


12.8 


12.6 


.8 


13.6 


■ • • • 


9.9 


11.9 


4th Manhattan . . 


12.6 


11.9 


7.0 


25.2 


.4 


1.1 


2.5 


35.6 


26th 


10.2 


11.8 


7.1 


6.7 


4.6 


3.8 


1.4 


34.6 


8th 


14.6 


11.7 


2.5 


14.2 


.7 


• • • • 


4.1 


54.4 


«2d 


13.1 


11.7 


10.6 


4.6 


21.2 


5.3 


1.6 


3.6 


6th 


10.0 


11.2 


2.4 


80.8 


1.1 


.7 


.7 


30.4 


24th 


10.4 


11.2 


11.1 


3.9 


4.3 


6.2 


11.1 


20.6 


10th 


11.1 


10.8 


5.9 


12.5 


4.7 


• • • • 


13.9 


22.8 



«/ 



(( 



Our conclusion therefore is," says Doctor Lipsky^ 
that the bulk of the Socialist vote is derived from the 

353 



AMERICANS BY CHOICE 

foreign Jewish element, and to a less degree from the 
Grermans.'' 

Perhaps, but one may not ignore, for instance, the 
fact that in the district of these containing the largest 
percentage of native Americans of native parentage, 
the Socialist vote for Grovernor in 1910 was 12.5 per 
cent of the whole; or that in the one in which the 
Russian and Austrian percentage was very small and 
the German larger than in any other of the districts 
selected, the Socialist vote was about 13 per cent. We 
shall see later in this chapter the importance of the 
German factor in the Socialist party. 

All such analyses of particular elections, we may say 
again, are interesting and in a measure instructive; but 
generalizations are exceedingly perilous and greatly 
conditioned by personal preconceptions, special tem- 
porary and local forces and circumstances, and the pur- 
poses of the statistician for the time being — ^for all of 
which the candid student will, and must, make heavy 
discounts. 

RESPONSE TO PROQRESSIVE IDEAS 

Coming to the question of the Progressive party's cam- 
paign in 1912, Doctor Lipsky says, in part: 

One of two facts in the election of 1912 . . . are extremely 
suggestive even though they do not cover the whole ground. 
In that election Roosevelt ran ahead of Wilson in only four 
districts of the city. One was the 23d of Manhattan, in which 
Taft also ran ahead of Wilson — ^a strong Republican district. 
The other three were the 6th, the 8th, and the 26th, the three 
districts in which the Russians and Austrians constitute the 
great majority of the electorate. 

So there you are — ^make what you will of it. Why 
should the very districts in which we found heavy per- 
centages of Russians and Austrians, and a relatively 

954 



FOREIGN-BOBN VOTER IN ACTION 

Keavy Socialist vote, produce a preponderant vote for 
Roosevelt and the Progressive platform? Is there, after 
all, a common factor, overlooked — or anyway not dwelt 
upon — ^by Doctor Lipsky, to account for what otherwise 
might seem inexplicable? Here again one may philoso- 
phize to suit himself, but it is worth while to consider 
one phase of the matter too often ignored in discussions 
of the motives and impulses behind the radical vote. 

William S. Bennet, previously quoted in the same 
address, dwelt upon this matter in speaking of the 
inJSuence of Mr. Hearst:* 

Mr. Hearst's vote among the foreign bom was great, and, 
more than the other two candidates combined [speaking of an 
election in which Mr. Hearst was himself a candidate], he 
attracted that vote. It becomes important to analyze Mr. 
Hearst's appeal. Much of it we find to have been on right 
lines. We cannot qiiarrel, because of those views, with a 
candidate who asks votes because he has fought against rail- 
road rebates, corporation exactions, and fraudulent elections. 
Under New York City conditions we cannot quarrel with one 
who advocates the building of immediate transit facilities with 
city money. It was also rather begging the question to assert 
that Mr. Hearst exaggerated his efforts and usefulness in 
relation to those matters. The personal and temperamental 
fitness of a candidate is always an element to be considered, 
and in Mr. Hearst's case it was, though more in private than 
in public discussion. His record as a persistent absentee dur- 
ing his congressioual service and the legitimate argument 
from it that he would be a negligent mayor, cost Mr. Hearst 
more votes among those friendly to him among the foreign 
bom than he probably imagines. 

Mr. Hearst never made an appeal for support on the ground 

^ WilUam S. Bennet, address, "The Effect of Immigration upon 
Municipal Politics," before Conference for Good City Government, 
and Fifteenth Annual Meeting of National Municipal League, in 
conjunction with American Civic Association, at Cincinnati, Novem- 
ber 15-18, 1909. See Proceedings of National Munidfxd League, 
1909, p. 142 et seq, 

S65 



AMERICANS BY CHOICE 

that it would be of any personal assistance to himself, ffis 
appeal was frequently to the self-interest of the individual, 
and quite generally to his highest interest as a citizen in the 
welfare of the whole' body politic. He favored policies be- 
cause, in his expressed judgment, they were right, not because 
they might be immediately successful; and opposed others 
because wrong, though by many deemed expedient. 

The point to be noted, then» is that in the propaganda 
of the Socialists, of the Progressive party, of Mr. 
Hearst, there was much stress upon and slogans about 
the common welfare, the improvement of social condi- 
tions, the square deal, honest politics and government, 
human brotherhood. The note never was outwardly 
selfish or materialistic. Always, in the main, it was 
idealism — ^whatever may have been the private motives 
actually underlying in any particular case. 

It is the common experience of those who have 
worked with the foreign-bom voter that he usually is 
responsive to this kind of appeal. Is it not really a 
tribute to ourselves, as well as an index of his own idea 
of what "America" stands for, that he acts at the ballot 
box as if he would like to see these things incarnated in 
the life of his adopted country? 

Mr. Bennet went on to say that "we learn, certainly, 
concerning our most recent citizens, from the Hearst 
vote": 

1. They are independent voters. 

2. They are not constrained to remain in the party in power 
nationally. 

3. Nor do they remain with a party simply because it is 
usually dominant locally. 

4. They are not afraid to sacrifice immediate possible 
benefit by attaching themselves to a lesser party and tem- 
porary movement. 

6. They are moved by appeals to good citizsenship. 
6. They are quite certain to range themselves on the right 
dde of a question of morals. 



FOREIGNBOBN VOTER IN ACTION 

7. A certain proportion of them are moved by direct 
appeals, based on allied class distinctions. 

8. The thinly veiled policy of license advanced by the 
Tammany candidate did not draw them from Mr. Hearst, 
though he vigorously condemned license and its advocacy. 

And Mr. Bennet added, "these things have been 
proved concerning the immigrant. Without going into 
specifications, which are, however, well understood 
locally, these things are not proved : 

1. That he always votes for a fellow countryman or a co- 
religionist. 

S. That he can be invariably stampeded by a race or reli- 
gious issue. 

S. That he votes blindly. 

SOME BESUI/rS FBOM CLEVELAND 

It is impossible to forecast the working out in our 
politics of the passions aroused by the World War 
among the various racial groups by the relations and 
enmities of their respective fatherlands in that vast 
turmoil, and the eflFects of the behavior of native-Amer- 
ican elements toward particular races, and even toward 
"foreigners" generally. It is evident that for any in- 
telligent understanding of what, in the long nm and 
under approximately normal conditions, are the political 
attitudes and activities, we must derive our facts largely 
from an earlier period— at least antedating the armis- 
tice and the bitter conflicts growing out of the Peace 
Treaty and the partisanship characterizmg the contro- 
versy about the League of Nations which so greatly 
confused the issues in the presidential election of 1920. 
A series of elections in the city of Cleveland, Ohio, 
in the period between 1911 and 1918 seemed to oflfer 
opportunities for study of a number of large racial 
groups under reasonably normal conditions. It is not 
claimed that this Study was conclusive in its results or 
24 357 



AMERICANS BY CHOICE 

fully scientific in its method; but it certainly produced 
a significant exhibit of facts, and in general confirmed 
what is known to everyone who ever has worked with 
or candidly observed at first hand the part played by 
the foreign-born voter in American politics — ^namely, 
that he is in no important respect different from the 
native-bom; that he is swayed by the same motives 
and emotions, and is not essentially different in respect 
of responsiveness to appeals to his civic pride. 

The first step was to select for study a group of elec- 
tion precincts including as large a proportion as possible 
of the various nationalities, and for comparison another 
group of districts which would show the action of 
native-bom voters. Ten of the latter were selected, 
including populations both relatively wealthy and rela- 
tively poor, and both habitually Republican and habit- 
ually Democratic. For foreign-bom racial groups the 
following were selected as most important: Czechs, 
Magyars, Poles, Jugo-Slavs, Italians, and Jews. Owing 
to the scattered nature of the racial distribution, it was 
impossible to find a large number of districts pre- 
dominantly of any particular race; but it was possible 
to segregate three for each of these races, and four for 
one, for comparison with them of the native born; so 
that 29 precincts were studied, as follows r 

TABLE XLin 

Distribution op Nationalitt m Twenty-ninb Precincts in 

Cleveland 



Native bom 

Czech 

Magyar 

Polish 

Jugo-Slav. . . 

Italian 

Jewish 

Total. . . 



10 
8 
3 
8 
8 
4 
8 

29 



358 



FOREIGN-BORN VOTER IN ACTION 

Eight elections were covered by the inquiry, compar- 
ing the votes for: 

Mayor 1911 — ^Baker w. Hogen. 

Mayor 1913 — ^Baker vs, Davis. 

Mayor 1915 — Witt, Davis, Ruthenberg. 

Mayor 1917 — Stinchcomb, Davis, Ruthenberg. 

President 1916 — Wilson, Hughes, Debs. 

Governor 1916 — Cox w. Willis. 

Governor 1918 — Cox vs, Willis. 

Congressman 1918 — Candidates differing in different dis- 
tricts. 

The returns were examined also for indications as to 
attitudes about woman suffrage and the question of no- 
license and prohibition, in elections between 1912 
and 1918. 

Of the native-born precincts, so called, five indicated 
almost straight Democratic tendencies; three were con- 
sistently Republican; and two were of varying com- 
plexion as between the two great parties. It should 
be remembered that the prevailing general com- 
plexion of the city of Cleveland in recent years, and 
regardless of the "landslide" of 1920, has been Dem- 
ocratic. Therefore the districts sdected to show the 
tendencies of the native bom were fairly representative 
of the situation. 

The first election, 1911, was a straight partisan con- 
test between Mr. Baker, a Democrat, and Mr. Hogen, 
a Republican. In 1913, the city tried, for the first time, 
its municipal nonpartisan ballot; but in that year the 
old political parties were as powerful as ever. In the 
election of 1915, Mr. Baker was not a candidate, but 
Peter Witt, long associated with Mayor Tom L. John- 
son, was the Democratic candidate. This election ex- 
hibits circumstances and results significant not only of 

859 



AMERICANS BY CHOICE 

the attitude of the foreign-bom voter and his responsive- 
ness to political cross-currents, but of the extreme diffi- 
culty of isolating particular factors as especially in- 
fluential upon these voters. 

Mr. Witt had just completed four years of service as 
Street Railway Commissioner, and among the business 
and professional classes of the town had won a rather 
reluctant recognition for efficiency, the reluctance being 
largely due to the fact that in days when he was cam- 
paigning for Tom Johnson he had been regarded as 
ultra-radical. But his opponent in this campaign had 
no recognized record of administrative capacity, and 
the Republicans themselves acknowledged some doubt 
as to his ability, compared with the known ability of 
Witt, to fulfill the duties of the mayoralty. Both can- 
didates were regarded without opposition by the "wet'* 
element, though Mr. Davis was perhaps more circum- 
spect in his utterances on the liquor question. The 
campaign did not touch the questions involved in the 
European War until the very end, when, on the Sunday 
before election, some sui^)orter of Davis published and 
widely circulated among the Bohemians (Czechs), Rus- 
sians, and Italians a pamphlet in which Witt was bitterly 
accused of bdng pro-Grerman. 

Now the results of the election in the wards dom- 
inated by those nationalities might rationally be held 
to show a pronounced effect of that propaganda, but it 
was no secret, the old "aristocratic" wards were pre- 
sumably as keen about pro-Germanism as those inhab- 
ited by voters of alien origin, and there, if anywhere, 
would be the seat of the prejudice against Witt on the 
ground of alleged radicalism. Why, then, did the 
native-bom conservatives waive their prejudices against 
Witt, the supposed radical, and overlook the charges oi 
pro-Germanism? And why did the foreign bom, who 
are conventionally expected to be radical, suddenly 

360 



FOREIGN-BORN VOTER IN ACTION 

turn and vote against the only candidate who was 
accused of being radical? Why did Mr. Witt gain 
nothing in the heavily German wards (as in fact he did 
gain nothing) from his German name, his remote €rer- 
man ancestry, and the accusation of pro-Germanism? 
It was further noted at the time that among the Rus- 
sian Jews the attack upon Witt turned many normally 
Democratic votes to the Davis RepubUcan candidate. 
Why? 

The following tables show what happened in the pre- 
cincts studied: 

TABLE XUV 

DiBTRIBTTnON OF DeMOCBATIC AND BSPUBUCAN VOTES IN ClEVE- 

lAND IN 1913 AND 1915 AifONG Cebtain Racial Gboups 





NuiiBiiB OF Votes 


NuMBKR 07 Votes 


Pbbcincts 


1913 


1915 




Baker 


Davia 


Witt 


Dayis 


Native bom 


945 
343 
207 
263 
283 
239 
260 


1,091 
223 
204 
208 
135 
282 
256 


1,039 
275 
302 
205 
279 
136 
273 


925 


Czech 


373 


Mairyar 


204 


■"■^■•o^ ■•» •• 

Pnliffh 


473 


JuiEO-^av 


137 


Italian 


394 


Jewish 


212 



The three elections following — the presidential in 
1916, the mayoralty election in 1917, and the governor- 
ship election in 1918 — exhibit no tendencies attribu- 
table either to the war or to any special causes from 
which one may generalize anything with regard to the 
political activities and attitudes of the foreign-bom 
voters which would distinguish them from the native- 
bom. In 1912 Wilson carried Polish, Magyar, and 

361 



AMERICANS BY CHOICE 

Czech precincts. In 1916 he repeated — ^this presum- 
ably not because of any aspect of the war, but because 
those precmcts are normally Democratic. 

The Cleveland nonpartisan ballot provides for three 
choices. One of the objections lu'ged against the non- 
partisan ballot has been that the second and third 
choices would be used only by the more intelligent 
voter; that the less intelligent would vote for but one. 
In the elections studied in which this three-choice 
system was used, 20 per cent of the native born ex- 
pressed second choices; the foreign born followed in 
this order: 



TABLE XLV 

PsB Cent of Cebtain Races Exebcibino Second and Tjibd 

Choices 


Kacb 


SiccoND Choice 
PebCknt 


TnntD C^oicB J 
PbbCbnt 1 


Native bom 


20 
18 
14 
12 
10 
7 


7 1 

7 

5 

7 

7 

3 


JiMfo-Slav 


Jews 


Italians 


Magyars and Bohemians 

Polish 




A 11 . • 


.1*1 1 • 


1 . .1 



A smaller per cent exercises third choice, but three 
foreign-born groups equaled the native born with 
7 per cent. The Jews with 5 per cent, Magyars 
with 4 per cent, Polish with 3 per cent, were the lowest. 
While there is little in these figures to justify gen- 
eralization, it may be said that, on the whole, the voters 
presumably more intelligent are in practice rather afraid 
of the second- and third-choice business because they 
recognize some danger that in expressing a second 
choice th^ may, in the final count, negative their first 

862 



FOREIGN-BORN VOTER IN ACTION 

choice; therefore there is a marked tendency among 
the politically sophisticated to vote only a first choice. 
At all events, no substantial distinction can be drawn 
from any available statistics between native and foreign 
bom» as such, with regard to their intelligence or their 
tendencies in the use of such a device. 

When one comes to consider what might be called 
the human aspects of politics, these elections in Cleve- 
land show, what elections everywhere show, interesting 
but in no way siu*prising facts. One is that the voters 
of any race tend to support a candidate of that race, 
or a man well known as friendly to its members. Mr. 
Davis was exceedingly well known and popular among 
the Bohemians, who are both numerically strong and 
racially influential in Cleveland. In the first election 
studied, that of 1911, Mr. Baker, a Democrat, carried 
the three Bohemian (Czech) precincts by substantial 
pliu'alities as against Mr. Hogen. His total vote in 
these precincts aggregated 445 to Hogen's 183. But 
in 1913 Mr. Davis carried one of the precincts. And 
over against this fact is the consideration that in 1913 
Baker was generally much weaker as a candidate than 
in 1911 — ^for reasons having no appreciable racial bear- 
ing. In 1915, as shown in the table above, there was a 
heavy swing in the three Bohemian districts in favor of 
Davis, the Republican candidate. 

Under the head of human tendencies one may con- 
sider the question of the immigrants' attitude toward 
prohibition. The reaction is just what would be ex- 
pected from voters of foreign extraction. The Magyars 
(Hungarians), normally Democratic, swung greatly en- 
hanced Democratic pluralities when tha-t party was 
recognized as opposed to prohibition. And the old- 
country attitudes about the position of woman showed 
clearly in the vote on woman suffrage, as they all voted 

against the **dry" proposals and candidates. 

863 



AMERICANS BY CHOICE 

In the earlier days in Cleveland the Italians were led 
by a very influential Italian who was a Republican* 
and until recent years the Italian vote was preponder- 
antly Republican. Now, however, the Cleveland 
politicians will tell you that this preponderance has 
passed; the Italians are said to be fairly evenly 
divided. But in any particular election the Italian 
vote may sway this way or that, under the influence 
of temporary factors that swing elections everywhere. 
In one Italian precinct, in four municipal elections, 
the Republican candidate was preferred in every 
case. Hughes had a small plurality over Wilson. 
But in two state elections the Democrats won — 
admittedly because the Republican candidate was 
regarded as "dry." 

Again the human factor — ^take the Jews. One of the 
Cleveland precincts studied is made up of an over- 
whelming majority of the more prosperous class of 
Jewish people. The other two are located in the 
Ghetto of the city. There is no similarity in the polit- 
ical trends of the two parts of the city. The wealthier 
Jews vote as a rule for Democrat or Republican. In 
1917 the Socialist candidate for mayor carried both of 
the poorer districts. But do the Jews move away from 
the Socialist districts because they are opposed to 
Socialism, or do they turn from Socialism when they 
become more prosperous? 

Persistent in most of the studies of this subject is the 
fallacy of assuming or attempting to find some con- 
stant factor attaching either to this or that particular 
race, or to the state of being foreign bom or of foreign 
antecedents. The Jugo-Slavs in Cleveland are said, 
and appear to be shown in the statistics above, to be 
preponderantly Democratic. In 1916 Wilson received 
in the three Jugo-Slav precincts more than 70 per cent 
of the total vote. But, aside from the fact that Social- 

864 



POBEIGN-BORN VOTER IN ACTION 

ism is or has been at times politically strong among the 
Jugo-Slavs, we have no data to show how Jugo-Slavs 
voted in districts where they are in the minority; we 
do not know why they voted for Wilson in 1916, or how 
many of them did so vote. The 70 per cent above 
referred to included large numbers of voters In those 
precincts who were of other racial complexion, and the 
individual ballot in no instance discloses the inner 
mind of the voter. 



"civic interest" in grand rapids 

When we come down to the larger question, of the 
response of voters of foreign birth and origin to con- 
structive efforts to interest them in civic matters, we 
are on surer ground. Given a sufficiently comprehen- 
sive survey, we can tell whether the "foreign wards" 
of a city are apathetic toward movements which they 
can recognize as embodying concrete things close to 
their own lives, and meaning a forward step in public 
administration. The testimony of all sorts of workers 
among the foreign born is unanimous on this point. 
The foreign-bom voters are more responsive to things 
of this kind than the native-bom. Possibly this is 
because their more recent introduction into American 
life makes them more naive, less blas6 — ^what you will 
as to the reason, the fact remains the same. 

It so happens that we have a peculiarly apt and in- 
forming exhibit of this in the city of Grand Rapids, 
Michigan, in statistics of five elections involving ques- 
tions of municipal import, and showing in most strik- 
ing fashion the results of a sustained effort, not to 
influence votes this way or that, but to impress citizens 
with the importance of voting at all. The following 
tables show the total vote cast in the three wards of 
the city of Grand Rapids at these elections: 

865 



AMERICANS BY CHOICE 

TABtE XLVI 

VcMS Cast in Pbecincts of Vabtimo Racial Makb-op □ 

Wabds or GaAND Rafidb, 191S, 1919 

Fint Wiud 



Pm>- 


cSSSi. 


".'.S- 


*;?" 


NOVBM- 


•^ 


1910 


S 


Sa-^....::: 


if 
1 

ZflO 


i 

1 


1 
1 


322 

i 
1 


eoi 


ss 


JSE™..::::::: 


593 












7S2 


IS 


K_:;:;:;;; 


i 


Seeond Wwd 


1 


aS^™ ::::::: 
iSSIS: ::::::: 


1 

zoe 

1 


438 

1 

300 
245 

399 

i 


1 
291 

1 

i 

M4 

i 


i 

475 
E74 

:l 
1 


907 

Tga 

886 








5S 

3th 

1 


Amsriowi 

American 

AniBrioim 

Italiuud^u!! 

iSSSSSS:: 


i 

is 
f 


Third Wud 


4th 

i 

1 

2th 
3tb 

i 


SSSKS:: 
SS~ .:::;::: 

American 

Amerloan 

American 

S"" ■•■-■■ 

American 

American 


1 

422 

s 

2SG 

266 

i 
i 


1 

seo 

438 

s 


1 

i 
1 

490 


9S0 

1 

i 


980 

1 




Totals |ll.S4fi 


11.820 


20,774 


28,70S 


37.988 



POBEIGN-BORN VOTER IN ACTION 

The population of Grand Rapids, about 112,500 by 
the census of 1910, by the spring of 1918 had grown to 
approximately 132,000. This would afford a potential 
male vote of upward of 26,000; so that at the primary 
election that March, considerably less than half of the 
possible vote was polled. At the election in August, 
1918, this was increased to nearly 70 per cent, and to 
80 per cent in November. 

In 1919, however, the women came into the picture, 
and the efforts of the Americanization Society^ were 
redoubled to bring the women out, first to register and 
then to vote. The report of the secretary of the society 
(made at the annual meeting in January, 1920) states 
that on February 15th, the last registration day before 
the March primary, 22,700 women had registered. And 
on March 20th, the last registration day before the 
election of April 7th, women had registered to a total 
of 26,500 — ^an astoimding proportion of the possible 
total of women citizens of voting age in a population 
of 132,000. It looks very much like 100 per cent ! 

The last two columns in the table above show the 
totals including the women voters, and the striking in- 
crease between the March primary and the April elec- 
tion in 1919. With a possible total vote of upward of 
50,000 we have the results of the Americanization 
Society's work as showing in the actual personal pres- 
ence at the polls of at least 75 per cent of the voters of 
all racial groups. The vote cast on March 5, 1919, was 
28,705, composed, it is said, of about half men and half 
women. At the election on April 7th, nearly 38,000 
votes were cast, and it is estimated that from 7,000 to 
10,000 voters were turned away from the polling 
places because of inadequate election facilities. A 
fairly impressive exhibit of the response of zVmerican 

^ Hie spirit and methods of the Grand Rapids Americanizatioii 
Society are described in chap, x, p. 8S0 et seq., in this volume. 

867 



AMERICANS BY CHOICE 

citizenship to an appeal to American, nonpartisan, 
civic interest, in a large cosmopolitan city, regardless 
of racial complexion. Indeed, without meaning to 
stress the point unduly, it may be remarked in passing 
that the very few precincts which in any election failed 
to show a substantial increase over the vote at the pre- 
vious election, are in every instance those in which the 
population is described as predominantly of the native 
bom. 

That it was the appeal to civic interest and duty, 
and nothing else, which in largest measure produced 
this result may be seen, for instance, in a comparison 
of the registration of women in Grand Rapids with 
that at the same time (February, 1919) in other Mich- 
igan cities in which there was no such intensive cam- 
paign to get the women out to the registration places: 

TABLE XLVn 
Feb Cent of Women Registebed in Thibteen Michigan Cities 



C1TIB8 



Grand Rapids. 

Saginaw 

Benton Harbor 
Traverse City. . 

Jackson 

Muskegon 

Bay City 

Port Huron. . . . 

Flint 

Kalamazoo. . . . 

Detroit 

Lansing 

Cadillac 



Population 



132,000 
65,000 
12,000 
12,000 
50,000 
42,000 
50,000 
25,000 
70,000 
50,166 

986,699 
55,000 
10,000 



WoifSM 

Rbgibtsbkd 



22,700 
8,509 
1,506 
1,388 
5,388 
4,500 
6,290 
2,706 
6,906 
4,308 

65,040 

3,000 

513 



Pbr Csmt of 
populatiom 



17.0 

13.0 

12.5 

11.6 

10.8 

10.7 

10.6 

10.1 

9.9 

8.6 

6.5 

6.3 

5.1 



Totals and average . 



1,591,865 



185»344 



8.5 



368 



FOREIGN-BORN VOTER IN ACTION 

Even then, however, the Grand Rapids movement 
was spreading to other Michigan cities; some of the 
results of that influence may well be visible in the larger 
percentages shown by some of these cities. Since then, 
indeed, the movement has become state-wide; and the 
results already visible show notably the same facts and 
tendencies so strikingly exhibited in the case of Grand 
Rapids, where it began. 

BfUNICIPAL voters' LEAGUE OP CHICAGO 

The most conspicuously successful effort to mobilize 
all the resources of a great city behind the general 
movement for honesty and efficiency in city govern- 
ment is undoubtedly the Municipal Voters' League of 
Chicago. Its record of accomplishment is too long and 
too brilliant to permit any serious discouragement from 
the fact that immediately following the war there 
appeared to be a setback and reaction in Chicago's 
local elections. For the time being there seems to be 
everywhere a recession in nearly all forms of social 
idealism. That is the inevitable result of the moral 
overstrain that accompanies war. Much work must 
be done over again, but, at the worst, it must be recog- 
nized that the tide of advance diu'ing the past quarter- 
century left marks which will not be forgotten; stand- 
ards o^social welfare and responsibility which, in the long 
run, will continue to stand as a minimum of progress. 

Anotherthing: Into Chicago has come, during the 
past few years, a vast population of negroes from the 
South, among whom never anywhere has a particle of 
work been done tending to teach them the smallest 
thing about political responsibiUty or civic pride. In 
the election of April, 1919, when William Hale Thomp- 
son was re-elected mayor of Chicago, despite the oppo- 
sition of all the constructive elements in the city, a 

369 



AMERICANS BY CHOICE 

good deal more than half of Thompson's plurality was 
gamed in the Second Ward, which is the negro ward of 
the city. It would be misleading to generalize from 
the results in the foreign wards, because the issues were 
greatly confused by the war and accusations of pro- 
Grermanism against Thompson. Even so, Thompson 
in that election carried only one of the heavily German 
wards. In some of the wards, dominated by native- 
bom voters, he won because, in spite of his alleged pro- 
Germanism, he was the candidate of the dyed-in-the- 
wool, stand-pat Repubhcans. The issue of decent 
government, by which one would test the constructive 
influence of any group of voters, was swamped in a 
wave of passion. So for any general judgment of the 
response of racial groups, or of the foreign-born voters 
as a whole, we must consider the whole experience of 
the Municipal Voters' League during its effort of 
twenty-five years to raise the quality of character and 
public service in the city's board of aldermen. 

The genius of this organization of public-spirited 
volunteers lies in its reliance wholly upon publicity of 
the records of candidates. These records, carefully in- 
vestigated, with full opportimity for the candidates 
or their friends to bring forward any facts or argu- 
ments in their behalf, were published in the newspapers 
and spread broadcast by means of pamphlets. The 
influence has been enormous and accelerating. In the 
early days the main stress was laid upon mere personal 
character — candidates must not be thieves; increas- 
ingly during succeeding years the test came to be that 
of capacity as well as character. The war reactions and 
results have not destroyed, but only interrupted, this 
magnificent work. 

How did the foreign-born voter respond to this effort 
and propaganda? The answer to this question, as 
foimd all through the twenty-odd years before the en- 

370 



FOREIGN-BORN VOTER IN ACTtON 

trance of the United States into the war, is one of the 
most heartening things in American politics. But this 
statement must be taken with discrimination, and 
subject to certain qualifications. The League has had 
its hardest fights, and produced the least results, in 
those wafds where solid blocks of immigrants of some 
one racial complexion encouraged a racial isolation; 
or where great masses of population were under the 
domination of some reactionary political or religious 
leadership, having some interest in maintaining a sub- 
servient representation in the City Hall. In the centers 
of poverty, where political strength is maintained by 
leaders of the old type through control of day-labor 
jobs, gifts of coal, shoes, and other forms of charity, it 
is difficult to interest a population to whom even a 
vision of clean streets is of importance secondary to 
to-day's experience of empty stomachs. In a general 
way it may be said that the degree of response to move- 
ments like the Mimicipal Voters' League is roughly 
commensurate with the degree of material prosperity. 
As the immigrant gains in quality and wage-retiu'n of 
his job, acquaintance with American essentials, and 
comfort of material surroundings, he gains interest 
in the ethical aspect of community life. 

But the uplifting influence of a campaign like that 
of the League penetrates even into the most obdurate 
regions. The Seventeenth Ward of Chicago was long 
the scene of one of the hardest fights of the League. 
Through the hard work of Prof. Graham Taylor 
and the group of good citizens centering in and about 
the Chicago-Commons social settlement, the work came 
to great success — ^and held it — ^as long as the population 
was characteristically Scandinavian, German, Scotch, 
and Irish. In recent years, however, these people 
gradually moved out of the ward, and it came to be 
heavily Polish, under the domination of a reactionary 

371 



AMERICANS BY CHOICE 

control of the Polish Catholic Church. This element 
always has been hard to influence, and its priests are 
active directly in politics. Nevertheless, in a recent 
aldermanic campaign, a Polish Catholic alderman run- 
ning for re-election told at a public meeting how his 
daughter came home from school crying, with a news- 
paper in her hand, demanding to know what her father 
had done to justify the newspapers in saying he had a 
bad record — ^his record set forth in cold type by the 
Municipal Voters' League. This alderman at that 
meeting declared that he had been receiving patronage 
for his vote in the council, that he was going to drop 
that, try hereafter to serve the best interests of his ward, 
and make a record of which his children could be proud. 

The Italians as a whole, in Chicago as in many other 
places, have been more united in their action than most 
other racial groups, and under their ancient habits of 
padrone leadership have shown a tendency to accept 
boss rule, though the Italian voter as an individual is 
no more amenable to corrupt influences than voters 
of any other race. 

Over the whole history of the League's activity it has 
been true that the races most responsive to its appeal 
are the Scandinavian, German, Irish, and Bohemian. 
Given a candidate of any race, other things being equal, 
the voters of that race will support him; as between 
two competing outsiders, the voters of these races have 
been more than willing to heed disinterested appeals 
from the point of view of good government. Some of 
the best aldermen during the past twenty years in 
Chicago have been Germans. The late Alderman 
Beilf uss. Republican, a native of Germany and an excel- 
lent official, was re-elected time after time in the Fif- 
teenth Ward; but as the Scandinavians and Grermans — 
especially Lutheran Germans — moved away and the 
scale of prosperity in the ward's population deterio- 

372 



FOREIGN-BORN VOTER IN ACTION 

rated, his pluralities diminisliedy and in the year before 
his death he won by a narrow margin. 

In the predominantly Bohemian Twelfth Ward alder- 
manic candidates recommended by the League were 
elected almost without exception for many years, re- 
gardless of political alignment. In that ward, from 1904 
to 1909, inclusive, the Republican Bohemian and the 
Democratic German candidates, both indorsed by the 
League, alternated in winning elections, the pluralities 
running from 3,400 on one side to 3,100 on the other — 
in a ward casting a total of perhaps 15,000 votes a 
shift of 6,500. When Mayor Thompson, Republican, in 
1915, carried the ward by nearly 4,000, Alderman 
Kerner, a Bohemian Democrat of excellent record, car- 
ried it in the same election by 3,350. In other words, 
there was a poUtically independent swing of nearly 
one-half of the 15,000 votes cast in the election. 

The Irish voters generally pay close attention to 
what the League says. In the spring campaign of 1919, 
the League's condemnation of a Democratic Irish 
alderman in the Thirtieth Ward f lunished his opponent, 
whom the League recommended, with enough ammuni- 
tion to defeat him for renomination, whereupon an 
Irish Republican, a former alderman with a good record, 
who received the final indorsement of the League, 
turned in and beat the Democratic nominee. In the 
Thirteenth Ward, largely Irish, which Mayor Thomp- 
son, Republican, lost in 1919 by more than 4,000, a 
Democratic alderman condemned by the League was 
defeated by a native-bom Republican whom the 
League indorsed, by more than 1,800 votes. 

SOME OTHER INSTANCES 

Dr. Charles W. Eliot told the Good Government Con- 
ference at Cincinnati in 1909 of an incident in Massa- 
25 373 



AMERICANS BY CHOICE 

chusetts which reflected the interest of foreign-bom 
voters in political questions on their merits regardless 
ol racial or religious considerations: 

A few years ago, largely through the efforts of a single 
citizen, the Massachusetts Legislature changed the number of 
the school committee of Boston from twenty-four to five — ^in 
itself a prodigious improvement. Now, Boston is the home 
c^ three Roman Catholic races, the Irish, the French Cana- 
dians,and the Italians. The Italians have lately come in large 
numbers, and many of them are from southern Italy and not 
from northern Italy. What did the voters of Boston do in 
electing a school committee of five at large? The election was 
not by wards, but at large. They elected at the very first 
election — and have maintained the composition of the com- 
mittee as then determined ever since — two Catholics, two 
Protestants, and one Jew, and the Jew has lately been the 
chairman of the committee. Now is not that creditable to 
the Roman Catholic majority in the city of Boston? They 
have a clear majority. Moreover, does it not tell us some- 
thing encouraging about the manner in which voters of foreign 
birth will use the power of the vote in our country? 

A. C. Pleydell of New York, on the same occasion, 
contributed a testimony of the same general character: 

In New Jersey a Iftrge settlement of Italians in a small 

country township until lately have been the prey of the 

political leaders, who are just as corrupt as in the city. A 

gentleman whom I know who is, I believe, of a different 

political faith, moved out there some years ago and began to 

take an interest in the local life of the community. He started 

to clean up the school board and get decent schoolhouses. 

There were sixty or seventy Italian children at that Httle 

village school. The village has a population of only a few 

hundred. This man got subscriptions from these poor people, 

a little help from the outside, and contributed something 

himself. For two or three years they have had neighborhood 

meetings without regard to party, which these foreigners 

attended. One of the finest and most inspiring sights I have 

874 



FOREIGN-BORN VOTER IN ACTION 

ever seen was at the school festival held in that little hall» 
largely filled by these foreigners. . . . These foreigners, under 
the leadership of this one man, have formed a good-govern- 
ment organization that has spread to neighboring townships. 
... He uses for its motto, "Put the circles on the square," 
the square being the township and the circles being little 
group organizations. They have broken up the political ring 
in that township to-day by independent voting and nomina- 
tions; ... as a result of thb work in that township the move- 
ment has spread into another township which has been more 
corrupt, although inhabited almost altogether by native 
Americans. At the last election the people in that other 
township took an inspiration from the work that had been 
done by the foreign Italian population, and cleaned up their 
township. . . . 

There is just as much democracy in those people as we 
have, and we do not want to lose sight of the fact that they 
are human beings just like everybody else. I am the son of 
an immigrant from another part of Europe. The immigrants 
from the southern part have just as much ambition as the 
immigrants from the northern part. 

I. M. Wise of Cincinnati in the same discussion said: 

We have had a very fine example of the independence of 
the foreign voter during the last few years in Cincinnati. We 
had a movement started for the purpose of electing a prose- 
cutor, and we found, after investigating the returns of the 
election, that the victory was due almost entirely to the foreign 
vote. But we had another example some years ago when 
there was a movement to sell the Cincinnati Southern Rail- 
way. This measure was defeated by a small majority, due en- 
tirely to the German citizens who usually show more inde- 
pendence than the other foreign citizens. 

William Bennett Munro, in his Government of 
American CitieSy^ discussing the reasons for the polit- 
ical misl eading of the foreign-born voter by corrupt 

^William Bennett Munro, The Government of American Cities, 
Macmillan, 1912, pp. 8d-37. 

375 



AMERICANS BY CHOICE 

leadership, points out that ^'the discreet and sober use 
of the ballot is something not to be learned in a day or 
even in a generation/' and that ^^it is not a matter for 
surprise, then, if alien-bom voters have often proved 
easy pr^ to the sophistry and cajolery of claptrap 
politicians." He says, further: 

We have the testimony of seasoned campaigners that the 
alien-bom voter is inclined to think for himself if he has the 
opportunity; but too often he does not secure even that small 
amount of fair information which is necessary to furnish food 
for thought. As a rule, practically all he gets concerning the 
facts of the municipal situation comes to him in such form that 
it leads to one conclusion only. . • . Experience has proved 
that he cannot always be stampeded by appeals to class 
prejudice, or delivered blindly to some political faction. Given 
a fair chance, he is, according to authoritative testimony, a 
voter of at least normal independence. 

Considering the bewilderment with which thousands 
of old-stock native-bom voters confront the complica- 
tions of our Federal, state, and local governments, and 
the complexity of our inordinately long official ballots, 
it is small wonder that, like them, the foreign-bom 
voter, even after many years' residence in this country, 
follow shibboleths and leaders who to them represent a 
certain definiteness and clarity of purpose and action* 
This is especially true when the whole subject of govern- 
mental reform and efficiency comes to them in the guise 
of relatively arid abstractions in which they do not see 
their own interests, and by the voice of men living in far 
distant parts of the community, who do not understand 
their intimate problems, or speak the language of their 
daily lives. In almost every instance in which the issue 
was made clear and intdUigible to them, the foreign- 
bom voters of almost every nationality have responded 
in surprising fashion. 

976 



XII 

THE FOREIGN BORN IN RADICAL MOVEMENTS 

It would require an exhaustive investigation^ beyond 
the space limits and the scope of this volume, to describe 
the part which the foreign bom have played in the 
various radical movements markmg the history of the 
United States. Of course, there is a sense in which 
anarchism, philosophical or violent, works toward a 
"political" end. The attempt to abolish all govern- 
ment and establish individual free will as the only law, 
is in that sense political. From that point of view one 
must discuss the influence of primitive Christianity, 
the teachings of such philosophers as Herbert Spencer, 
Tolstoy, Emerson, Thoreau, and a host of others in all 
countries. We confine ourselves here to the activities 
of the foreign born as they aflfect our ordinary political 
machinery and processes, participating or willfully fail- 
ing to participate at the ballot box, or at least directly 
influencing political activities and policies. 

We have to consider briefly the immigrant's participa- 
tion in these forms of activity: (a) Political Socialism, 
(b) Populism — ^lately embodied in the Nonpartisan 
League, (c) The Land Question — ^agitation, for ex- 
ample, for the so-called Single Tax. (d) Antipolitical 
organizations, as exemplified in the I. W. W., Com- 
munist party, etc. 

It is a curious fact that radical movements in any 
country habitually are attributed to the foreign born. 
Bismarck assured the Germans that Socialism could 

877 



AMERICANS BY CHOICE 

not take permanent root in Germany because it was of 
English origin; while Gladstone declared that the 
"Social Democratic" doctrines could not abide in Eng- 
land because they were imported from Germany. It 
is common in this country and elsewhere to assert that 
Socialism is a movement inspired and carried on by 
Jews. There is no sound basis for this or kindred asser- 
tions. Socialism, and radicalism generally, are of no 
particular geographical or racial origin. Among a really 
prosperous and contented people radicalism is an aca- 
demic affair; the common man is not int^'ested. It is 
only when social and economic conditions produce 
extremes of wealth and poverty, and when primary dis- 
content with the basis and atmosphere of daily life is 
widespread, that political radicalism of any kind 
attracts any but the fireside debaters. In the last 
analysis the only real and effective agitator is injus- 
tice. The Socialist movement appeared in Japan only 
^ after modern industrialism and the factory system had 
reached a stage of development creating a psycho- 
logical soil in which it could grow. 

Socialism appeared in America early in the nine- 
teenth centuiy, but it did not assume any political 
significance until the country had become rather in- 
dustrial than agricultural. It did not originate among 
the foreign born, nor were its early protagonists of 
alien birth. 

Long before the influence of Marx appeared in state- 
ments of Socialistic theory in this country, or any other, 
the essentials of Socialism were published and discussed 
on both sides of the Atlantic. When Karl Marx was a 
little boy Robert Owen reprinted in England a Socialist 
pamphlet by an American workingman. About the 
same time one Thomas Cooper of Colmnbia, South 
Carolina, published a book containing all that is essen- 
tial of Socialist doctrine. And O. A. Brownson, editor 

878 



IMMIGRANT AS A RADICAL 

of the Boston Quarierly Review^ was preaching the in- 
evitability of a class war, the abolition of the wage 
system, and the necessity of the "triumph of the pro- 
letariat." In 1829, when Marx was eleven years old, 
Thomas Skidmore, R. L. Jennings, and L. Byllesby 
exercised a marked influence with the preaching of 
what would even now be recognized as "straight Social- 
ism." There was no influence of Marx or any other 
inmiigrant in the substantially Socialistic — ^and collec- 
tivist — ^teachings of such men as Horace Greeley, 
George Ripley, Charles A. Dana, Parke Godwin, Hig- 
ginson, Channing, Margaret Fuller, Hawthorne, James 
Russell Lowell. 

Socialism, in fact, is a spontaneous human reaction to 
individualist capitalism. In that hour when the group- 
ing of privately owned wealth, in the hands and under 
the control of combined owners as partners or in the 
form of corporations, was made necessary by the in- 
creasing intricacy and expensiveness of machinery and 
the application thereto of steam power — ^the institution, 
in short, of the factory system — Socialism — ^the theory 
of the collective ownership of the means of production — 
became the inevitable reaction in the minds of persons 
and classes dissatisfied with the workings of the process. 
Naturally, these persons would be chiefly of the class 
of those who had nothing to contribute except their 
bare hands and brains — the proletariat. Bear in 
mind that we are not here discussing the merits of 
the theory. 

What Marx did was to elaborate and systematize 
the theory. And he did something else. The earlier 
preachers of Socialism were largely idealists, most of 
them of the Christian faith, who appealed to the sense 
of brotherhood, talked in terms of the Sermon on the 
!Mount and the Kingdom of God. Later came, notably 
in the writings of Marx, the reduction of the whole 

879 



AMERICANS BY CHOICE 

business to materialist terms; the disappearance of all 
sentimentalism and religious terminology from the 
propaganda. Logically it is a short step to the atheistic 
extremes of merciless dictatorship by minority and the 
harsh suppression of opposition, exemplified in the rule 
of the so-called Bolsheviki. 

This is very important, because it affords the psycho- 
logical back^ound against which to see the reason why 
materialistic Socialism has to so great an extent failed 
to hold the allegiance of the naturally idealistic^ church- 
bred, native American, and has so largely come to be a 
movement supported by the foreign born. For, what- 
ever may be said about Socialism as not peculiarly of 
foreign origin, it nevertheless is a fact that in his 
country, in its aggressive political aspect. Socialism is 
preponderantly of foreign-born personnel, and to a large 
extent, though by no means exclusively, German and 
Jewish. It is impossible to present reliable statistics as 
to the number or racial distribution of Socialists, be- 
cause, in the first place, there are thousands of persons 
of all races entertaining Socialistic ideas and theories 
who do not call themselves Socialists. The vote of the 
Socialist political parties includes large proportions of 
votes due to reasons other than Socialist views; the 
Socialist parties have in the past contained thousands 
of members who were not voters. Furthermore, there 
is no census or tabulation of Socialists that can be 
relied upon. 

THE SOCIALIST PRESS 

Some significance might be attached to the relative 
circulation of the Socialist daily press, which is largely 
foreign-speaking. There appear to be but two daily 
Socialist newspapers published in English — ^the Mil- 
waukee Leader, claiming a circulation of 37,000, and 

the New York CaU, credited with about 15,000. The 

S80 



BIMIGRANT AS A RADICAL ^ 

potential circulation of these papers, and even more 
those in foreign languages, no doubt is much larger than 
this, the difficulties of distribution due in part to lack 
of capital, but still more to mailing restrictions in- 
flicted during the war, preventing their free circulation. 
There are, or until a recent date were, at least thirteen 
Socialist papers published in foreign languages — one 
Bohemian, four Finnish, three German, one Hungarian, 
one Yiddish, one Lithuanian, one Polish, and one 
Russian. According to the American Labor Year Book 
of 1916, nine of these foreign-language dailies approx- 
imated a total circulation of 30^,000. Against these 
dailies, however, must be placed many Socialist and 
Socialistic periodicals, weekly and monthly, published 
in English. One source of information on this subject 
asserted that "those who have definitely accepted the 
Socialist philosophy of life read the Socialist daily 
newspapers." This is hardly supported by the facts. 
For obvious reasons, the Socialist dailies are not very 
satisfactory sources of news information, and many 
convinced Socialists do not read them — ^perhaps cannot 
get them — ^but rely for their Socialist reading upon 
periodicals appearing at longer intervals. This would 
appear from the circulation of such papers in English 
as the Appeal to Reason^ published at Girard, Kansas, 
which claims a circulation of 5^9,13^, and the National 
Rip-Saw^ published at St. Louis, which claims 200,000. 
To what extent these papers represent deeply con- 
vinced Socialists, and those holding more or less mildly 
Socialistic views, it is impossible to say. 

DUES-PAYING SOCIALIST MEMBERS 

According to the Appeal Almanac for 1916, the dues- 
paying members of the Socialist party from 1903 to 
1915 totaled: 

381 



AMERICANS BY CHOICE 



TABLE XLVm 



NUMBKB OF SOCIAIJSTB PaTINO DuE8 EaCH YkAB» rSQIf 1908 TO 1915 



1908 
1904 
1905 
1906 
1907 
1908 
1909 
1910 
1911 
1912 
1918 
1914 
1915 



15,975 
20,768 
28,827 
26,784 
29,270 
41,751 
41,479 
58,011 
84,716 
118,871 
95,401 
98,579 
79,874 



The year 1912 was the year of the Roosevelt Progressive 
revolt against the Republican party; it may be that 
thousands of voters of radical or liberal tendency who 
resented the Republican attitude, but could not follow 
Mr. Roosevelt, or swung farther than the Progressive 
party was willing to go, went into the Socialist party. 
But it seems quite evident that the heavy slump be- 
tween 1914 and 1915, when the figure dropped from 
93,579 to 79,374, was due to the reactions of the war, 
and in particular to the increasing resentment of native 
Americans against the attitude of the party leaders 
which culminated in the platform adopted by the 
party organization at St. Louis — ^antiwar, and by most 
ordinary folk, including thousands of perfectly good 
Socialists, deemed not only pacifistic, but definitely pro- 
German. That situation alone drove a rift down 
through the Socialist ranks, and certainly made it 
legitimate henceforth — ^for the present, anyway — ^to 
regard the Socialist party, as constituted, as an or- 

882 



IMMIGRANT AS A RADICAL 

ganization distinctively of foreign stock and foreign 
born. 



RACIAL GROUPS OP SOCIALISTS 

Owing to the polyglot character of the Socialist move- 
ment, it became necessary to organize language groups. 
This movement was well under way in the years imme- 
diately preceding the war. The German Language 
Federation, which was formed in December, 1912, at 
Newcastle, Penni^lvania, at the end of the third year 
claimed a dues-paying membership of 4,577.* The 
Finnish Socialist Federation was credited with 10,616 
in 1916. The French Language Federation reported 
497 members in December, 1915. The Hungarian 
Language Federation claimed membership ^^well above 
1,500." The Italian Socialist Federation reported 
''about 1,000 members in good standing." The Jewish 
Socialist Federation was stated to have "about 6,000 
members." The Lithuanian Socialist Federation stated 
that it had "a little over «,000 members." The South- 
Slavic Socialist Federation claimed about 2,000. The 
Scandinavian Federation gave its membership as 1,161, 
of whom 265 were women. There were recognized 
ako organizationa of Poles, Slovaks, Japanese, etc. 

The Finnish Kalenteri for 1918 gave a list of racial 
groups of Socialists in the United States in this 
order of relative strength. It is a striking fact that 
the Americans lead, but it must be remembered that 
for their statistical purposes a naturalized citizen 
may be as good an American as one native-born of 
old stock. (See Table XLIX.) 

This is well enough for rough purposes, but it is too 
loose for generalization as to racial tendencies. "Jews " 
might be of almost any nationality, and "Slavs" might 



^ American Labor Year Book, 1916, p. 13S. 

883 



AMERICANS BY CHOICE 

TABLE XUX 
lUiiKB OF Race Gboufb in Rkiatiye Socialist Stbength 



Rank 


Raoe 


1 


Amwicans 


2 


Finns 


8 




4 


Jews 


5 


^vs 


6 




7 


Scandini^viiMiif 


8 


Czechs 


9 


Hungarians 


10 


11 


Letts 


12 


Novaks 







cover natives of almost any of the countries east of the 
Carpathians and the Adriatic. 

The foreign-language groups of the Socialist party 
in 1916 had an aggregate membership of over ^,000» 
and if we accept the estimate of the National Executive 
Secretary of the party, of 94,140, as the dues-paying 
membership during the first four months of that year, 
it would appear that 81 per cent of all dues-paying 
members of the party were foreign-born persons, either 
not citizens or so unfamiliar with English as to prefer 
to belong to a foreign-speaking branch of their political 
party. 

There are two ways of looking at all this. One is to 
assmne that, but for the war and the disorganization 
which it threw into the Socialist party's ranks, including 
a virtual decision to confine membership to voters, 
there would have grown up a large political body of 
aliens, of unknown and probably menacing poten- 
tiality. The other is to recognize that, with the foreign- 
speaking organizations as a starting point, the immi- 
grant would have been brought directly and early into 

884 



IMMIGRANT AS A RADICAL 

an active interest in American politics, personal par- 
ticipation in the study of its affairs, and susceptibility 
far greater than it is common to acknowledge to the 
appeal of reason and experience in the solution of polit- 
ical questions. The present writer believes that to a 
considerable extent the fluctuations in the Socialist 
vote are due to changes of mind about Socialism on the 
part of individiidl voters of aU races. 

THE SOCIALIST VOTE 

Previous to the organization of the Socialist party, the 
Socialist political activity in this country was in the 
custody of the old Socialist-Labor party. Its vote, as 
listed by the Appeal Almanac for 1916, developed as 
follows: 

TABLE L 

S0CIAU8T Vote fob President from 1888 to 1898 



1888. 
1890. 
1892. 
1894. 
1896. 
1898. 



2,068 
13,704 
21,512 
80,020 
36,275 
82,204 



After 1898 the vote of this party declined rapidly 
until, in 1914, its candidate polled only 21,827 votes. 

On the whole, the best index of Socialist political 
strength is the vote recorded in the ballot box. A 
tabulation of the vote of the Socialist party in the 
presidential elections since and including that of 1900 
is therefore germane. (See Table LI.) 

This table is compiled from the World Almanac. 

The column for 1920, in particular, may be suspected of 

serious inaccuracy in detail. The figures for Idaho, for 

385 



AMERICANS BY CHOICE 

TABLE U 
The Socialibt Vote fob President bt States fbom 1900 to 1920^ 



Statb 



Alabama 

Arisona 

Arkansas 

California 

Colorado 

Connecticut 

Delaware 

Florida 

Georgia 

Idaho 

Illin(ns 

Indiana 

Iowa 

Kansas 

Kentucky 

Louisiana 

Maine 

Maryland 

Massachusetts. . . 

Michigan 

Minnesota 

Mississippi 

Missouri 

Montana 

Nebraska 

Nevada . . ' 

New Hampshire. 

New Jersey 

New Mexico 

New York 

North Carolina . . 
North Dakota.. . 

Ohio 

Oklahoma 

Oregon 

Pennsylvania 

Rhode Island 

South Carolina . . 
South Dakota. . . 

Tennessee 

Texas 

Utah 

Vermont , 

Virginia 

Washin^^n 

West Virginia.. ., 

Wisconsin , 

Wyoming , 



Total 



1900 
Dbbs 



928 



27 

7,672 

684 

1,029 

67 

603 



9,687 
2.374 
2,742 
1,606 
770 



1904 
Dbbs 



863 



878 

908 

9,716 

2,826 

3.066 



6,128 
708 
823 



790 
4.221 



12.869 



618 
4.847 



1,494 
4,831 



169 
413 

1,846 
717 
371 
146 

2.006 
268 

7,048 



96,116 



Total Socialist vote* 
Socialist-Labor vote> 



1,816 
29,633 

4.304 

4,643 
146 

2,337 
197 

4.964 
69,226 
12.013 
14.847 
16.849 

3.602 
995 

2,106 

2,247 
13.604 

9,042 

11,692 

393 

13,009 

5,676 

7,412 
925 

1.090 

9,688 



36,883 

124 

2.017 

36,260 



7.619 

21.863 

956 

22 

3,138 

1,354 

2,791 

6,767 

844 

218 

10,023 

1.674 

28,220 



402,321 



408,230 
33,646 



1908 
Debs 



1,399 



6,842 

28,669 

7,974 

6.113 

239 

3,747 

684 

6.400 

34.711 

13.476 

8.287 

12.420 

4.186 

2.638 

1,768 

2,323 

10,781 

11,586 

14.527 

978 

16,431 

6,855 

3,524 

2.103 

1.299 

10.249 



38.461 

345 

2.421 

33.795 

21.779 
7.339 

33.913 
1.365 
101 
2,846 
1.870 
7.870 
4.890 



266 
14,177 

3,679 
28.164 

1,716 



420,973 



424,488 
14,021 



1912 
Dbbs 



3,029 

3,163 

8,153 

79,201 

16,418 

10.066 

666 

4.806 

1.026 

11.960 

81,278 

39,931 

16.967 

26.779 

11.647 

6.249 

2,541 

3,996 

12,616 

23,211 

27,606 

2,061 

28,466 

10.886 

10,174 

3,313 

1.9S0 

15,900 

2.859 

63,381 

117 

6.966 

90.144 

41,674 

13.343 

80,915 

2.049 

164 

4.662 

3.492 

24,896 

9,023 

928 

820 

40.134 

16,336 

33,481 

2,760 



897,011 



901,062 
30,344 



1916 
Benson 



1.926 

3,174 

6,999 

43,269 

10,049 

6.179 

480 

6,353 

967 

8.066 

61,394 

21365 

10,976 

24,686 

4,734 

292 

2,177 

2,674 

11.058 

16.120 

20.117 

1.484 

14,612 

9.564 

7,141 

3,066 

1,318 

10.462 

1,999 

45.944 

490 



38,092 
46,190 

9.711 
46.637 

1.914 
135 

3.760 

2.542 
18.963 

4.460 
798 

1,060 
22.800 

6,140 
27,846 

1,463 



686,113 



1920 
Debs 



2,369 
126 

6.111 
64,076 

8,046 
10.366 

1,002 

6,189 
466 
38 
74,747 
24,703 
16,981 
16,610 

6,409 

2.214' 
8,876 
32.266 
28.947 
66,106 
1.639 
20.242 

9,666' 

1,864 

1,236 

27,217 

2 

203.400 

446 

8.283 

67,147 

26,638 

9,801 

70,021 

4.361 

28 



2.239 

8,194 

3.169 

25 

807 

8.913 

6,618 

80,636 

1,234 



916,302 



> World Almanac, 1920. * Appeal Almanac, 1916. 

386 



IMMIGRANT AS A RADICAL 

example, would appear to be absurd, in view of nearly 
12,000 in 1912 and more than 8,000 in 1916. The 
Appeal Almantzc for 1916 gives larger totals, and adds 
a surviving vote of the Socialist-Labor party. The 
World Almanac for 1921 adds a note regarding the 1920 
election: 

The total for the Socialist-Labor ticket approximated 
20,896, but it is to be said that in a number of the states the 
Socialist-Labor electors were c^ed Independent Labor, or 
Independent, or Industrial Labor, so that the true total is 
considerably above that named above. 

In general, the table affords a sufficient basis for 
general comparisons and judgment as to tendency. 

GERMAN INFLUENCE IN SOCXAXISM 

Since the declaration of the St. Louis convention of the 
Socialists in 1917, which most outsiders and a large 
proportion of the Socialist rank and file regarded as 
not only consistently antiwar, but actually pro-Ger- 
man, it has been the fashion for Socialists of other than 
German leanings to minimize the German influence in 
the development of political Socialism in the United 
States. From the point of view of the loyally American 
or pro-Ally Socialists, of whom there are many thou- 
sands, it would no doubt be pleasing to clear it of the 
German atmosphere; but,imfortunately,the facts make 
such a proceeding difficult. 

A great impulse was given to Socialism in this country 
by the German Socialists who were driven out of Ger- 
many forty years ago by Bismarck's anti - Socialist 
legislation. They were men of a high degree of intelli- 
gence, largely mechanics of skill at their trades. They 
brought to America the Marxian orthodoxy, and 
stamped with their German rigidity of thought a move- 

587 



AMERICANS Bi lOICE 

ment which up to that tune h jeen more or less a 
sentimental thing. Let us exac e some figures which 
would seem to be significant. 

The German-language press in this country has been 
largely confined to nine states. To the total circulation 
of the German-language press in the United States, 
their circulation in these nine states bears percentage 
ratio as follows: 

TABLE Ln 

Feb Cent CiBcmiATioN of the German Pbess in Nine States 





Statb 


CntCITIiATIGNl 




Per Cbmt 


New York \ 


19.4 


New Jersey / 

'V^^sconsin 


15.4 


minois 


12.5 


Ohio 


10.9 


Nebraffkft 


7.6 


Pennsvlvania 


6.9 


Missouri 




6.2 


Minp^sotA. ....,,.-.,.,,,,,,- 1 1 .,, t T T 


5.8 






Total 


84.7 







^The circulation figures are based upon r^x>rt8 given in Ayer's 
American Neiospaper Annual and Directory for 1916. The influence 
of the war emotions and the rising cost of news-print paper, and other 
factors would make later figures misleading as to the general situa- 
tion. Where Ayer's fails to give circulation it is conservatively esti- 
mated. New York and New Jersey are combined because the German 
papers in New York were largely read in the preponderantly German 
towns along the New Jersey bank of the Hudson River. 

It would thus appear that the German-language 
papers published in these nine states claimed a circula- 
tion of nearly 85 per cent of the total circulation of 
German-language papers in the whole United States. 

388 



immigran/'as a radical 

It is obvious, therefol^'that in these nine states one 
i9irould look for the bulkfftf the unassimilated immigrants 
of Grerman birth. The census of 1910 sustains this 
expectation, for of theijtotal of 2»501»333 German-born 
rcjsidents of the Unitra States, 1,737,827, or 69.5 per 
cent, lived in the nine States. 

What perc^itage of the Socialist vote is found in 
those nine states? We cannot answer this question as 
to the vote for the candidates of the Socialist-Labor 
party prior to 1900; but the vote for Socialist candi- 
dates subsequent to that gives us illuminating per- 
centages. 

In the table made up from the World Almanac for 
1921 is the vote of the Socialist (or Social-Democratic) 
party in presidential elections since and including 1900. 
Note the percentage of that vote cast in the nine states 
named. 

TABLE Lin 

SociAUBT Vote fob Pbbsidents in Ninb States, fbom 1900 to 1016 



Ybab 



1900 
1904 
1908 
191je 
1916 



Total 
sociajjbt 

VOTB 



96,116 
402,821 
420,978 
897.011 
585,118 



Pbb Csnt or 
SociALiBT Vom 

IN THB NiMB 

Btatbs 



55.6 
5&.2 
50.5 
48.0 
45.8 



It appears, then, that these nine states — ^New York 
and New Jersey, containing the large cities of Greater 
New York, Jersqr City, and Newark; Yi^sconsin, con- 
taining the great Grerman population of Milwaukee; 
Illinois, containing Chicago; Ohio, containing Cleve- 
land and Cincinnati; Nebraska, containing Omaha; 
Femn^sylvania, containing Philadelphia and Pittsburgh; 

26 380 



AMERICANS BY CHOICE 

Missouri, containing St. Louis and Kansas City; Min- 
nesota, containing Minneapolis and St. Paul; to say 
nothing of the smaller cities and rural districts, largely 
inhabited by immigrants of German birth — ^have con- 
tained more than half of the voting strength of the 
Socialist parties. Some discount must be allowed for 
the fact that these large cities contain also large num- 
bers of foreign-born voters of other races; but even a 
generous discount for this fact does not nullify the pre- 
dominance of the German element in the Socialist vot- 
ing 3trength. These nine states account also for about 
half of the dues-paying membership in the Socialist 
party; according to the American Socialist of Jan- 
uary 23, 1916, there were 44,132, or 47 per c€;nt, of the 
total of dues-paying membership of the party, in 1914, 
and 38,194, or 48 per cent, in 1915, in the nine states. 

JEWS IN SOCIALISM 

It is also true that the active propaganda of political 
Socialism has increasingly attracted young Jews of 
foreign extraction. It appeals to them in two ways. 
There is a tremendous fund of idealism in the Jewish 
mind. For ages they have be^n taught to dream of an 
earthly millennium, in which the freedom denied them 
by the world everywhere would be attained, and the 
social ideals set forth by their prophets in their Scrip- 
ture could be eflFectuated. Also, they have been bred to 
interminable discussion of abstractions and theoretical 
relationships regardless of the practical things of sck^ial 
life from which they were excluded by rigorous govern- 
mental restrictions and the race prejudice under which 
they have suflFered, especially in Russia. It was to be 
expected that with the freedom of movwnent and ex- 
pression which they have enjoyed in America, together 

with the tense economic and industrial conditions 

S90 



IMMIGRANT AS A RADICAL 

under which they labor here, they would respond to 
the propaganda of Socialism with its idealistic back- 
ground^ its promise of an economic millennium^ and its 
minviioe of theory and inexhaustible material for debate. 
There are no reliable statistics — ^little data of any kind — 
on which to base an estimate of the number or activity 
of Jews of any or all national extraction in the Socialist 
movement; nevertheless, it is a matter of common 
knowledge that they are both niunerous and aggres- 
sive in its councils and its propaganda. 

EFFECT OF THE WAR ON SOCIALISM 

What might have been the development of political 
Socialism in the United States had there been no war 
in Europe it is impossible to say. To what extent the 
Germanization» not only of the Socialist party, but oi 
large elements of politics in the old parties, might have 
gone on, it is impossible to say. The reactions of the 
war spirit, and of the variants of sympathy among the 
racial groups, produced profound eflFects. They were 
marked in the Socialist movement, tending to drive 
into the "left" or extreme radical wing, and even out 
of the party into the nonpolitical and antipolitical 
movements, many of the foreign-bom Socialists who 
during past years have been trying to make the Social- 
ist parties and the labor organizations of various sorts 
more and more radical, less and less patient toward 
political methods and measures. Inevitably these 
ultraradicals took on, or were regarded as taking on, 
the aspect of opposition to the cause of the Allies, to 
the participation of the United States in the war — ^to 
out-and-out pro-Germanism. That this pro-German- 
ism among the ultraradicals was not imaginary may 
be illustrated by one episode reported by an investigator 
for the Americanization Study: 

391 



AMERICANS BY CHOICE 

In 1915, in the capacity of a field investigate of the am- 
ditions of unskilled labor for the United States Commission 
on Industrial Relations, I happened to visit Port Arthur in 
the eastern part of Texas, where a Standard Oil refinery is 
located. There was some labor excitement. A young German, 
2S or ^ years of age, who had come to this country when a 
small boy and who was one of the local leaders of the I. W. W., 
addressed a meeting. In attacking all capitalists of aU 
countries he also spoke of the war which, according to him, 
was started and prosecuted by the czars, kaisers, kings, and 
capitalists of all countries at the expense of the working 
classes, etc., etc. 

After the meeting I interviewed a number of local labor 
leaders. The youthful orator was sitting on a lumber pile a 
few feet from me. Oil barges were passing back and forth on 
the canal, carrying oil* from the refinery to a large British 
tanker in the harlx^. The boy intently watched the barges, 
and exclaimed, as if to himself, in a low tone of disgust and 
desperation: 

''Hm! Britain gets all the oil; Germany — ^nothing!" 

All his reasoning, based upon international class solidarity, 
had given way to his patriotic German heart! 

There was, further, the inevitable influence of the fact 
that the Crerman Social Democracy has, on the whole, 
been more cIose-knit» more effective in propaganda, 
and the German Socialist literature^ from Marx down, 
more widespread in its distribution, than the propa- 
ganda in any other language. Even now, the Grermans 
and pro-Germans in the Socialist ranks habitually 
declare that the war was ended by the German Social 
Democrats through a revolt against the Kaiser. 

The native-bom Americans, English, and other Eng- 
lish-speaking Socialists, most of whoon had been in 
sympathy with the cause of the Allies, revolted against 
the pacifist, antiwar, and pro-Grerman element in the 
Socialist party, and the turmoil shook the organization 
to its foundation. The end of this is not yet; but one 

892 



IMMIGRANT AS A RADICAL 

big result in the Socialist party itself has been to rein- 
force the influence of the moderate element and to some 
extent to drive the extremists into the so-called Com- 
munist parties and the I. W. W., which, whatever else 
may be said of them, do not exercise themselves 
directly about political affairs. 

To tiie deep rift, in the Socialist ranks on this account 
may be attributed in large part the failure of the Social- 
ists to live up to their expectations and promises in the 
presidential election of 1920. It is far too soon to 
speculate with any confidence upon what may be the 
course of political Socialism in the United States in the 
years immediately before us when the emotions ex- 
cited by the war die down, the hysterical opposition 
to immigrants as such fades out, and economic and 
industrial forces are permitted to operate "normally'* 
in their effects upon the motives of the working people 
and their expression of those motives through their 
ballots. 

THE SINGLE-TAX AND A6BARIAN MOVEMENTS 

At the root of all the radical movements in the United 
States lies, actually or potentially, an unsatisfied land 
himger, a feeling that somehow the opportunity to have 
access to a standing on God's footstool is circum- 
scribed by man-made restrictions and injustice. It b 
to be remembered that the great majority of immi- 
grants to this country are peasants, whose whole life 
and social background have reference to making, or 
being prevented from making, a living from the soil. 
Even the Russian and other Jews, who, generally speak- 
ing, have little or no actual experience of agriculture, 
come here with a vision of a land where there is satis- 
faction for their deepest longings, and at the bottom 
lies the longing to own a piece of the face of the earth as 

898 



AMERICANS BY CHOICE 

a basis for subsistence. Generally speaking, the first 
disillusionment that many a modem immigrant experi- 
ences is in the fact that he cannot step from the ship 
into the ownership of land out of which to dig his living. 
It is a short step from that state of mind into one ci 
general discontent with the difficulty of finding the 
opportunity which, he had been told, waited for him in 
the United States at every street comer and crossroad. 

In the earlier days, when industrialism was younger 
in this country and immigrants could pass more easily 
into agriculture and into access to actual land, there 
was a wider and quicker interest on the part of the 
inmiigrant in the land question as such. Probably that 
is Tf hy he responded more than he does now to such 
movements as the individualist single-tax agitation 
precipitated by Heniy George. In recent years, when 
his opportunities for employment came to be more and 
more restricted to the cities and to great industrial 
plants and mines, the appeal of the Socialist agitation 
seemed more applicable to his situation. Further- 
more, the single-tax movement represents, on the whole, 
an earlier stage in the development of radical theory. 

The same might be said of Greenbackism, Populism, 
and the present-day Nonpartisan League movement. 
All three of these movements find the body of their 
rank and file among the small farmers, small producers, 
and the dissatisfied lower grades of the merchandising 
class, who feel, rightly or wrongly, that they are getting 
the worst of it in the development of law, taxation, 
finance, monopoly, or what not. The contented foreign 
bom, or the contented anybody else, does not partici- 
pate in or respond to radical agitation or movements 
for drastic reform. There are thousands of foreign-bom 
members in the Nonpartisan League, but they are in it 
not as foreign bom of any race, but as farmers who 

think they are not getting a square deal. 

S94 



IMMIGRANT AS A RADICAL 

The farmers of the Northwest, who make up the bulk 
of the Nonpartisan League, are not at present amenable 
to Socialist doctrine. The foreign born among them 
are largely Scandinavian and old-stock Germans who 
have won their way to ownership of land and a measure 
of personal prosperity. They might stand for the ex- 
propriation of the powerful Eastern capitalist, but they 
are not willing to consider the confiscation of their own 
hard-earned farms. Peter Alexander Speek, in his 
monograph on "The Single Tax and the Labor Move- 
ment,"* puts it well: 

It may be said that the Socialists understood the labor 
movement, its meaning and nature, better than did the Single- 
taxers. But what the Socialists failed in was this, that their 
philosophy, emphasizing as it did the social side of human 
life, was not acceptable to the majority of American wage- 
earners, who, though wage conscious and organized as a 
separate class, still were not yet class conscious — ^wage- 
earners among whom the individualistic spirit and a desire to 
become independent small producers prevailed. 

Even so early there was visible a racial line of de- 
markation. The Irish never have taken kindly to 
Socialism. Preponderantly of the Roman Catholic 
faith, they were impervious to the implications of the 
Socialist doctrines as affecting religion and marriage, 
and nothing in their experience tended to modify their 
interest in the ownership of land. Mr. Speek says: 

It is necessary to mention the fact that nationality of the 
members of the party (the United Labor party) also played 
its role in the conflict. The majority of the Irish element lined 
up with the Single Tax faction, the majority of the Grerman 
element with the Socialist. 

This division by nationalities was itself quite comprehen- 

^ Peter A. Speek, BtdleHn of the University of Wisconsin, No. 878, 
1917, p. 129. 

895 



AMERICANS BY CHOICE 

8ive. The Germans have always had a strong communal 
senthnent and social viewpoint upon human life, both being 
inherited from the centuries l<«g gone by. Furthermore, 
many <^ them, before they came to America, were indus- 
trial wage earners in Germany — ^the hmneland oi Marxian 
Socialism. 

The majority dt the Irish immigrants had been formerly 
land tenants in Ireland. They had an individualistic view- 
point, and were devoted Catholics. Hence their lining up 
with Henry George, as a land reformer and agitator for the 
Irish cause in Ireland, and with McGlynn, as a Cathdic priest. 

A large prop<Hlion of the farmers of the Northwest 
are Scandinavians. They are of a naturally conserva- 
tive type, they have been successful in . establishing 
themselves as individual property owners, and the 
property owner does not as a rule afford good material 
for the Socialist seed-sowing. You may r^ard the 
propaganda of the Nonpartisan League, for example, 
as radical and in a general way *' Socialistic," but it 
does not aaXMy the Socialist. 

The importance of this consideration is fundamental. 
There are great areas, even whole states, in the North- 
west particularly, where the saturation of the foreign 
born is so complete that the foreign-bom and second- 
generation folk themselves are the state. As one news- 
paper man in St. Paul put it: 

It is not a question of "we" and "they"; they are the whde 

thing. In Minnesota there is no "Scandinavian problem" — 

they are iitf. In a large measure they have become the best 

kind €i Americans; others have not advanced beyond the 

grade of the ordinary American, but they are the people and 

the government, and the comparative handful ci Yankees 

cannot pretend to draw a line around them and set them 

apart as "foreigners." They are the voters, the l^islature, 

the producers, the farmers, the merchants, and they represent 

all of us at Washington. 

806 



IMMIGRANT AS A RADICAL 

On the other hand» there has been a tendency in the 
Northwest, as elsewhere, for little racial groups to center 
in special localities. There are whole towns in Minne- 
sota which are virtually entirely German; others are 
entirely Bohemian. There is one community which is 
entirely Belgian. This is partly due to the fact that 
many sections were settled by colonies sent forth as a 
part of church missionary effort, especially by the 
Lutherans and CathoKcs. 

Out of this situation the war suddenly crystallized a 
real American sentiment and enthusiasm. There was 
much shocking injustice and mob hysteria in those 
parts, and many accusations of disloyalty; but the fact 
that emerges upon any candid investigation is that these 
folk of various foreign races gave a good account of 
themselves in every form of war participation, whether 
in the furnishing of volunteers or otherwise. North 
Dakota, a hotbed of Nonpartisan League sentiment, 
and a preponderantly foreign-born population, nearly 
doubled its Liberty Bond allotments and exceeded its 
quotas in contributions to the Red Cross and the war- 
chest funds. 

THE NONPARTISAN LEAGUE 

In December, 1918, Oliver S. Morris, editor of the 
National Magazine of the Nonpartisan League, gave 
to an investigator of the Americanization Study an 
analysis of approximate membership of the League. 
(See Table LIV.) 

The membership has shifted this way and that ever 
since, and the experience of the Nonpartisan League 
government in North Dakota is a matter of history; 
but the fact that stands out is that this large member- 
ship did not either accomplish or attempt anything 
which the radical Socialist would accept as revolu- 

897 



AMERICANS BY CHOICE 

tionary. The Nonpartisan League movement is a true 
agrarian movement, on the whole a movement of prop- 
erty owners to benefit themselves as such, to insure their 
own hold upon the land they have acquired and the 

• TABLE LIV 

Membership of the Noxa>A9Ti8AN League bt States in Decembeb» 

1918 



Minnesota. . . . 
North Dakota 
South Dakota. 

Montana 

Idaho 



Washington 

Wisconsin 

Nebraska 

Iowa 

Kansas 

Oklahoma 

Texas 

Colorado 



50,000 
45,000 
25,000 
25,000 
20,000 

165,000 



40,000 



205,000 



processes of stora^» exchange, and marketing upon 
which their prosperity depends. John M. Gillette, 
professor of sociology in the University of North 
Dakota, distinguishes clearly between its underlying 
spirit and purpose and those of the revolutionary 
Socialists:^ 

The Nonpartisan League . . . aims at economic and social 
reforms through political action; the Bolshevists aim at social 

^ John M. Gillette, Tke Survey, March 1, 1910. 

398 



hWii 



[GRANT AS A RADICAL 



reforms through eoonomic action. The League does not seek 
to disfranchise other classes than farmers; Bolshevism dis-- 
f ranchises all other classes than the proletariat. • • . The 
League is essentially an organization of farmers, the pre- 
ponderant majority of the electorate in such states as North 
Dakota owning the bulk of the wealth of the commonwealth, . 
for the improvement of economic and general welfare condi- 
tions by recoin-se to political action. ... It is destroying no 
fundamental institution, but is reshaping and redirecting cer- 
tain ones to make them more amenable to the public will. 

Without any attempt to assess either the righteous- 
ness or the wisdom of the League methods or program, 
intelligent understanding of its relation to the spirit 
and pmpose of political Socialism, and of the reaction 
to each on the part of various racial groups among the 
foreign bom, requires that the distinction be carefully 
kept in mind. The foreign bom who participate in the 
Nonpartisan League are not only citizens of the United 
States — ^voters — ^but they are preponderantly of the 
races whose mental operations tend to be conservative 
toward really revolutionary propaganda, and of the 
property-owning and property-ambitious class, as con- 
trasted with the propertyless, job-holding, wage-earn- 
ing class generally implied in the term "proletariat.** 

This distinction underlies the reason why the strength 
of the League lies in the rural communities rather than 
in the cities. The Lea^e certainly showed strength in 
the cities, and the Socialistic character of many of its 
proposals undoubtedly attracted con^jiderable support 
from city radicals who were unsatisfied with the range 
of the platform; nevertheless, the Nonpartisan League 
represents an agrarian rather than a revolutionary 
movement. There is a world of difference between a 
Socialist program calling for the establishment of a 
wholly co-operative commonwealth, the common 
ownership of all the machinery of production, distri* 

899 



AMERICANS BY CHOICE 

bution, and communication, and the League iHt>gram 
demanding: 

1. Exemption of farm improvements from taxation. 

2. Tonnage tax on ore production. 

S. Rural credit banks operated at cost. 

4. State terminal elevators, warehouses, flour mills, stock- 
yards, packing houses, creameries, and cold-storage plants. 

5. State hail insurance. 

6. A more equitable system of state inspection and grading 
t>f grain. 

7. Equal taxation of property <^ railroads, mines, telegraph, 
telephone, electric light and power companies, and all public 
utility cori>orations, as compared with that <^ other property 
owners. 

Adding to these the *^ national demands" — "that the 
government refuse to return to private hands owner- 
ship or operation of those public utilities owned, oper- 
ated, or controlled by the govenmient during the war," 
and "that the conscription of wealth begun by the gov- 
ernment through income and excess-profit taxes shall 
be continued and increased, that surplus wealth may 
be compelled to pay the money cost of the war" — ^the 
program still falls far short of being revolutionary. On 
the whole the underlying spirit and purpose are more or 
less precisely those of the earlier agrarian Free Soil, 
Greenback, Populist, Single Tax, and Free Silver move- 
ments. 

The Progressive movement of 1912, given extra 
"steam" by the magnetic personality of Mr. Roosevelt 
and the hero worship of his followers, was a far more 
powerful influence in drawing common support from 
farms and cities. And its support, like that of the Non*- 
partisan League, was essentiially American, as dis- 
tinguished from foreign-bom Socialistic support. It 

400 



IMMIGRANT AS A RADICAL 

is interesting to speculate upon the attitude of the 
people generally toward the Progressive movement, if 
one could imagine it coming into being during the war. 
To what extent would its platform and the utterances 
of its leaders have been regarded as "seditious"? 

ULTBARADICAL MOVEMENTS NONPOLITICAL 

From the beginning of any really radical movement in 
this country, its unity of spirit has been broken by pro- 
found differences of opinion as to the effectiveness of 
the appeal to the ballot box. For more than half a cen- 
tury the anarchists and other advocates of "direct 
action" in the labor movement in America have been 
telling the more conservative elements that it would 
be of no use to resort to political measures, to the elec- 
tion of public officers pledged to carry out radical 
programs. 

"The moment you succeed in winning enough votes 
to elect any considerable number of your candidates, 
the representatives of the capitalists will throw them 
out and nullify your victory." 

The great service which the New York State As- 
sembly in 1920 rendered to the ultraradical wing of 
the Socialists when it ejected legally elected Socialist 
members of that house of the state Legislature was in 
the verifying this prediction. It strengthened the 
hands of the "Reds" not only all over this country, but 
all over the world. It made it just that much harder 
for moderates everywhere to convince workingmen that 
their grievances could be remedied by parliamentary 
action; that it was really worth while for them to pay 
any attention to the ballot box. 

The history of the Socialist parties in America is 
checkered with the ups and downs of the controversy 
over this question. lu every labor organization since 

401 



AMERICANS BY CHOICE 

the beginnings of the Labor movement in America 
there has been a continuing warfare between those who 
advocated political action as the means to social reform, 
and those who scorned anything except economic pres- 
sure and even terrorism. Itbacurious fact that in the 
line-up on this issue, Mr. Gompers and the American 
Federation of Labor logically belong with the direct- 
actionists; he and his supporters always have opposed 
the entrance of the Labor movement as such into 
politics. It is only fair to add» however^ that one of his 
principal motives was that of keeping the solidarity of 
labor from being broken by the ordinary appeals and 
influences of the politicians. 

The National Labor Union of 1864, the Knights of 
Labor of 1869, the International Working People's 
Association of 1888, the Sovereigns of Industry of 1874, 
the Workingmen's party of 1876, the organizations of 
brewery workers and miners, the American Railway 
Union, the American Labor Union, the Socialist-Labor 
party — ^in fact, virtually all the general labor organiza- 
tions from the begmning of them untfl to-day— have 
fought back and forth over this question. And the abid- 
ing fact which remained after every battle seems to have 
been that the tendency of the Americans and the foreign 
born longest in the country on the whole has been to 
favor action through the ballot box and parliamentary 
methods generally; the distinctively foreign elements 
have inclined to favor economic and industrial meas- 
ures, with the '* lunatic fringe" running on toward 
'"direct action," sabotage, and the methods of the 
terrorist. 

The World War brought this division sharply to a 
head. It split the Socialist party and drove out of it 
most of the American-bom moderates; it led to the 
attempt by these moderates and many of the former 
Progressives to organize the "National party** and the 

402 



IMMIGRANT AS A RADICAL 

** Farmer-Labor party," which attracted a small follow- 
ing in the presidential election of 19^. The excesses 
committed against foreign-bom citizens of nearly all 
racial groups in the zeal of the war spirit undoubtedly 
drove into the extreme radical ranks a large nimiber of 
foreign-bom citizens who in normal times would have 
been content with political methods and would have 
diminished in their radicalism as their economic status 
improved. Doubtless, also, the period of unemploy- 
ment and industrial depression following the war, 
ensuing as it has upon a period of unprecedentedly high 
wages, has tended to encourage radical thought. 

But it must always be remembered that the extreme 
radical movements have directly relatively little polit- 
ical influence. This for two very good reasons: In the 
first place, experience has not justified the theory of 
the "Reds" that terrorism in this country will frighten 
government into concessions. It has, in America, any- 
way, quite the opposite effect. It alienates public 
sympathy and impels the average man, normally 
sympathetic toward the "under dog," to approve of 
repressive measures. Furthermore, the members of 
these ultraradical organizations, although they may 
be technically citizens, are not voters in any practical 
sense. 

THE "l. W. W." AND THE HOMELESS WORKER 

This latter consideration is more important than is 
commonly realized. The rank and file of the Indus- 
trial Workers of the World — ^better known as the 
"I. W. W." — ^for example, is made up of men without 
fixed abode; itinerant workingmen, largely, though by 
no means wholly, of foreign birth. They have left their 
homes and families, if they ever had either. The 
L W. W. is the only organization which at least 

403 



AMERICANS BY CHOICE 

pretends to look after the interests of the homeless, 
jobless worker. The homeless, jobless worker cannot 
become naturalized, because the naturalization process 
presupposes a fixed residence, and witnesses who can 
testify to that residence over long periods of time. And 
even if the man be native bom or long since naturalized, 
he cannot vote or otherwise function as a political unit 
because he has no fixed home from which to register and 
vote. 

A fixed abiding place, a home, is psychologically a 
sine qua non of real and wholesome civic interest, as 
well as a legal prerequisite for participation in pubUe 
affairs. Theoretically, a native-bom or naturalized 
citizen has a membership in and duty toward the 
United States. Actually, the degree of his participa- 
tion depends upon tiie depths of his roots in some locality, 
and the relation of that locality to the civic unit toward 
whose welfare the voter contributes, not only his taxes, 
but his personal interest. A good part of the trouble 
with city government in New York, Chicago, I^adel- 
phia, Boston, and other great cities is due to the fact 
that so many fine, public-spirited voters live in suburbs. 

Thousands of the best men who participate in the 
daytime in the life of New York City live in New Jersey 
and Connecticut, or, anyway, in towns outside of Greater 
New York. Their real interests are in New York, but 
they vote in another state. They contribute little to 
the local welfare in the places where they live because 
of their real interest in New York. Consequently their 
civic vitality, so to speak, is entirely lost to both com- 
munities — ^and to the United States. The foreign-bom 
voter in the crowded East Side of New York is a far 
more effective citizen, for good cur ill, than the presum- 
ably more intelligent business man who cannot — or at 
any rate does not — ^participate substantially in the 
political life either of the city where his business and 

404 



IMMIGRANT AS A RADICAL 

daily activities are carried on, or in the village in an- 
other state where he has his legal residence. 

Over against this anomalous condition put the case 
of the well-meaning citizen, native or foreign bom» who 
works for a certain mining corporation in Illinois. The 
town where he lives belongs absolutely to that corpora- 
tion. It so happens that a part of the mining property 
of that corporation lies in Illinois and a part in Indiana. 
Under stress of business and mining conditions the 
company suddenly moves the whole population, men, 
women, and children, over the state line. What must 
happen then to any possible civic interest or enthu- 
siasm — supposing any to exist — on the part of American 
citizens, voters, who had begun to think about the 
public interests of the state of Illinois? What happens 
to the naturalization proceedings begun by any alien 
to make himself a useful citizen of his adopted coun- 
try? How can any real civic interest live under such 
conditions? 

It is common to sneer at the city workingman because 
he stays in town unemployed when he might get a job 
in the wheat fields or at mining or fruit picking where 
labor is scant. Laying aside the question of any desire 
pn his part to stay with his family, or any doubt in his 
mind about his ability as a hodcarrier or a tailor to 
make good as a farm hand, or any reluctance on the 
part of the railroad to assist him with the gift or loan 
of transportation to some distant and practically most 
uncertain job — ^what becomes in such a hop-skip-and- 
jump sort of industrial — ^and social — existence, of any 
interest in civic affairs? To a newly made citizen, who 
has faithfully memorized, if you please, the Constitu- 
tion of the United States, who knows just how Senators 
are elected and what is the relation between the 
functions of the President and those of the local dog- 
catcher, and who can sing, duly standing uncovered, 
27 405 



AMERICANS BY CHOICE 

aU the stanzas of the ** Star-spangled Banner/' it must 
appear that his intellectual equipment for citizenship is 
more or less extraneous to the practical and inmiediate 
task of feeding his wife and babies! 

It is this sort of experience, of shifting employment 
and residence and the conditions that go with it» that 
has given momentum to the I. W. W. and kindred 
movements. "Stag towns** in the Far West, matching 
"women towns" in New England; permanently sep- 
arated families; the utter impossibility of getting and 
keeping wives or maintaining 'any sort of decent, not to 
say normal, domestic life, are major factors that have 
brought into such organizations not only foreign-bom 
wanderers, some of them naturalized, but a surprisingly 
large niunber of native Americans — ^the latter particu- 
larly among the leadership. 

On the other hand, the I. W. W. from its beginning^ 
has paid close attention to the immigrant. Fifteen 
years ago, at the second convention of the I. W. W., it 
was urged that propaganda should start in Europe 
before the immigrant left the homeland, so that he 
would be prepared upon arrival in this country to join 
the organization. This was not done, but even so early 
there was a large issue of printed matter in foreign 
languages, and the whole machinery was conceived on 
the presiunption of a polyglot membership. More- 
over, the I. W. W. always has taken the most liberal 
position as regards any form of race prejudice. At the 
opening of the first convention William D. Haywood 
took a strong stand against discrimination against the 
negro by craft unions, and the organization never has 
tolerated any distinction of race, color, nationality^- 
or sex. Even with regard to the Japanese of California, 
at the third convention a delegate from that state 

iPaul Frederick Brissenden, Ph.D., The L TF. W., a Study of 
American Stfnddcalism, Columbia University, 1919. 

406 



IMMIGRANT AS A RADICAL 

declared that ""the whole fight against the Japanese is 
the fight of the middle class of California, in which 
they employ the labor faker to back it up/' 

The Communist party, into which to a considerable 
extent went the extremists from the older movements 
when the effects of the war brought division to their 
ranks and made it impossible for moderate and ultra- 
radical to abide under the same roof, at first became a 
nucleus for the spread of the extreme form of Com- 
munist doctrine. It embodies the essentials of the 
platform of the Third Internationale. The ruthless 
suppression of this organization by^the public authori- 
ties may well prevent its having any but a fugitive life. 
The I. W. W., too, seems, for the time being, at least, to 
be under effective handicap. But whether these," or 
either of them, survive or perish, or whatever other 
organization may be the residuary legatee of their 
- existence, the fact remains, and it is a most important 
fact from the point of view of this Study, that such 
movements have no room under their (sgis for what 
Americans understand as political action. They seek 
revolutionary change not only in the form^ but in the 
nature of government — ^would, in fact, abolish all gov- 
ernment as we know it, and substitute the '' dictator- 
ship of the proletariat" as it exists — or has been sup- 
posed to exist — ^in Russia. Their theory has no use for 
our present parliamentary methods, for representative 
government in our understanding of the word; they 
scoff at and would utterly destroy what we mean by 
Democracy. They would not leave a recognizable 
vestige of our Constitution, our courts, our legislatures. 
They would provide no political function for the voting 
citizen as we visualize him. And — ^what is most im- 
portant — ^they would bring about these basic changes 
by compulsion. The ballot box has no substantial 
place in their program. 

407 



AMERICANS BY CHOICE 

Such propaganda, such programs, appeal <mly to 
those who have and who, however misjbakenly, believe 
they can have, no stake in our present civilization. To 
such as these, citizenship in the sense in which we have 
here discussed it has no meaning; the "" America" 
which has been built up, by native and foreign bom 
together, since the landing of the Pilgrims, arouses no 
enthusiasm. 

It is not surprising that such movements as the 
I. W. W. and the Communist parties appeal to the 
wandering, homeless folk of any race. And when their 
propaganda tells such folk (as it does) that the actual 
fruit of their labor is a product of sixty dollars a day, 
and that the difference between that figure and what 
they receive is the measure of what the capitalist class 
is appropriating, it is small wonder that the ignorant 
and reckless, without attachment to any home or land, 
smarting under concrete conditions about whose reality 
— ^whoever may be to blame for them — ^there can be no 
dispute, follow such leadership and look to it to bring 
them into better conditions. 

From the moment of his arrival in this country, 
every hardship that the inmiigrant of any race suffers, 
every injustice practiced upon him by his own country- 
men or other foreign-born persons who preceded him 
hither, by the police and other local officiab (to him 
the embodiment of government), by landlord or em- 
ployer or others in more prosperous circumstances, 
every hour of unemployment and privation, every en- 
forced separa,tion from his family, every disillusioning 
experience, contributes just so much to his readiness of 
mind to accept the **Bed'' teachings and promises. 
Revolution finds no hospitality in contented minds. 
Injustice, real or fancied, is, in the last analysis, the 
only agitator we have to combat. 

Every particle of information conning to the Amer- 

408 



IMMIGRANT AS A RADICAL 

icanization Study on the subject of the mental attitude 
of the immigrant of any race in America confirms the 
fact which ought to be obvious as a matter of ordinary 
common sense: that the opportimity to work, at fair 
wages, under anything like decent conditions of home 
and social surroundings, and from that work to gain a 
place to Uve, the means of maintaining and supporting 
a family and making a reasonably comfortable and 
happy home, establishing a real stake in the com- 
munity, assures the making of a good citizen and a 
well-meaning voter, a valuable active member in our 
body politic. 



xra 

SOBIE GENERAL CONSIDERATIONS 

The one thing that emerges most clearly in the results 
of this or any other candid stu4y of the naturalizatioii 
and political activity of the foreign-bom citizen oi the 
United States is that admission to active membership 
in our political society should be based upon the personal 
qucMficaiions of the indimdtud. 

No sound basis is disclosed for discrimination on the 
ground of race or color, religious beliefs or political 
predilection. Even the statutory bar against beli^ in 
anarchism or polygamy is obviously ineffectual, because 
the anarchist theory per se involves, if not virtual 
atheism, at least repudiation of government and a dis- 
belief in the sanctity of an oath. And a declaration of 
disbeli^ in polygamy, so far as it may be assumed to 
imply anything concerning personal morality, convqrs 
no assurance of chastity in any sense of the word. 
Furthermore, what is the practical use of inquiring into 
a person's beliefs to-day, when there can be no guaranty 
as to what they will be to-morrow? 

The educational test assures no safety as to character. 
The ability to speak, read, and write English or any 
other language, intelligence and general or even exact 
information as to our form of government and the 
"high spots** of American history, are little in the way 
of assurance of loyalty or usefulness as a citizen. The 
most noxious propagandist that we could import or 
admit to citizenship could pass the most rigid intellec- 

410 



SOME GENERAL CONSIDERATIONS 

tual test. During the debate on the naturalization law 
in the House of Representatives in June, 1906/ Repre- 
sentative Steenerson of Minnesota said: 

. . . The qualifications that we have required of people in 
the past who intend to become citizens is that they be men of 
good moral character and that they are attached to the prin- 
ciples of the Constitution of the United States. . . . They 
may be men of good moral character and attached to the 
principles of the Constitution, and yet be unable to comply 
with this requirement. Ability to torite the English language. 
... If , for instance, an elderly man like President Falli^res 
of France should decide to emigrate to the United States, he 
cannot be naturalized, because in all probability he would 
not be able to learn the English language within five years; 
whereas Count Boni de Castellane, who has undoubtedly had 
opportunities in the past ten years of learning the English 
language, could be naturalized, because he could speak and 
write English. . . . 

It is not from the immigrants who come here to settle on 
our public domain, who come here to abide permanently and 
to build homes and raise families, that we may expect frauds 
upon our election laws or danger to our free institutions. Such 
immigrants should not be denied citizenship because of in- 
ability to speak and write English. They may, notwithstand- 
ing, be as loyal and as patriotic as any. Nothing has been 
shown that connects inability to speak English with any of 
the evils complained of. There is no relation of cause and 
effect between them. The frauds and perjury against nat- 
uralization laws were committed by persons proficient in 
English. 

One of the naturalizing judges in Kansas, long 
familiar with the workings of the law, said in his answer 
to the questionnaire of the Americanization Study: 

My judgment is that this government has occasion for 
greater fear from many of the educated foreigners than from 

^ Congressional Record, June 2, 1906. 

411 



AMERICANS BY CHOICE 

the uneducated foreigner. More stress should be placed upon 
the character of the man and his loyalty to this government, 
and his willingness to abide by its laws and uphold its Con- 
stitution than upon his mere educational qualificati<His. My 
observation has led me to ccmdude that one of the chief diffi- 
culties with the administration oi our naturalization laws is 
that the Department seems inclined to ai^ly to all foreigners 
the same test; whether the applicant has been a resident of 
the community for twenty-five years, leading an exemplary 
life, upholding all the institutions, interested in all the efforts 
to upbuild the state physically, mentally, and morally, os 
whether he be a unit in the slum hordes of the city. The 
Department seems to have conceived it to be its duty to force 
all of than into the same strait-jacket. ... I have in 
mind cases where the Department has endeavored to with- 
hold citizenship on the merest technicality from men who 
for years have been our best citizens, thcnoughly loyal and 
devoted to the best interests of the state. W^ seem to have 
gone upon the theory that the educated foreigner, by reason 
of his education alone, will necessarily be a good citizen, and 
that the ignorant foreigner is necessarily an undesirable citizen. 

An educational test, such as that to which petitioners 
for naturalization are subjected by some judges and 
some naturalization examiners, applied at the ballot 
box to^all who would vote» would wreak havoc upon 
the enrollment of both native and naturalized. It is 
sale to say that not one out of a hundred of native-born 
citizens, even college educated, could pass rei^)ectably 
the examination. A very small proportion of American- 
bom citizens of any age or of either sex have read the 
Constitution of the United States or have even a super- 
ficial knowledge of its contents. The present writer 
has deriVed some amusement during his conduct of 
this investigation from asking of more than ordinarily 
inteUigent acquaintances some of the questions to 
which applicants for naturalization have to respond in 
various courts. The ignorance of even fundamental 



SOME GENERAX CONSIDERATIONS 

matters displayed by these scions of the ** old stock '' has 
been almost invariably both ludicrous and lamentable. 

One of the questions which the Americanization 
Study asked of the naturalization judges was whether 
th^ would favor a standard intellectual test for both 
native fuid foreign bom as a prerequisite for admission 
to the ballot box. Of 3^ judges who answered the 
question a substantial majority (180) answered, ** Yes,*' 
and 44 were not sure but that it would be a good thing. 
The best answer that the 102 who opposed the idea 
could make was valid enough — i.e., that the native bom 
have had 21 years of residence in the atmosphere of 
American institutions, and may be assumed to have a 
general intellectual fitness. The other objections were 
legalistic; but they all came out to the same fact — ^that 
fitness for citizenship and the ballot is a question of 
personal character and general attitude toward the 
public welfare. 

At first glance it might seem simple enough to devise 
an oral or written examination by which to test the 
individual equipment of an applicant for citizenship — 
or a native-bom citizen seeking access to the ballot 
box; actually it is impracticable. A set of questions 
would permit memorizing and recital by rote; to leave it 
as at present to the wit of the examiner or the judge 
means that no two applicants will be subjected to the 
same test. The naturalization judges say frankly that 
th^ cannot outline an examination, though they think 
that somebody might! 

The Merchants' Association of New York appointed 
a committee on immigration and naturalization which 
gave considerable study to this subject, and came out 
where everybody else comes out: 

In recommending that unnecessary obstructions and tech- 
nical difficulties be eliminated from naturalization procedure 
your oonunittee does not believe qualifications for citizenship 

413 



AMERICANS BY CHOICE 

should be lowered. On the contrary, it believes they should 
be raised. In addition to present requirements concerning 
residence and moral character there should be an educational 
qualification requiring proficiency in English and reasonable 
familiarity with our history and government. Your com- 
mittee wUl not attempt to enumerate the details of svch require^ 
menty but reconmiends that a suitable and well-defined educa- 
tional standard for citizenship be fixed by statute. 

Every applicant for citizenship — ^including the wives 
who now are swept in regardless of then- own fitness by 
the naturalization of their husbands, or kept out by their 
rejection or failure to apply, should be considered in 
the light of his own personal character and record of 
behavior during the preliminary-period residence here. 
And character and behavior should be proved as any 
other material facts are proved — ^by preponderance of 
evidence. The present practice is quite otherwise. 
The whole procedure woidd be revolutionized if the 
applicant were required, or permitted, to produce a body 
of reasonable and competent evidence sufficient to convince 
the court or its representative assigned to take the testi- 
mony. His neighbors, his employer, his pastor, the 
school-teacher, his fellow workmen, by word of mouth 
or afiidavit — ^in short, all those who know what sort of 
person he (or she) has been during the five years of 
required residence — could readily satisfy the court as 
to the essential fact. The judges themselves in most 
cases would welcome this change. As it is now, the 
whole business is wound up with red tape, and thou- 
sands of persons have been excluded on the flimsiest 
technical grounds, simply because the evidence pre- 
sented to the court must be, in the typical case, that of 
two witnesses, only two, and the sam>e two throughout 
the whole proceeding. If anything can be found amiss 
with these or either of them, the application must be 
rejected. 

414 



SOME GENERAL CONSmERATIONS 

It may even be argued that the prestimptioiis and the 
benefit of doubts should be in favor of the applicant; 
that the burden of proof should lie upon those who 
oppose admission. During the whole period, 1908-18, 
in the whole United States only 14.3 per cent of all 
deniak of petitions for naturalization were for reasons 
involving the personal fitness of the applicant — *' igno- 
rance*' and ** immoral character."^ This means that 
if every alien who applied for diissenship during those 
eleven years had been granted his certificate of naturaUza- 
turn vntiumt investigation or formality^ the proportion of 
**ignorant*^ and **immoral** admitted wonJd have been 
only 1.7 per cent — less than two in a hundred! 

Whatever might have been the merits, real or imagi- 
nary, of the hairspHtting, meticulous policy which has 
governed the operations of our naturalization iiystem 
since the Act of 1906 swept into ancient history the 
scandals of the previous years, that policy was effec- 
tively junked during the war. Since the beginning of 
the fiscal year, 1918-19, under the operation of the 
military naturalization plan, more aliens have been 
naturalized on the sole ground that they were in the 
war service— practically without regard to race, declara- 
tion of intention, previous residence, educational or 
moral qualifications — ^than the ordinary naturaliza- 
tions of any year since the beginning of the present 
system. These are direct admissions; we have no 
means of knowing how many "'derivative" citizens 
these soldiers and sailors carried in with them, or have 
made by marriage to alien women since their natural- 
ization. 

This wholesale letting down of all the bars, however 
necessary and innocuous it may be deemed, at least 
has redu ced to absurdity the policy of hand picking 

^ See Appendix, Tables LIX and LX, Analysis of Denials, pp. 
433-435. 

415 



AMERICANS BY CHOICE 

and superscreening practiced in the ordinary cases. 
It furnishes a soimd and logical starting point for a 
new, more reasonable, and more humane system, under 
which the alien may know with greater certainty what 
he must do and prove in order to establish his right to 
join us; a system which will give him a different im- 
pression of our common sense and efficiency, as well as 
of our attitude toward him not only as a petitioner for 
fellow citizenship with us, but as a fellow member of 
the hiunan race. 



NO LOWERING OF STANDARDS 

There is no argument here for lowering the standards of 
admission. The applicant should be able to speak in- 
telligibly the English language. This is not very im- 
portant practically, because in the years which ordi- 
narily elapse before the average alien £3es his petition he 
win have learned to speak English anyway. Th«« is 
good ground for requiring also the ability to read 
English. The intelligent participation in the politics of 
this country requires some knowledge of current events 
and political argument; the vot^ should be able to 
read the English-language newspapers. We are unable 
to follow those who would enforce also a requirement of 
ability to wri^ in English. Such ability probaUy will 
exist in a majority of cases, anyway. It is no sine qua 
non of either intelligence or character. 

Theoretically, one might argue for a distinction to 
be made between the general ri^ts and responsibilities 
of bare citizenship (such as diplomatic protection, the 
right to own property, exemption from taxes imposed 
upon aliens as such, etc.) and the specific right to vote. 
This, however, is almost completely academic, because, 
except for the limitations of age and residence for a 
period prior to election which apply alike to all citizens, 

416 



SOME GENEEAJL CONSIDERATIONS 

our Constitution — especially with the Nineteenth 
Amendment in force — ^assumes that citizenship includes 
the ballot. It is difScult to see any reason for requiring 
of the naturalized citizen^ as a qualification for voting, 
educational attainments other than those required of 
the native bom. It is equally difficult to see how even 
a native-bom citizen can be an intelligent voter if he 
cannot speak and read the language in which the issues 
of elections are discussed. Our own statistics of illit- 
eracy, in states where the proportion of the foreign bom 
in the population is negligible, call for educational 
measures having no exclusive reference to the foreign 
born. 

There is a growing custom in the courts, properly 
urged by the Naturalization Bureau, of accepting, in 
lieu of any other educational test, a certificate of 
graduation or proficiency from teachers in public and 
other schools. The Naturalization Bureau now sup- 
plies the forms for such certificates. A majority of the 
judges who answered the questionnaire of the American- 
ization Study not only favored this practice, but declared 
that it was their own. A good many, however — ^a full 
third of those who expressed themselves on the subject 
— insisted upon their own right and duty to examine the 
petitioner themselves, or minimized the importance of 
the educational test altogether. It seems obvious, 
however, that the certificate of properly accredited 
American schools should be accepted for this purpose. 
Whatever may be said in favor of having no educational 
test whatever, and of admitting a petitioner who has no 
such certificate, there seems no reason for not giving 
the petitions the benefit of the extra credit implied in 
his having attained such a graduation. 

The declaration of intention (to become a citizen) 

ishould be retained, notwithstanding the opii^on of 

many persons, including some attentive and di?- 

417 



AMERICANS BY CHOICE 

criminating students of the subject favoring Hs aban- 
donment. But the declaration in its present form and 
practice is not satisfactory from any point of view. 
The procedure surrounding it is now far too casual. 
It should be protected by substantial saf guards and 
attended by a far greater degree of solemnity. Its 
sufficiency in f orm, its technical correctness, should be 
certified at the time of its issue by the officer of the 
court before whom it is attested. There should be a 
preliminary period of residence in this country before 
the declaration is made. 

The identity of the declarant should be clearly estab- 
lished; he should have and present a certificate of 
"lawful entry" into the coimtry; there should be no 
confusion or doubt about the name under which he 
goes; his photograph, fingerprints, signature, or other 
means of unmistakable identificlation should be at- 
tached; all of the essential facts concerning his nativity, 
previous residence, marital^ ^status, occupation, and 
other things germane to an application for so vital a 
change of relationship should be set forth clearly and 
suitably attested. As at present, copies of the declara- 
tion should be in the possession of the declarant, and 
on file in the court and in the Naturalization Bureau. 

It might well be required that the declarant should 
register with the court or with the Naturalization 
Bureau every change of residence, so that the record 
of his movements and behavior during the entire period 
of his "probation" would be available. 

The fact of the making of the declaration should be 
publicly posted, so that not only the court and the 
government, but the general public, should be put 
upon notice that a "new member'* is applying for 
admission. And when it comes into court at last as 
an indispensable part of the record in the case, its 
sufficiency as a dociunent should be taken for granted. 

418 



SOME GENERAL CONSmERATIONS 

The responsibility for technical errors in it should lie 
upon the oflScer who accepted and attested it; sub- 
stantial errors of fact should exist only under penalties 
as for other kinds of perjury. The burden of proof 
against its validity should lie upon the government or 
any other person attacking it. 

Under the law as now enforced, the declaration of 
intention expires at the end of seven years; but there 
is nothing to prevent its renewal, and in those states 
in which formerly declarants had the right to vote, all 
the politically important rights of citizenship could 
be, and in many cases were, kept alive, as it were, per- 
petually by such renewals without any other test or 
ceremony. Even now, the other privileges of citizen- 
ship may be thus perpetuated by persons who on no 
theory could "get by" in a naturalization court. It 
should be made at least much more difficult to renew 
a declaration once expired. The burden of proof 
should rest upon the alien to show why he did not make 
final application for citizenship within the period during 
which his declaration was valid. A judge in Oregon, 
expressing the opinion of many judges on this point said : 

Declarant should not be permitted to renew his decla- 
ration of intention. Too many use the declaration as a 
means of escaping something or obtaining employment; after 
expiration, the old declaration is surrendered and a new one 
requested. The declaration should disclose the ;scope of the 
educational attainments of the declarant and a willingness to 
attain practical working knowledge of the English language, 
as well as an insight into our system of government and the 
names of public officials, their manner of election and most 
important duties. 

Let it be borne in mind that this is a very different 
matter from the question of restrictions upon immi- 
gration, literacy, and sanitary tests for mere admission 
to the country. The declarant is making his initial 

419 



AMERICANS BY CHOICE 

application for fellow membership with us; he desires 
to become flesh of our flesh, to share our sovereignty. 
The essential value of the declaration of intention is that 
it registers as of a certain date a state of mind toward 
our country and its citizenship. It has a moral value 
for the declarant in putting him on notice that he has 
definitely determined to put off his old allegiance; it 
ought to warn him also that he is passing under scru- 
tiny by his neighbors and by the government; that his 
behavior has become in a special way important to 
him and to the community. It is conclusive evidence 
of at least two of the necessary five years of residence. 
Rightly safeguarded and estimated, it would be a most 
precious possession. 

But the corollaiy of this is that the process of final 
naturalization should be greatly simplified. The great 
number of denials for "want of prosecution" is in itself 
an index of the degree to which the procedure is sur- 
rounded by vexatious technicalities, delays, expense, 
discouragements which drive the petitioners and their 
witnesses out of the business, mostly during the ninety 
days' interval between the filing of the petition and the 
time for the final hearing. In the normal case, the 
witnesses should appear once for all; the reccMxl 
should come before the court complete, in writing, and 
once for all, except in disputed or appealed cases when 
a deeper inquiry is called for. Make the standards of 
admission as severe as you please — ^the procedure of 
complying with them should be simple, direct, as inex- 
pensive as possible, and readily understood by anyone 
of ordinary intelligence. 

A PUNCTION ADMINISTBATIVE OB JUDICIAL? 

It may be debatable whether the whole function ol 
naturiJization should be taken out of the hands of the 

420 



SOME GEiraiRAL CONSIDERATIONS 

courts and made a purely administrative activity ci 
the executive department of government. A good 
many students of the subject favor such a course. The 
present study has not led to this conclusion. The 
judges generally, while th^ would be glad to be re- 
lieved of a peculiarly exacting and vexatious duty, do 
not favor it. From the beginning of our history the 
function has been judicial, and very sound reasons 
should be advanced for making so radical a change. 
It would require the establishment of an enormous 
machinery at a time when every consideration cries 
out for the simplification of the government. The 
present Naturalization Bureau, if adequately manned 
and properly directed, and required to attend to its 
own business rather than to expand itself into an 
educational institution, could save the time of the 
courts to a great extent, and at the same time save to 
the situation the digmty and solemnity purporting at 
least to abide in the judicial atmodphere. 

There has been a proposal to create a i^stem of 
traveling naturalization commissions, sitting from 
time to time at the various county seats and passing 
upon petitions. But it b vitally important to the 
petitioners, who are almost always folk of limited 
means and time, that the place to which they must 
go shall be as near at hand as possible, and the neces- 
sary traveling for themselves and their witnesses as 
little as is absolutely necessary. 

Another consideration, too often overlooked, espe- 
cially by those to whom the naturalization problem is 
seen chiefly from the point of view of the great cities, 
Ues in the fact that in the rural districts the judges 
have a wide acquaintance, and are likely to know, or 
to have direct means of knowing, all about the peti- 
tioner. Once we rid our minds of the current impres- 
sion that ignorant immigrants rush from the landing 
28 421 



AMERICANS BY CHOICE 

port to the ballot box, and remember that in the aver- 
age case the petitioner has been in this country more 
than ten years, and in a vast majority of cases has 
lived for five years in the same state, if not in the 
same commmiity » the matter takes on a wholly different 
aspect. It is quite conceivable that in the great cities 
a special court, or a special term of court, might be set 
aside for the consideration of naturalization cases. 



PHYSICAL CONDITIONS AND DIGNITY 

What is most needed is a better arrangement for 
taking care of this business — a physical as well as an 
administrative arrangement. The physical surround- 
ings leave much to be desired. Merton A. Sturges, 
Chief Naturalization Examiner at New York, thus 
describes^ the conditions under which final hearings are 
conducted in some of the courts. 

... In many instances the court-room has a seating 
capacity for less than half the number of persons notified to 
appear, and often there is bardy space enough to crowd the 
applicants and witnesses into the court-room in a standing 
position. . • . The applicants and witnesses are sometimes 
rushed through as fast as one hundred cases in half as many 
minutes. The natural query, especially on the part of wit- 
nesses, ia, *'Why have we been brought here and kept stand- 
ing in a crowded court-room for hours for no apparent 
reason?" 

Of course, in connection with a small percentage of appli- 
cations, some question arises which it is desirable to present 
for determination by the judges, but aside from these few in- 
stances there is no good reason for witnesses to appear in 
court, except that the law requires their appearance. . . . 

The oath of allegiance is administered in anything but a 
dignified and impressive manner. In fact, the whole pro- 

^ In an artide in Better Times, organ of the United Neighboriiood 
Houses of New York City. 

422 



SOME GENERAL CONSIDERATIONS 

ceeding is lacking in that solemnity and impressiveness which 
should be the characteristic of so important a ceremony. 
Would it be a great innovation to inaugiurate and maintain 
orderly and patriotic ceremonies for the conferring of final 
naturalization? Invite the applicants to appear in court, 
accompanied by members of their family; have the certif- 
icates prepared in advance; provide an appropriately dec- 
orated court-room with seating capacity for as many as are 
present; call the applicants and their families in groups by 
nationality before the judge's bench; have the judge admin- 
ister the oath of allegiance to each group in a fittingly digni- 
fied manner, and present the certificates of naturalization to 
each new citizen; have the judge, and perhaps one other 
prominent and esteemed citizen, deliver addresses dealing with 
the responsibilities and duties of good citizenship. 

The tendency in the past few years has been in the 
direction indicated by Mr. Sturges. Increasingly, all 
over the country, judges have awakened to the need 
of a greater solemnity in the conferring of citizenship; 
a few judges have, at their own expense, furnished a 
printed address or book of instructions to the new 
citizens, and even a small American flag which is enor- 
mously prized by the recipients. In one court in 
North Dakota the judge serves upon each declarant, 
at the time of his filing of his declaration of intention, 
the following formal notice under seal of the court: 

State of North Dakota ) In District Court 

County of Cass y Judicial District 

Give this notice your most careful attention and respect. 
, Take notice: 

That your Declaration of Intention to become a citizen of 

the United States, made this day of , A. D., 

19 in this County, Judicial District and State, gives 

notice to our Government that your intent is to fit yourself 
for citizenship before the time arrives to make your applica- 
tion for your final adoption. That you will, in good faith, 

423 



AMERICANS BY CHOICE 

inquire into and acquaint yourself with not only our form c^ 
Grovemment, but the intent and purpose of its formation and 
the duties and responsibilities that will be yours when you are 
finally adopted. That you believe in, and will at all times 
faithfully and energetically uphold, the principles of our pec^le 
and the various government agencies. That you will be pre- 
pared» at the time of the hearing of your application for final 
ad<^ticm, to prove to the Court b^ore which the hearing is 
had, and to the representatives of the GrovemmeT«t of the 
United States then present, that this applicaticm is made in 
good faith and all sincerity and with love and respect for the 
Government of which you are seeking to become a part 

(Signed) 

Clerk of the District Court, 
Cass County, North Dakota. 

By order of 

Judge of said Court. 

In this court there is a ceremony just such as Mr. 
Sturges recommends — a talk by some one selected by 
the presiding judge, on the history and meaning of the 
flag and government, and what it means to take on the 
new citizenship. Then there is offered, and of course 
taken by all the accepted petitioners, the following 
pledge, devised by the judge: 

OBLIGATION OP FIDELITY 

(Taken voluntarily) 

I of 

being this day about to be adopted into the full citizenship of 
the United States, and believing in a people's form of govern- 
ment as exemplified by our now common Grovemment, do 
solemnly pledge myself to devote a considerable portion of 
my spare time for not less than three years hereafter to la* 
quire into and more fully understand our f om^ of government, 
its purposes and practices, the method and manner of select- 
ing all public officials in this country, the manner in which and 

424 



SOME GENERAL CONSIDERATIONS 

the method by which we can change our laws as changes be- 
come necessary, in a peaceful and lawful manner, all of which 
is for the purpose of fitting myself to become a loyal and use- 
ful citizen of this, my adopted country. 

This pledge is solemnly taken by me, and is made one of 
the representations as to my good intent and purpose in ask- 
ing to become a fellow citizen, with the rights, duties, and 
responsibilities coming to and depending upon me as a loyal 
citizen. 

Dated at Fargo, N. D., this day of , 19. .. 

(Signed) 

In many parts of the country it has become a custom 
to hold public ceremonies, at which the new citizens 
naturalized within the past year or other definite period 
are assembled with their families to hear addresses, 
join in patriotic singing, and otherwise celebrate their 
adoption into the new fellowship. 

FUNCTION OF THE NATURALIZATION BUREAU 

The Naturalization Biu*eau should be, as it is now, 
the watchdog of all this business, the investigating 
agency of the government. But its work should not 
be confined, as it is now to so great an extent, to picking 
flaws in papers, straining shrewd technical points of 
law and procedure, or trying to find something wrong 
with the two witnesses or the intellectual attainments 
of the petitioner. Being informed at least two years 
in advance that George Kristopoulos, whose address 
is registered with the court and in its own files, has 
declared his intention to apply for citizenship, it can 
ascertain affirmatively at all times what he is about, 
and present to the court at the time of the final appli- 
cation a complete record of his conduct, upon which 
the court can act intelligently. Its functions in this 
direction should be materially expanded. 

425 



/ 



AMERICANS BY CHOICE 

The naturalization examiner should represent the 
court) in the relation of a master, taking the necessary 
testimony, examining depositions, and presenting to 
the court at last a record complete in writing, upon 
which, in the great majority of cases, the judicial order 
would be entered witiiout further ado. This would 
seem to be indeed its logical function. The Bureau 
needs a real job; in fact, has a real job instead of its 
present largely self -assumed adventiu*es in the field of 
public education, for which it is not properly equipped, 
which has bedeviled its legitimate work and demoral- 
ized its correspondence and its whole system of records, 
upon which the proper administration of the law so 
greatly depends. 

Except as the carrying out of the existing procedure 
has unjustly or imreasonably affected the individual 
petitioner for citizenship, it has not been conceived as 
the piupose of this study to investigate the Naturaliza- 
tion Bureau as an exhibit of public administration. 
Neither the available time nor the space in this volume 
has permitted such a study as would have been ade- 
quate in scope or just to the Bureau. Grenerally 
speakmg, the thing which has been impressed upon 
those who have carried on this branch of the Ameri- 
canization Study has been the zeal and honesty and 
vigilance for the public welfare with which the Bureau 
has done its work ever since its establishment in its 
present functions by the Act of 1906. 

No serious charge or insinuation of corruption or 
willful misconduct of any kind on the part of any 
member of that service has come to the attention of 
the Study, and it may be predicted without reservation 
that no such charge or insinuation would be sustained 
by the facts. For fifteen years and more the Bureau 
has "carried on," under conditions of great difficulty, 
generally undermanned and insufficiently appropriated 

426 



SOME GENERAL CONSmERATIONS 

for — although its business has from the beginning not 
only been self-supporting, but brought into the treasury 
of the United States money ample to have paid for 
adequate personnel — except during the war, when the 
prevailing hysteria about immigrants and the ill- 
informed rage for all manner of things that might be 
called "Americanization" led to the hasty and extrava- 
gant subsidizing of anything that could be tagged with 
that word. The Bureau deserves great credit for what 
it has accomplished. More than that, it is in no cap- 
tious spirit that any demurrer has been entered here 
to what it has gone out of its way to attempt. 

The time is ripe now to review and construct to better 
purpose on the basis of this long and informing experi- 
ence, for an overhauling of the whole process by which 
aliens are taken into our political system. The Nat- 
uralization Law of 1906 and the amendments thereto 
should be revised as a whole, and what has been learned 
should be built into a new Act, retaining the substance 
which experience has abundantly justified, and slough- 
ing off the excrescences which have grown up and 
accumulated. This should be done on the basis of a 
thorough investigation under the authority of Congress, 
and in a wholly constructive spirit. 

Such an investigation would disclose the utter insuffi- 
ciency of the force now available at headquarters and 
in the field; the lack of precision in the scope and 
technic of the Bureau; the chaos existing in its records; 
the need of intelligent and consistent direction of the 
field force by a supervising chief examiner or similar 
officer; the waste of effort and money in directions 
having nothing substantial or logical to do with the 
main work of the Bureau; the need of one or more 
competent law officers to unify the poUcy of the service 
in its practice under the decisions of the courts; the 
crying need of a simplffication of the standards and 

427 



,4 



,.^ 



AMERICANS BY CHOICE 

procedure of admission and of the practices of the 
clerks of courts in handling the papers and records 
upon whose sufiSciency and accuracy hang the welfare 
of thousands of weU-intending human beings who 
desire to join us and are needed in our citizenry. The 
whole subject has gone too long without due under- 
standing by the public and its representatives in 
Congress. 

Meanwhile our would-be citizens have been chased 
from pillar to post and back again, losing in hundreds 
of thousands of cases their affection and respect for 
the country to whose fellowship they asked only the 
privilege of contributing what th^r might with aJl 
goodwill. 



»«.> 
Jii 



APPENDIX 

TABLE LV 

DiSTBIBUnON OF PETITIONS STUDIED, BT .COUBTS 



Cods 

NXTM- 
BBB 



01 
02 

03 
04 

05 
06 
07 
08 

09 
10 
12 
13 



14 
15 
16 
17 

18 
19 
20 

21 

22 
23 
24 
25 

26 
27 
28 
29 



Namb of Cottbt 



New York Co. (N. Y.) Supm. Ct. . . 
U. S. Diet. Ct. for S. Dirt, of N. Y. . 
U. S. Dist. Ct. for E. Diet, of N. Y.. 
Bronx Co. (N. Y.) Supm. Ct 



Qpeens Co. (N. Y^ Supm. Ct. 



Westchester Co. m. Y.) Supm. Ct. 

>. (N. Y.) Supm. Ct , 

Passaic Co. (N. J.) Ct. of Com. Fte., 



Nassau Co. 



Fairfield Co. (Conn.) Supr. Ct 

Knox Co. (HI.) Ciro. Ct 

Johnson Co. (Iowa) Dist. Ct. 

Androscoggin Co. (Me.) Supm. Judi- 
cial Ct. 



Tompkins Co. (N. Y.) Supm. Ct 

Middlesex Co. (N. J.) Ct. of Com. Pis. 
U. S. Dist. Ct. for N. Dist. of Ohio. . 
Chiyahoga Co. (Ohio) Ct. of Com. Pis. 



Multnomah Co. (Ore.) Ciro. Ct 

Monroe Co. (N. Y.) Buj»n. Ct 

U. S. Dist. Ct. for W. Diet, of Wash- 
ington 

King Co. (Wash.) Supm. Ct , 



Chemung Co. (N. Y.) Supm. Ct 

Summit Co. (Ohio) Ct. of Com. Pis. 
Northampton Co. (Pa.) Ct. of Com. Pis. 
Worcester Co. (Mass.) Supr. Ct 



Middlesex Co. <Conn.) Supr. Ct. 

Rensellaer Co. (N. YJ Supr. Ct 

U. S. Diet. Ct. for S. Dist. of Ohio 

New London Co. (Conn.) Supr. Ct. . . 



All courts 



Location 
or Cottbt 



New York City 
New York City 
BrooUyn, N. Y. 
New York CSty 

Jamaica, N. Y. 
White Plains. N.Y. 
Mineola, L.|I., N. Y. 
Paterson, N. J. 

Bridgeport, Conn. 
Qalesburg, DL 
Iowa City, Iowa 

Auburn, Me. 

Ithaca, N. Y. 
New Brunswick, N. J 
Clereland, Ohio 
Cleycland, Ohio 

Portland, Ore. 
Rochester, N. Y. 

Seatile, Wash. 
Seattle, Wash. 

EHmira, N. Y. 
Akron, Ohio 
Easton, Pa. 
Worcester, Mass. 

Middletown, Conn. 
Troy, N. Y. 
Cincinnati, Ohio 
Norwich, Conn. 



NUM- 
BBBOF 

Pbti- 

TION8 

Tabu- 

LATKD 
11.058 

2,401 
1.553 
1,355 

598 
647 
135 
742 

410 

129 

13 

52 

23 

389 

1,175 

1,703 

714 
813 

703 
143 

19 
199 
115 
635 

74 
104 
363 
119 



26.284 



429 



AMERICANS BY CHOICE 




TABLE LVn 

NcvBBB AMD Natititt of Fbtitiohxbb' Childben Undeb Twxntt- 
om Ybabs ow Aob 



AMERICANS BY CHOICE 

TABLE LVm 



AGE aw rnnrioNBBB . 


hH ABBKVAJj, A 

18 or Age (or 1 


BID J.IMB r^LA] 


tfHJLHU JDJDTWKSN 


iWENTT-OME XEAI 

1918-14. 




Agb at 


Pbtitiombbs 


TnaBBTwvnr 

21 YXABS (OB 


Abbiyal 


Number 


Per Cent 


Latbb Abbttal) 
andPbtition 


AH MM 


.26.284 

149 

114 

127 

118 

120 

118 

165 

168 

169 

213 

219 

285 

896 

566 

812 

1.244 

1.626 

1.999 

1,779 

2.036 

1.736 

1.470 

1.371 

1.290 

1.240 

987 

827 

723 

598 

530 

402 

387 

336 

296 

248 

204 

197 

137 

118 

118 

109 

87 

86 

64 

61 

41 

45 

36 

31 

22 

68 

16 


• a • 

0.6 

0.4 

0.5 

0.5 

0.5 

0.5 

0.6 

0.6 

0.6 

0.8 

0.8 

1.1 

1.5 

2.5 

8.1 

4.7 

6.2 

7.6 

6.8 

7.7 

6.6 

6.6 

6.2 

4.0 

4.7 

3.8 

3.1 

2.8 

2.3 

2.0 

1.5 

1.5 

1.8 

1.1 

0.0 

0.8 

0.7 

0.5 

0.4 

0.4 

0.4 

0.8 

0.3 

0.2 

0.2 

0.2 

0.2 

0.1 

0.1 

0.1 

0.3 

• • • 




1 


6.2 


2 


7 4 


8 


7!3 


4 


7^7 


5 


8.5 


6 


7.5 


7 


7.*0 


8 


7.9 


9 


6.9 


10 


7.4 


11 


7.8 


12 


7.6 


13 


9.5 


14 


7.2 


15 


7.1 


16 


7.0 


17 


7.7 


18 


8.7 


10 

20 


9.5 
10.8 


21 


10.6 


22 


10.7 


23 


10.9 


24 


10.8 


25 


10.6 


26 


10.6 


27 


10.8 


28 


10.4 


29 


10.5 


30 


10.9 


81 


10.6 


32 


10.6 


33 


10.6 


34 


10.3 


35 


10.3 


36 


9.8 


37 


10.0 


38 


10.0 


39 


9.5 


40 


9.T 


41 


9.7 


42 


9.9 


43 

44 


9.1 
9.0 


45 


9.7 


46 


8.7 


47 


9.4 


48 


10.3 


49 


10.0 


60 


8.6 


Over 60 




No informfttion 


• • • • 



432 





1 

T 


COTJBTB 








• 


4 


t 

4 
8 


Unabub to 

Pboducb 

Witness fob 

Deposition 


AvRWAnv > 


NoCbi 


1 

5 


CmZEN 


GATE 

Abrh 


C 


Num- 
ber 


Per 
Cent 


Num- 
ber 


Per 
Cent 


Num- 
ber 




d 


12 


0.4 


9 
3 


0.3 
0.2 


14 














1 






1 
1 


1.6 
0.6 






!6 










's 












1 . • 














1 














1 . . 










































'5 






















1 






1 


25.0 












1 




9.' 


2 


2.4 








9. 






3 
2 
1 
2 






8 


7 


5.4 


2 


1.6 




1 






1 


1.1 














■ 


















• • 

7 
4 


1 


3.7 
















3 






1 


1.4 


1 


1.4 


i 






























1 






8 










1 






1 ' 1 ' 


^ 



»4 



O 



s 



Oh 



:^ 



1 

s 

s 

o 



147 



16 



S 



19 
1 



6 



• • 

• • 

• • 

• • 

• • 




18 

4 
2 
9 
1 
8 
28 


• • • • 
2 

• • • • 

• • • • 

• • • • 

• • • ■ 

3 

• • • • 










• " 








• • • 








• • " 






• • • • 


, • • 






1 

■ • • • 










1 






3 

• • • • 


. • • 






1 
1 








• • • • 


2 






2 

1 








a * • • 


, • • 






• • • • 


- • ' * 
















• • • 



















OF Birth 




















1 


1 


18 
714 

1 

35 
6 
3 

41 


19 

813 

1 

33 

3 

1 
39 


20 

703 

8 

37 

5 

2 

40 


21 

143 

1 

8 


22 
19 


23 

199 


24 
115 


25 
635 


26 
74 


27 
104 


28 
363 


29 
119 




4 


22 


16 


23 


11 


7 


18 


6 
2 






















12 




1 


"i" 


85 

1 


5 


4 


4 


6 














































21 
51 
14 

5 
90 

6 
10 
12 

37 
33 


2 
54 

"'i' 

91 
4 

27 

17 
1 

26 
283 


23 
55 
18 

■72' 
5 
3 
10 


8 

22 

6 

1 
8 
2 


. . . . 


4 
8 


1 

7 


2 

36 

68 

1 

13 


a • • ■ 

2 


3 
3 


1 

7 


1 

8 






1 
10 










2 

1 


11 
1 

1 
98 


4 


18 


100 


7 
4 


1 .... 

1 ;.... 


1 
34 


2 


.... 


1 
4 


• • • • 

85 


1 
7 


3 
80 
54 




1 


39 

23 

2 


3 ' 2 

7 > 1 


8 
10 


30 


3 
22 


12 
24 


12 
27 


10 
12 


' i' 
1 


1 

• • • ■ 


, 
















1 


\ 
















t 


















4 
163 












1 






66 

"3" 
110 


4 

1 

10 

185 


18 .... 


2 


.... 


6 


1 




1 












" i " 












11 
83 




> 

> 

L 
> 

• 


45 


■•8)'7' 


17 


13 


162 


13 


19 


40 


26 


10 


24 


f 


4 
3 


.... 


10 


1 


1 


3 
1 


5 


• • • • 

91 

40 

2 

3 

6 


1 
9 
4 
2 

• • • ■ 

3 


1 
110 
8 
2 
1 


/ 












27 
2 

• • • • 

• ■ • • 


.... 
.... 

1 


5 
2 

1 


.... 


66 
23 


6 
2 
1 


1 

■ • • ■ 

2 
2 


■ • • • 

4 
2 
1 
3 


1 

• • • • 

3 

4 


1 


















1 






























• > • • 


• • • • 


"2 


■■4" 


.... 


• ■ • • 


.... 


• • • ■ 


3 


2 


1 


2 


t— ~ 



























OF BiBTH 



nBBAQK LbNGTH 

■}r TiMB noM 
Abbxvalto 
Petition. 
tmnoNKits ABf- 

BXVINO AT 



V 



to 20 


21 Years 


tnof 


of Age 


ige 


and Over 


aars 


Years 


1.0 


10.6 


7.3 


g.4 


0.6 


10.6 


7.4 


11.0 


3.6 


17.0 


7.3 


7.3 


4.6 


16.4 


5.5 


9.0 


3.2 


10.2 


3.6 


11.7 


1.7 


10.6 


7.7 


11.9 


t.l 


11.9 


d.7 


8.6 


3.2 


10.1 


3.8 


9.9 


7.5 


8.2 


1.6 


9.6 


3.8 


11.4 


>.o 


9.0 


3.0 


12.3 


2.0 


10.0 


3.0 


8.3 


5.0 


14.6 


1.3 


10.8 


3.6 


8.3 


3.2 


9.8 


).9 


9.6 


2.7 


10.6 




8.3 


)'.2* ' 


7.9 


).3 


10.7 


2.7 


13.1 


$.6 


12.2 


).0 


8.5 


r.9 


8.1 


l.l 


10.1 


r.6 


9.8 




9.0 


, • • ' * 





s^^s 



^I^ISIS 






O)Cntf^C0t9 






0» !-«»-> 









ocooo*4a» 






tooti^ai 



l^COO 



oaoSo 



t9 



!^282^ 



>l§ 



fcOt- 



a>oo 



to CO 






b9 00 CO CO 



COHi>t^l^ 






^t^'OoSoft 



cot^-4cn« 



J 



OOM 



0D( 






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ti5 



en Oft 



eot-M 



otocn( 



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M^OftOM 



kOH' 



Ot CO 00 00 



S^ 



00 en 



8^ 



coeoooi-« 



h-O 



^5^85 






kOf* 



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OOMOOi 



M«0*<M 



*»-a*» 



u 



MOft 



COI 



Ol 



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Si:S;SSS 



ICOOifeOM 



Soo 



OlCO 



ScSK^SftS 



^< 



00 



t^t^OtH^tmi 



^^ 



H«C»Sftl-«< 



COGOH<< 



S*40ftS 



h-fcO' 



Ml-* 



5?ai 



^i 



Av 



AU 

Ag! 

Ml 

i 

} 
I 



Tr. 

} 
t 

4 

Pn 



D» 



a 



,^ 



APPENDIX 



OF BiBTH 



^nuOK LBNOtBRAGB NUMBEB 
7F TiMB ntoM 
Arrival TO 
Pktitxon. 

BTXnONKRS AJ 
RIVINOAT 



Occupation 



TABLE LXIV 

OF Ybabb fbom Date of Abbival to Datb oi* 
Petition, by Occupation 



21 Ye 

of Ai 

and^ 



• occupations. 



Yef 

lO^rioulture, Forestry, etc.. . . 



g uiufactuiing 

lOpakers 

llpabinetmakers and oarpen- 

17^ tf« 

yLaborers 

lepianagers, supts., mfgrs., 

9 ^ and officers 

lOrlumbers 

II Jailors 

10 All others 

III ^ *: 

11 jansportation 

8. 

9 Retul dealers 

g^alesmen 

9 /Jl others 

9 ^buc service 

lO^essional service 

gClerfESrmen 

14 ]Mu8ioians 

10]A11 others 

g 

9 pmestio and personal service 

9 .Barbers 

10 .Bartenders 

g.All others 

lolerioal 



NuMBBB OF Fan- 

TIOUBBS AbRIVINQ AT 



16 to 20 

Years of 

Age 



13^ 
12. 

8. 

8. 
10. 

9. 

9. 






9,494 

139 

5,735 
170 

372 
761 

844 

112 

1,072 

2,914 

387 

1.611 
911 
346 
264 

21 

342 
10 
37 

296 

917 
224 
136 
567 

442 



21 Years 

of Age 

and Over 



13,861 

314 

8,362 
266 

921 
1,193 

444 

94 

1.206 

4,240 

662 

2,266 

1,646 

264 

366 

112 

608 
83 
91 

334 

1,246 
226 
164 
867 

601 



AvEBAOB Length of 

Tma FROM ARRIVAXi 

TO Pbtition (Ybabs). 
AuRiviNa at 



16 to 20 

Years of 

Age 



10.7 

14.3 

10.3 
12.0 

10.3 
11.0 

17.6 

9.8 

10.1 

10.3 

10.3 

11.6 
12.2 
10.4 
12.1 

13.4 

11.0 
11.4 
11.5 
11.0 

10.8 
10.4 
10.4 
11.4 

9.6 



21 Years 

of Age and 

Over 



10.5 

14.2 

10.5 
10.7 

10.4 
11.3 

10.8 
10.4 
10.5 
10.2 

9.7 

10.7 

10.7 

9.6 

10.9 

10.3 

9.9 

10.3 

10.3 

9.8 

10.3 

10.2 

9.3 

10.9 

9.3 



434 



e ^ 



^ * • 









« 










PATION 












uc 


pBfimBHUONAL SuYioa 
















< 


nCB 


Total 


Clergy- 
men 


Mum- 
dans 


AU 
OtheiB 


Tot 


15 '" 


1,026 


00 


148 


784 


2.3) 


^'? 


126 

45 



41 


6 
5 


21 
2 


90 

38 



26 


31 

• 
* 


Ed 

Hi 
ltd 


8 


6 





1 


16 
5 

• • • • 

77 

17 

2t 


100 

4 

72 

28 

107 

6 

31 

877 

5 

22 

12 



37 


5 

' "io" 

6 
18 


18 
1 
7 
1 

28 


77 

8 
55 
16 
66 

6 

29 

295 

5 
16 
10 

6 
28 


2f 

• • • 1 


^2 
RCS 


2 
84 


""48*' 


1' 

Td 1 

%T , • • • • 


5 
1 
2 

4 


1 
1 
1 



N< 















> 



[alis Ten Ybabs of Acb and 



UMB- 
IB8 


Bmtaxl 


flftTMl 
MBH 


Tailobs 


Total 


404 

193 
3.6 


67»204 

2,103 

3.1 


21,404 
591 
2.8 


89,918 

2,120 

5.3 


836.170 

9,930 

8.0 


133 

5 

3.8 


886 

54 

6.1 


177 

10 

5.7 


266 

16 

6.0 


6,191 
193 
3.1 


101 

2 

2.0 


1,977 

45 

2.2 


626 

9 

1.7 


1,120 

24 

2.1 


9,802 
188 
1.9 


544 

27 

6.0 


5,125 
213 
4.2 


1,181 

17 

1.5 


2,824 
182 
6.4 


37,779 

1,477 

8.9 


948 
139 
3.6 


62,323 

1,569 

3.0 


17,578 
508 
2.9 


38,101 

1,754 

5.8 


285.749 

6,658 

2.8 


273 

6 

2.2 


2,853 
50 

1.8 


630 

8 

1.3 


602 

17 

2.8 


15,836 
286 
1.8 


106 

8 

7.5 


1,197 

77 

6.4 


259 

9 

3.5 


288 

20 

6.0 


5,931 
837 
6.7 


149 

5 

3.4 


3.0 


672 

22 

3.8 


487 

29 

4.6 


18.024 
854 
2.7 


150 

1 

0.7 


1,452 

53 

8.6 


436 

8 

1.8 


1,280 

87 

6.8 


10.868 
442 
4.1 



INDEX 






Abbott, Grace^ 208 
Addams, Jane, 324 
Age: 

At arrival, 2S6-247 
Limitations for naturaliza- 
tion, 95-96 
Akron, Ohio: 
Naturalisation court, 227 
Study, 227-254 
Alabama: 
Immigrants 
Political privileges, 5, 
217 
Aliens: 

(See Immigrants) 
Co-belligerents, 257 
Enemy, 260-263 
Desertion, 279-281 
Legal position, 5-7 
Naturalization biueau sup- 
port, 189-193 
Reciprocal conscription, 

278 
Rights in United States, 6 
War registration, 267-277 
Allegiance: 
National 

Indelibility, 56 
Oath, 137-142 
Registered aliens, 267-269 



America, 14-16 

Immigrants' vision of, 17 
American: 

Attitude on naturalization, 
195-196 

Bom abroad, 51-52 

Definition, 7-16 

Jus Sanguinis, 45 

Jus Solis, 45 

Types, 1 
Americanism: 

Essentials, 14-16 
Americanization : 

Agencies, 177-180, 805- 
307, 330-333 

Factors, 37-39, 173 

Program, 139-140 
American Labor Union, 402 
American Railway • Union, 

402 
Argentine: 

Jus Solis, 45 
Arizona: 

Immigrants 
Political privilege, 5 ^ 

Arkansas: 

Immigrants 
Political privil^es, 5, 
217 

Naturalization denials, 126 
Arthur, Chester A., 79 



-K 



435 



AMERICANS BY CHOICE 



k 



Assimilation, 88-89, 287-288 
Auburn, Maine: 
Naturalization court, 227 
Study, 227-254 
Austrian: 
Allegiance, 274-275 
Classification, 287-288 
Immigration, 19-^, 1979 

205 
Jus Sanguinis, 44 
Naturalization treaties, 56 
Vote in New York City, 
850, S53 
Ayer's American Newspap^ 
Annual and Directory, 
888 



B 

Bay City, Michigan: 

Women registered, 308 
Belgium: 

Immigrants, 205 

Jus Sanguinis, 45 

Jus Solis, 45 

Naturalization Treaties, 56 
Bennett, William S., 845-847, 

855 
Benton Harbor, Michigan: 

Women registered, 868 
Bingham, George G., 811 
Bkir, A. Z., 845 
Bohemians: 

In Cleveland, 287, 860 

Naturalized, 206 
Borchard, Edwin M., 4, 52, 

56, 59, 60, 64 
Boston: 

Naturalization Division, 89 



Brazil: 

Naturalization treaties, 56 
Breckinridge, S. P., 305 
Bridgeport, Connecticut: 
Naturalization court, 227 
Study, 227-254 
Briggs-Wall, Henrietta, 141 
Brissenden, Paul Frederic, 

406 
Brooks, John Graham, viii, 8 
Brownson, O. A., 878 
Buchanan, Pres., 78 
Bulgaria: 
Jus Sanguinis, 45 
Jus Solis, 45 
Bureau of Citizenship and 
Americanization, 180- 
184 
Bureau of Education, 180 
Bureau of Naturalization,^9, 
81, 89-92, 104, 171- 
178, 177-198, 200-204, 
225, 255, 425-428 
Burmese: 

Naturalization, 93 
Byllcsby, L., 879 



Cadillac, Michigan: 
Women registered, 368 

California: 
Gold discoveiy, 25 

Campbell, Richard K., zxiii, 
81, 82, 89-92, 101-105, 
187,285 

Canada: 
Naturalization, 145 

Carpent^, A. H., 72 



436 



INDEX 



Cases 

Butchers' Benevolent As- 
sociation versus Cres- 
cent City Live Stock 
Company, 65 

Cruikshank vs. United 
States, 67 

Fernandez vs. United 
States, 94 

Friedd vs. United States, 
99 

Lapiz vs. United States, 94 

Mhior vs. Happerstadt, 64 

PhilUps, WiUiam, 115 

Pollock, John, 99 

United States vs. Boovris, 
115 

United States vs. Brefo, 97 

United States vs. Gerstein, 
136 

United Stetes vs. Hill, 162 

United States vs. Lagtry, 
97 

United States vs. McMil- 
lan, 162 

United States vs. Mackay, 
98 

United States vs. Mulcreay , 
162 

United States vs. Olson, 
119 

United States vs. Wong 
Kim Ark, 49, 51 
Certificate of Arrival, 109-112 
Certificates of naturalization: 

Interval between 1st paper, 
238 

Interval between petition, 
237 

Issued 1907-1920, 201 

29 437 



Character: 
Moral, 135-137 

Chicago: 
Municipal Voters' League, 

833-334 
Naturalization division, 89 
PcJitics, 32-33, 36 

Children r 
Bom at sea, 52-53 
Factor in election, 333-334 
Foreign birth, 51-52 
Parentage, 84-85, 247, 301- 
303 
Chinese: 
Jus Sanguinis, 44 
Naturalization, 93 
Cincinnati, Ohio: 
Crood Govenmient League, 

373-374 
Naturalization courts, 227 
Study, 227-254 

Citizens: 
American 
Children, 51 
Desertion, military, 279- 

281 
Jurisdiction, 64-68 
By birth, 1 
By choice, 1, 3, 7 
Definition, 46-51 

Citizenship: 
(See Naturalization) 
American, 1, 49-50 
Immigrants 
Application, 231, 253 
Cause, 254 

Fitness of candidates, 
193-195, 250 
Attitude, 17, 25 



AMERICANS BY CHOICE 



Citizenship (continued): 
Immigrants (continued) 
Essentials, 46-49 
Foreign bom w<Hnea, 

296-334 
Granted 
By races, 207H211 
For military service, 
95 
Interval between arrival, 

17, 31, 236-254 
Legal Recognition^ 65-67 
Need for, 32 
Sex, 62-63 
Tests, 68 
Claghom, Kate HoUiday, 7 
Clark, John B., 212 
Clarke, Frederic, 342 
Cl^ks: 
Naturalization Court, 2, 
161-167 
Cleveland, Grover, 79 
Cleveland, Ohio: 
Bohemians, 287 
Natiu'alization court, 227 

Study, 227-254 
Study of elections, 357-365 
Colonies: 
American 
Immigrants in, 69-70 
Naturalization in, 70-73 
Foreign bom 
Menace of, 2-3 
Colorado: 

Naturalization deniab, 126 
Communists, 377 
Commons, John R, 213 

Connecticut: 
Naturalization denials, 126 

488 



Constitution of United States, 
50, 65, 6^70, 73, 123- 
126, 135, 144, 176, 
296,304 
Cooper, Thomas, 378 
Costa Rica: 

Natiu'alization treaties, 56 
Country: 

Person without, 38, 63-64 
Courts: 
Clerks, 161-167, 
Naturalization, 26-29, 87- 
88, 93-95, 108, 119- 
120, 145-147, 227 
Studied, 227-254, 429-434 
Crist, Ra3anond F., zziii, 177, 

183, 294, 299, 811 
Croatians: 

Naturalization, 205 
Czechs: 
Socialists, 384 



D 



Dana, Charles A., 379 
Danieb, John, 36 
Danish: ' 

Immigrants, 19, 25 

Naturalized, 206 

Jus Sanguinis, 45 

Jus Solis, 45 

Naturalization treaties, 55- 
56 
Davenport, John I., 26, 27, 29 
Declaration of Intention: 

Abolishment, 102-105, 
417-420 

Attitude of judges, 105- 
107, 419 



INDEX 



I>eclaTatioii of Intention Easton» Pennsylvania : 



(continued) : 
FHed 

In other states, 947-1250 

Number, 201 
Form, 90^8, 107, 41&-419 Egypt: 
Interval from Jus Sanguinis, 45 



Natiu'alization court, 227 
Study, 227-254 
Ecuador: 
Naturalization treaties, 56 



Arrival to, 96, 236-250 
To petition, 218-224 
Invalid, 98-102 
Suffrage through, 217-218 
Time limit, 107-109, 228 
Delaware: 

Naturalization laws, 73 
Democratic, 21-23, 31 
Deniab: 



415,432-433 
Comparison, 232 

By race, 233 
Spedal,234 
By race, 234-236 
Denver. Colo.: 

Naturalization division, 89 
Department of labor, 168 
Desertion: 

By citizenship, 279-281 
Detroit, Michigan: 

Women registered, 868 
Devoe, Emma Smith, 325 
Dillingham, William P., 204 
Dutch: 
Immigrants, 205 



E 

Earnings: 
Comparison 
By races, 215-217 



Jus Solis, 45 
Eliot, Charles W., 373 
EUerbe, Paul Lee, xxiv . 
JSlmira, New York: 

Naturalization Court, 227 
Study, 227-254 
Emmett, Thomas Addis, 23 
Employm^it: 

Politicians' usage of, 32 



Cause, 88-100, 231, 263, England: 



Naturalization in, 145 
Politics, 24 
English: 
Ability to speak, 120-123 
Factor 
Naturalization, 253 
Entry, 416 
Immigrants: 

Naturalization, 205-206 
Publications, 345, 348, 422 
Expatriation: 
Right, 54-55 

» F 

Fall River, Massachusetts: 

Naturalization receptions. 
138-139 
Filipines: 

Natiu^dization, 94 
Finnish: 

Jus Sanguinis, 44 

Socialist, 384 



430 



AMERICANS BY CHOICE 



Flint, Michigan: 

Women registered, 868 
Florida: 

Declaration of intention 
cases, 97 

Naturalization denial, 126 
Flourroy, R., 59 
Foreign Legion, 273 
Fosdick, Raymond B., viii 
France: 

Citizenship, 55 

Jus Sanguinis, 44 

Naturalization, 145 
French: 

Immigrants, 205 
Fuller, Margaret, 379 

G 

Cralesburg, Illinois: 

Naturalization courts* 227 
Gay, Edwin F., viii 
Greneva: 

Jus Solis, 45 
Grerman: 
Citizenship laws, 57-62 
Immigrants 
Naturalization of, 205- 

206 
Number, 22 
Politics, 24-25 
Immigration, 18-20, 25, 

197, 205 
Jus Sanguinis, 45 
Press, 388 
Socialist, 387-390 
Vote in New York City, 
352-353 
Giddings, Franklin H., 9 
Gillette, John M., 398 



Glenn, John M., viii 
Godwin, Parke, 379 
Gompers, Samuel, 336 
Govonment: 

Land possession, 40 

Relation between Federal 
and State, 6 
Graft: 

In naturalization courts, 
165-167 
Grand Rapids,' Michigan: 

Americanizaticm society, 
330-334 

Civic interest in, 365-369 

Naturalization program, 
139-140 

Women registered, 368 
Grant U. S., 79 
Great Britain: 
' Immigrants, 18, 19 

Jus Sanguinis, 45 

Jus Solis, 45 

Naturalization treaties, 56- 
57 
Greeks: 

Expatriation rights, 54 

Immigration, 197 

Jus Sanguinis, 45 

Jus Solis, 45 
Greeley, Horace, 379 

H 

Haiti: 

Naturalization treaties, 56 
Hamilton, Alexander, 70 
Harrison, Benjamin, 79 
Harrison, J. B., 343 
Hart, Homell, xxiii 
Hawaiians: 

Naturalization, 93 



440 



INDEX 



Hawkins, L. H., xdii 
Hawthorne, Nathan, 379 
Hearst, William R., 355 
Higgins, A. Pearce, 59 
Hohnes, Edith Knight, 326 
Honduras: 

Naturalization, 56 
Hung, Gaillard, 81 
Hungarians: 

Jus Sanguinis, 44 

Socialists, 384 



Illinois: 



Distribution 
By years, %^ 
Variation, 17-«0 
Indiana: 
Comparison — declarations 

to petitions, 2S2 
Immigrants 

Political privileges, 5, 1817 

Naturalization denials, 126 

Industrial Workers of the 

World, 403-409 
International Working Peo- 
ples Association, 402 
Iowa: 
Naturalization denials, 126 



Declaration of intention Iowa City, Iowa: 



cases, 97 
Naturalization denials, 126 
Immigrants (see aliens) : 
Naturalized 
Aid, 32 
Attitude, S^5 
Cause of inunigration, 

18-21 
Interval between arrival 

and citizenship, 17 
New, 197-224, 233-254 
Number, 19-20 
Old, 197-224, 233-254 
Proportion of all foreign 

bom, 2 
Vision of America, 17 
Vote, 335-376 
Unnaturalized 
Refusal to submit to in- 
justice, 7 
Immigration: 
Bighl^, 44-45 
To America, 43-44 
Cause, 18, 25-30 



Naturalization court, 227 
Study, 227-254 
Irish: 
Immigrants, 18, 21, 25, 197 
Naturalized, 206 
Number, 22 
Politics, 21-24 
Vote in New York City, 
352-353 
Italian: 

Citizenship rights, 55 
Lnmigrants, 19-20, 197, 

231 
Jus Sanguinis, 45 
Jus Solis, 45 
Naturalization petitioners, 

124 
Socialist, 384 
Vote 
Cleveland, 357-365 
New York City, 352-353 
Ithaca, New York: 
Naturalization court, 227 
Study, 227-254 



441 



AMERICANS BY CHOICE 



Jackscm, Michigan: 
Women r^istrants» 868 

Jvpasiese: 
Jus Sanguinis* 44 
Naturalization* 93 

Jefferson, Hiomas* 75» 78 

Jenks, J. W., 843 

Jennings* B. L., 879 

Jews* 
Socialist* 884* 890-391 
Vote in Cleveland* 858 

Johnson* Andrew* 78 

Johnstone* Lucy B.» SK 

Judges: 
Attitudes 
Deniab* 129-183 



Kansas: 
Immigrants 
Political privil^es* 5, 
«17 
Naturalization denial* IM 
Kentucky: 
Dedaration of intenti<m 

cases, 97 
Naturalization denials* IM 
Kohs* S. C* xxiii 



Labor: 

Vote* 885-389 
Language: 

Naturalization Factor* 
j{14-215 



Derivative voters* 815- Lapsing* Michigan: 



817 

Examiners, 170-171 
Naturalization* ft9, 105- 
107, 118* 120-123, 
158 - 161* 174 - 177* 
283-285* 411-412* 
419 
Naturalization Ceremonies* 



Women r^^istered* 868 
Laws: 

Aliens* 5-7 

Blood* 42* 44-45 

Naturalization* 30, 70-88 
Amendment to, 132 

Soil, 42* 44-45 
Legal: 

Bights of aliens, 5-7 



137-138, 423-425 
Personal equation, 147-158 illation : 
Jugoslavs: Immigrant suffrage* 5 



Vote in Cleveland* 858 
Jurisdiction: 

Of citizens, 64-68 
Jus Sanguinis, 42, 44-45 
Jus Soils* 42, 44-45 



Kalamazoo* Michigan: 
Women roistered, 868 



Naturalization law, 50, 69* 
88, 132, 144-145, 181- 
186, 259-261 
Letts: 

Socialists, 384 
Lincoln, Abraham, 78 
lipsky, Abram, 348, 357 
Lithuanian: 

Socialist, 384 
Lowell, James Bussell, 379 



442 



INDEX 



Luxemburg: 
Jus Sanguinisy 45 
Jus Solisy 45 

M 

Madison, James, 78, 78 
Magyar: 

Vote in Cleveland, 860 
Mariners: 

Naturalization of, 77 
Maryland: 

Naturalization laws, 73 
Massachusetts : 



Montana: 

Naturalization deniab, 126 
Moravian: 

Naturalized, 206 
Morris, Oliver S., 897 
Munro, William Bennett, 33, 

875 
Muskegon, Michigan : 

Women registered, 868 
Myers, Gustavus, 28-^ 

MC 
McCook, J. J., 843 



Naturalization denials, 126 McKinley, President, 77 
Naturalization law, 73 



Meeker, Jacob, 262 
Melting Pot: 

Test of, 281-282 
Michigan: 
Immigrants 

Naturalization denials, 

126 
Political privileges, 5, 217 
Middletown, Connecticut: 
Naturalization court, 227 
Study, 227-254 
Military Service: 
Natiuralization through, 93, 
255-295 
Mineola, New York: 

Naturalization court, 227 
Study, 227-254 
Missouri: 
Immigrants 
Naturalization denials, 

126 
Suffrage, 5, 217 
Moley, Raymond, xxiii-xxiv 
Monaco: 

Jus Sanguinis, 44 



N 

Nationality, 40 
Denial, 53-54 
National Labor Union, 402 
Naturalization : 
Aid, 82 
Attitude 
United States Presidents, 
78 
Comparison 
All foreign bom, 2 
First to second papers, 

218-224 
New and old inmiigrants, 
204-217 
Court clerks, 161-167 
Declaration of intention, 

98-105 
Denials, 120-137, 415 
Derivation, 802-303 
Factors, 214-224 
Educational test, 173- 

177 
Military service, 255- 
295 



443 



AMERICANS BY CHOICE 



NaturaliEation (continued): 
Fees, 190 

Frauds, «5-80, «65-«67 
Intervals, J2S6-«43 
Law, 30, 69-88 

Operation, 89-142 
Personal equation in, 148- 

196 
Petitioners, 225-254 
Women, 809-811 
Process, 1, 21, 81, 199-202, 

420-422 
Requirements, 88-88, 120- 

128, 410-412, 416 
Restriction, 92-96 
Service, 167-178, 185-189> 
200,202 
Nearing, Scott, 289 
Nebraska: 
Immigrants 

Political privilege, 5, 217 
Naturalization denials, 126 
Netherlands: 

Right to renounce citizen- 
ship, 55 
New Brunswick, New Jersey: 
Naturalization court, 227 
Study, 227-254 
New Hampshire: 

Naturalization denials, 93 
New Jersey: 
Naturalization cases, 92- 

100 
Naturalization denials, 126 
New Mexico: 

Naturalization denials, 126 
New York: 
Assembly, 29, 401 
Immigration commissioner, 
164 



Naturalization laws, 71» 78 
New York City: 
Delays in naturalization 

courts, 163 
Foreign-bom vote, 847-354 
Merchants Association, 413 
Naturalization in, 20 
Courts, 227 

Study, 227-254 
Division offices, 89 
Nicaragua: 

Naturalization treaties, 56 
Nonpartisan League, 897-401 
North Carolina: 
Declaration of intention 

cases, 97 
Naturalization denials, 126 
North Dakota: 
Inunigrants 
Political privil^e, 5 
Norwegians: 

Immigrants, 19, 25 
Jus Sanguinis, 45 
Naturalization treaties, 56 
Natiu-alized, 206 
Norwich, Connecticut: 
Naturalization court, 227 
Study, 227-254 

O 

Occupation: 

Petitioners, 250-252, 434 
Oregon: 
Alien suffrage, 5, 217 
Naturalization denials, 126 
Organization of Brewery 
Workers and Miners, 
402 
Owen, Robert, 378 



444 



INDEX 



Paterson* New Jersey: 
NatuTfdization courts, 9^ 
Study, ««7-«54 
Pennsylvania: 
Naturalization laws, 70 
Declaration of intention 
cases, 97 
Persia: 

Jus Sanguinis, 44 
" Personal equation '* 

In naturalization, 148-196 
Peru: 

Naturalization treaties, 56 
Petitioners: 
Naturalization 
Married, 247, 804 
Statistics on, i225H254, 

429-434 
Types, 289-«91 
Petitions: 



Corruption, 2» d4H25» 841- 

845 
Frauds, 29 
Lnmigrant influence, 889- 

840 
Indifference, 820 
Interest 

In England, 24 
Issue, 28 
Participation 
Lnndgrants, 2-8, 21-25, 

296-884, 9S&-97Q, 
Parties, 21H85, 81, 854, 

877, 880-891, 898 
Rights, 5 
Political society: 
Roots of, 42-48 
Politicians: 
Interest in humanity, 9>9r' 

S5 
Interest in immigrants, 81- 

88 
Labor vote, SS5 



Naturalization 
Compared with dedara- Popidation: 
tion of intention, 218- Foreign bom, 2 
224 
Examination of, St^t^-^tM 
Fned,201 
Philadelphia: 

Naturalization division, 89 
Piggott, F. I., 47 
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania: 

Naturalization division, 89 
PleydeU, A. C, 874 
Polish: 

Vote in Cleveland, 858 
Political: 
Admission, 1 
Americanization, 87-89 
Clubs, 38-87 

445 



Grand Rapids, Michigan, 
867 

Increase, 5 
Port Huron, Michigan: 

Women registered, 868 
Portland, Oregon: 

Naturalization courts, 227 
Study, 227H854 
Porto Ricans: 

Naturalization, 94 
Portuguese: 

Immigrants, 198 

Jus Sanguinis, 45 

Jus Solis, 45 

Naturalization treaties, 5Q 



AMERICANS BY CHOICE 



Presidents of United States: 
Naturalization discussion, 
77-80 
Progressive, S54 
Publications: 
English 
Better Times, ^3St 
OuOoohUS 
Popular Science, 848 
German, 888 
Socialist 
Appeal to Reason, 881 
Foreign language, 881 
Milwaukee Leader, 880 
National Rip-Saw, 881 
New York CaU, 880 
Purdy, Milton D., 81 

R 
Race: 
Comparison 

Old and new, 204-217 
Distribution 
By age at arrival, 244- 

247 
By citizenship, 228-232 
By denials, 228-236 
Interval comparisons, 236- 

241,243 
Naturalization restrictions, 
92-96, 264-^65 
Radicalism: 
Movement 
Foreign bom, 377-409 
Registration (War), 267-273 
Republican: 

German, 24-25 
Residence: 
Factor 
Earning powCT, 215-217 



Naturalization, 124-126, 
126-135, 208-214 

Stability, 247-250 
Rhode Island: 

Naturalization denials, 126 
Ripley, George, 879 
Robenson, Helen Ring, 806 
Rochester, New York: 

Naturalization court, 227 
Study, 227H854 
Rome: 

Classification of alien, 4 
Romen, A., 59 

Roosevelt, Theodore, viii, 80 
Ross, Edward A., 212 
Roumanian: 

Immigrants, 197 

Jus Sanguinis, 44 
Russians: 

Expatriation rights, 54 

Immigrants, 19-20, 197, 
231 

Jus Sanguinis, 45 

Jus Solis, 45 

Vote in New York City, 
852-353 



St. Louis, Missouri: 

Naturalization division of- 
fices, 89, 107 
St. Paul, Minnesota: 

Naturalization division, of- 
fices, 89 
Saginaw, Michigan: 

Women registrants^ 868 
Sailors: 

Naturalization, 77, 228 



416 



INDEX 



Salvador: 

Naturalization treaties^ 56 
San Francisco, California: 

Naturalization division of- 
fices, 89 
Scandinavian: 

Immigrants, 197» 205 

Socialist, 884 
Schools, Public: 

Citizenship enrollment, 
821-828 



Members, 881-882 

Press, 880-881 

Badal composites, 858, '' 
888-885 

Vote, 885-887 

War effects, 891-898 

Work with labor, 402 
Social workers, 195 
Soldiers: 

Alien, 257 

Naturalization of, 5, 217 



Factor in reaching women. South Carolina: 



828-829 
Relation with Bureau of 
Naturalization, 204 
Scotch: 

Naturalized, 206 
Seattle, Washington: 
Naturalization, 227 
Court Study, 227-254 
Division, 89 
Serbian: 
Jus Sanguinis, 44 



Naturalization denials, 126 

Naturalization laws, 70 
South Dakota: 

Immigrants (Unnatural- 
ized) 
Political privil^e, 5, 217 
Sovereigns of industry, 402 
Spanish: 

Jus Sanguinis, 45 

Jus Solis, 45 
Speek, Peter A.^ 895 



Right to renounce citizen- Stokes, Elizabeth King^ 



ship, 55 
Seward, William H., 25 
Sex: 

Citizenship relaticm, 62-68 
Single Tax, 877, 898 
Skidmore, Thomas, 879 
Slavs: 

Socialist, 884 
Slovaks: 

Socialist, 884 
Socialism: 

Definition, 879-880 

History, 401-402 

Influence, German, 887- 
890 

Influence, Jewish, 890-891 



XXIV 

Sturges, Merton A., 422-425 
Suffrage: 

Alien, 5, 217-218 

Rights 
In American colonies, 
78 

Women, 808-804, 814-815 
Swedish: 

Immigrants, 19,^ 
Naturalization, 205-206 

Jus Sanguinis, 45 

Jus Solis, 45 

Naturalization treaties, 56 
Switzerland: 

Jus Sanguinis, 45 



447 



AMERICANS BY CHOICE 



Switzerland (continued): 

Jus Soils, 45 

Right to renounce citizen- 
ship, 55 
Syria: 

Naturalization of, 205 



Uruguay: 

Naturalization treaties, 55 
Utah: 

Naturalization denials, 126 



Taylor, Graham, 871 
Texas: 
Immigrants 



Van Buren, Martin, 70 
Van Deusen, A. C, 81 
Vermont: 

Naturalization denials, 126 
Virginia: 

Naturalization laws, 71-73 



Political privileges, 5, Voll, John A., viii 



217 
Thiesing, I. H., 59 
Thompson, F. B., 103 
Traverse City, Michigan: 
Women registered, 368 
Troy, New York: 
Naturalization court, 227 
Study, 227-254 
Turkey: 
Expatriation rights 

Denial, 54 
Jus Sanguinis, 45 
Jus Solis, 45 



U 



United States Census, 288 
United States Department of 

War: 
RepOTt of, 256, 267-260, 

271 - 276, 278 - 280, 

282,285 



Votes: 

Foreign bom, 33 
Action of, 335-876 
Derivative, 802, 317-818 
Influence on politics, 2 
Socialist, 385-387 

W 

Wame, Frank J., 18, 10, 20 
^/^ars: 
Ci\il, 15, 20, 76 
Mexican, 16 
Revolutionary, 15 
Spanish, 16, 92 
World, 6, 13, 14, 16, 82, 
40, 61, 68, 177, 195, 
227, 255, 299, 354, 
884, 391-898 
1812, 15, 57, 76 
Washington, D. C: 

Natiuralization division, 89 
Washington, George, 73 
United States Immigration Waterman, T. T., xxiii 

Commission, 207-209, Weatherly, Ulysses G., 11, 



211, 215-216, 220 



13,286 



448 



INDEX 



Weiss, Andrew, 47 
Welsh: 

Naturalized, 1206 
Whitehouse, Visa Boardman, 

325 
White Plains, New York: 

Naturalization court, 9Stl 
Study, 227-254 
Williams, Talcott, viii 
Wilson, William B., 183 
Wisconsin: 

Comparison of declaration 
to petitions, 223 

Naturalization denial, 126 
Wise, I. M., 375 



YTitness: 
Deposition, 133-135 
Incompetent, 126-133 
Women: 
Citizenship, 62-63 
Foreign bom 

In politics, 296-334 
B^^tered in Michigan, 

368 
Without country, 38, 63, 
64 
Worcester, Massachusetts: 
Naturalization court, 227 
Study, 227-254 
Working Men's Party, 402 



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