A-4367, AUGUST 21, 1924, 4 COMP. GEN. 195

A-4367: Aug 21, 1924

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TO "ONE YEAR AFTER ALL THE AMERICAN TROOPS ARE RETURNED TO THE UNITED STATES. PETITIONS FOR NATURALIZATION HANDED TO DESIGNATED REPRESENTATIVES OF THE BUREAU OF NATURALIZATION BY OVERSEAS ALIENS IN THE MILITARY SERVICE OF THE UNITED STATES WERE NOT "FILED" WITHIN THE INTENT OF THE NATURALIZATION LAWS OF MAY 9. ARE TO BE CHARGED. 1924: I HAVE YOUR LETTER OF JULY 26. REQUESTING DECISION AS TO THE COLLECTION OF FEES BY CLERKS OF COURTS UPON PETITIONS FOR NATURALIZATION EXECUTED OVERSEAS BY ALIENS WHO WERE IN THE MILITARY SERVICE OF THE UNITED STATES DURING THE WORLD WAR. IS IN THE MILITARY SERVICE OF THE UNITED STATES. THE PETITION SHALL BE VERIFIED BY THE AFFIDAVITS OF AT LEAST TWO CREDIBLE WITNESSES WHO ARE CITIZENS OF THE UNITED STATES.

A-4367, AUGUST 21, 1924, 4 COMP. GEN. 195

NATURALIZATION FEES--- PETITIONS OF ALIENS IN THE MILITARY SERVICE THE ACTS OF MAY 9, 1918, 40 STAT. 542, AND JULY 19, 1919, 41 STAT. 222, PROVIDED FOR THE NATURALIZATION OF ALIENS IN THE MILITARY SERVICE OF THE UNITED STATES FROM MAY 9, 1918, TO "ONE YEAR AFTER ALL THE AMERICAN TROOPS ARE RETURNED TO THE UNITED STATES," WITHOUT THE CHARGE OF THE FEES REQUIRED BY THE ACT OF JUNE 29, 1906, 34 STAT. 600, AND PERMITTED THE PETITIONING FOR NATURALIZATION BY SUCH ALIENS WHEN BEYOND THE JURISDICTION OF ANY COURT AUTHORIZED TO NATURALIZE ALIENS, WITHOUT THEIR APPEARING IN PERSON BEFORE THE CLERK OF A COURT HAVING JURISDICTION. PETITIONS FOR NATURALIZATION HANDED TO DESIGNATED REPRESENTATIVES OF THE BUREAU OF NATURALIZATION BY OVERSEAS ALIENS IN THE MILITARY SERVICE OF THE UNITED STATES WERE NOT "FILED" WITHIN THE INTENT OF THE NATURALIZATION LAWS OF MAY 9, 1918, 40 STAT. 542, AND JULY 19, 1919, 41 STAT. 222, SUCH LAWS CONTEMPLATING AN ACTUAL FILING OF THE PETITION WITH THE CLERK OF A COURT HAVING JURISDICTION TO NATURALIZE BY THE PETITIONER HIMSELF AFTER HIS RETURN TO THE UNITED STATES, OR BY REPRESENTATIVES OF THE BUREAU OF NATURALIZATION FOR AND ON HIS BEHALF, WITHIN THE TIME LIMIT; AND WHERE NOT SO FILED WITHIN THE TIME LIMIT, THE FEES PROVIDED BY THE ACT OF JUNE 29, 1906, ARE TO BE CHARGED.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL MCCARL TO THE SECRETARY OF LABOR, AUGUST 21, 1924:

I HAVE YOUR LETTER OF JULY 26, 1924, REQUESTING DECISION AS TO THE COLLECTION OF FEES BY CLERKS OF COURTS UPON PETITIONS FOR NATURALIZATION EXECUTED OVERSEAS BY ALIENS WHO WERE IN THE MILITARY SERVICE OF THE UNITED STATES DURING THE WORLD WAR.

THE SEVENTH SUBDIVISION, SECTION 1, OF THE ACT OF MAY 9, 1918, 40 STAT. 542, ENTITLED,"AN ACT TO AMEND THE NATURALIZATION LAWS AND TO REPEAL CERTAIN SECTIONS OF THE REVISED STATUTES OF THE UNITED STATES AND OTHER LAWS RELATING TO NATURALIZATION, AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES," PROVIDED:

* * * ANY ALIEN, WHO, AT THE TIME OF THE PASSAGE OF THIS ACT, IS IN THE MILITARY SERVICE OF THE UNITED STATES, WHO MAY NOT BE WITHIN THE JURISDICTION OF ANY COURT AUTHORIZED TO NATURALIZE ALIENS, MAY FILE HIS PETITION FOR NATURALIZATION WITHOUT APPEARING IN PERSON IN THE OFFICE OF THE CLERK OF THE COURT AND SHALL NOT BE REQUIRED TO TAKE THE PRESCRIBED OATH OF ALLEGIANCE IN OPEN COURT. THE PETITION SHALL BE VERIFIED BY THE AFFIDAVITS OF AT LEAST TWO CREDIBLE WITNESSES WHO ARE CITIZENS OF THE UNITED STATES, AND WHO SHALL PROVE IN THEIR AFFIDAVITS THE PORTION OF THE RESIDENCE THAT THEY HAVE PERSONALLY KNOWN THE APPLICANT TO HAVE RESIDED WITHIN THE UNITED STATES. THE TIME OF MILITARY SERVICE MAY BE ESTABLISHED BY THE AFFIDAVITS OF AT LEAST TWO OTHER CITIZENS OF THE UNITED STATES, WHICH, TOGETHER WITH THE OATH OF ALLEGIANCE, MAY BE TAKEN IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE TERMS OF SECTION SEVENTEEN HUNDRED AND FIFTY OF THE REVISED STATUTES OF THE UNITED STATES AFTER NOTICE FROM AND UNDER REGULATIONS OF THE BUREAU OF NATURALIZATION. SUCH AFFIDAVITS AND OATH OF ALLEGIANCE SHALL BE ADMITTED IN EVIDENCE IN ANY ORIGINAL OR APPELLATE NATURALIZATION PROCEEDING WITHOUT PROOF OF THE GENUINENESS OF THE SEAL OR SIGNATURE OR OF THE OFFICIAL CHARACTER OF THE OFFICER BEFORE WHOM THE AFFIDAVITS AND OATH OF ALLEGIANCE WERE TAKEN, AND SHALL BE FILED BY THE REPRESENTATIVE OF THE GOVERNMENT FROM THE BUREAU OF NATURALIZATION AT THE HEARING AS PROVIDED BY SECTION ELEVEN OF THE ACT OF JUNE TWENTY NINTH, NINETEEN HUNDRED AND SIX.

DURING THE TIME WHEN THE UNITED STATES IS AT WAR NO CLERK OF A UNITED STATES COURT SHALL CHARGE OR COLLECT A NATURALIZATION FEE FROM AN ALIEN IN THE MILITARY SERVICE OF THE UNITED STATES FOR FILING HIS PETITION OR ISSUING THE CERTIFICATE OF NATURALIZATION UPON ADMISSION TO CITIZENSHIP, AND NO CLERK OF ANY STATE COURT SHALL CHARGE OR COLLECT ANY FEE FOR THIS SERVICE UNLESS THE LAWS OF THE STATE REQUIRE SUCH CHARGE TO BE MADE, IN WHICH CASE NOTHING MORE THAN THE PORTION OF THE FEE REQUIRED TO BE PAID TO THE STATE SHALL BE CHARGED OR COLLECTED. A FULL ACCOUNTING FOR ALL OF THESE TRANSACTIONS SHALL BE MADE TO THE BUREAU OF NATURALIZATION IN THE MANNER PROVIDED BY SECTION THIRTEEN OF THE ACT OF JUNE TWENTY-NINTH, NINETEEN HUNDRED AND SIX.

THE ACT OF JULY 19, 1919, 41 STAT. 222, PROVIDES:

ANY PERSON OF FOREIGN BIRTH WHO SERVED IN THE MILITARY OR NAVAL FORCES OF THE UNITED STATES DURING THE PRESENT WAR, AFTER FINAL EXAMINATION AND ACCEPTANCE BY THE SAID MILITARY OR NAVAL AUTHORITIES, AND SHALL HAVE BEEN HONORABLY DISCHARGED AFTER SUCH ACCEPTANCE AND SERVICE, SHALL HAVE THE BENEFITS OF THE SEVENTH SUBDIVISION OF SECTION 4 OF THE ACT OF JUNE 29, 1906, THIRTY-FOURTH STATUTES AT LARGE, PART 1, PAGE 596, AS AMENDED, AND SHALL NOT BE REQUIRED TO PAY ANY FEE THEREFOR; AND THIS PROVISION SHALL CONTINUE FOR THE PERIOD OF ONE YEAR AFTER ALL OF THE AMERICAN TROOPS ARE RETURNED TO THE UNITED STATES.

IT IS UNDERSTOOD THAT DURING THE WAR APPLICATIONS FOR NATURALIZATION OF THOSE ALIENS IN THE MILITARY SERVICE WHO WERE STATIONED AT CAMPS AND MOBILIZATION CENTERS THROUGHOUT THE UNITED STATES WERE RECEIVED BY REPRESENTATIVES OF THE NATURALIZATION SERVICE WHO FURNISHED THE APPLICANTS THE REQUIRED FORMS, ASSISTED THEM IN THE PREPARATION THEREOF, AND GAVE THEM, AND THE WITNESSES WHO VOUCHED FOR THEIR CHARACTER, ETC., THE NECESSARY PRELIMINARY EXAMINATION, SUCH PETITIONS BEING FILED AT SUCH CAMPS, ETC., AT IMPROVISED OFFICES ESTABLISHED THEREIN FOR THE CLERKS OF THE COURTS HAVING JURISDICTION, THE COURTS, ON HEARING DAYS, ADJOURNING TO SUCH CAMPS, ETC., FOR THE PURPOSE OF NATURALIZING SUCH ALIENS AS WERE FOUND ELIGIBLE FOR NATURALIZATION.

OVERSEAS, AND WITHOUT THE JURISDICTION OF ANY COURT AUTHORIZED TO NATURALIZE ALIENS, IT WAS DIFFERENT, AND NECESSARILY SO. SUCH ALIENS MADE THEIR APPLICATIONS, WERE ASSISTED IN THE PREPARATION OF THEIR PETITIONS FOR NATURALIZATION, AND THEIR PETITIONS THUS RECEIVED, IT IS UNDERSTOOD, WERE FORWARDED TO THE BUREAU OF NATURALIZATION IN WASHINGTON AND WERE, AND IN SOME INSTANCES STILL ARE BEING, HELD AWAITING FURTHER AND NECESSARY ACTION TO ACCOMPLISH NATURALIZATION OF THE PETITIONERS.

WHAT THE ACT OF MAY 9, 1918, SUPRA, CONTEMPLATED BEING DONE BY THE ALIENS, OR OTHERS IN THEIR BEHALF, WITH RESPECT TO PETITIONS MADE OVERSEAS, AND AFTER THE PETITIONERS RETURNED TO THE UNITED STATES, IS NOT ALTOGETHER CLEAR. SOMETHING AFFIRMATIVE WAS REQUIRED TO BE DONE TO ACCOMPLISH NATURALIZATION WHICH STARTED WITH THE MAKING OF THE PETITIONS OVERSEAS. THE CLERK OF THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF NEW YORK, BROOKLYN, N.Y., IN HIS LETTER OF MAY 6, 1924, EXPLAINS THE MATTER THUS:

THE EXAMINER OF THE BUREAU OF NATURALIZATION HAS REQUESTED THAT PAPERS, IN THE NATURE OF PETITIONS, BE FILED ON BEHALF OF CERTAIN MEN NATURALIZED OVERSEAS UNDER SUBDIVISION 7 OF SECTION 4 OF THE NATURALIZATION LAW.

BEFORE THE EXPIRATION OF THE GENERAL PROBATION AS TO THE NATURALIZATION OF HONORABLY DISCHARGED SOLDIERS AND SAILORS IN MARCH OF THIS YEAR, THERE HAD BEEN SOME PROCEEDINGS IN COURT UNDER WHICH A SO-CALLED "OVERSEAS NATURALIZATION" WAS BROUGHT ON IN COURT WITHOUT PETITION AND AN ORDER WAS SIGNED BY THE JUDGE. AS NO FEE WAS CHARGED TO SOLDIERS THE QUESTION OF A FEE COULD NOT BE RAISED AS TO THESE MEN. NOW THAT THE LIMITATION HAS GONE INTO EFFECT, AND A FEE MUST BE CHARGED, THE QUESTION ARISES CAN SUCH PAPERS BE FILED AS PETITIONS WITHOUT THE PAYMENT OF FEES; SHOULD A FEE BE CHARGED; OR SHOULD THESE PAPERS BE FILED APART FROM THE USUAL NATURALIZATION PROCEEDINGS AND BE TAKEN CARE OF AS A MATTER BEFORE THE JUDGE WITHOUT CHARGE?

THE ACT OF JUNE 29, 1906, 34 STAT. 600, PROVIDES AS TO FEES FOR NATURALIZATION, THAT:

FOR MAKING, FILING, AND DOCKETING THE PETITION OF AN ALIEN FOR ADMISSION AS A CITIZEN OF THE UNITED STATES AND FOR THE FINAL HEARING THEREON, TWO DOLLARS; AND FOR ENTERING THE FINAL ORDER AND THE ISSUANCE OF THE CERTIFICATE OF CITIZENSHIP THEREUNDER, IF GRANTED, TWO DOLLARS.

THE ACT OF MAY 9, 1918, SUPRA, PROVIDED THAT THE ALIEN, WITHOUT THE JURISDICTION OF ANY COURT AUTHORIZED TO NATURALIZE ALIENS,"MAY FILE HIS PETITION FOR NATURALIZATION WITHOUT APPEARING IN PERSON IN THE OFFICE OF THE CLERK OF THE COURT.' THAT PROVISION CLEARLY CONTEMPLATED A FILING IN THE OFFICE OF THE CLERK OF A COURT HAVING JURISDICTION TO NATURALIZE; THEREFORE A PETITION EXECUTED OVERSEAS AND HANDED TO A DESIGNATED REPRESENTATIVE OF THE BUREAU OF NATURALIZATION, BUT WHICH HAS NOT BEEN FILED "IN THE OFFICE OF THE CLERK OF THE COURT" HAVING JURISDICTION TO NATURALIZE ALIENS, HAS NOT BEEN FILED WITHIN THE INTENT OF THE ACT OF MAY 9, 1918.

HAD THE OVERSEAS PETITIONER, UPON HIS RETURN TO THE UNITED STATES AND WITHIN THE TIME SPECIFIED IN THE ACT OF JULY 19, 1919, SUPRA, TAKEN THE NECESSARY STEPS TO PERFECT HIS NATURALIZATION, OR HAD SUCH STEPS BEEN TAKEN FOR HIM BY A FILING OF HIS PETITION WITH THE CLERK OF A COURT HAVING JURISDICTION TO NATURALIZE ALIENS, HE WOULD HAVE RECEIVED HIS CERTIFICATE OF CITIZENSHIP, IF FOUND TO BE ELIGIBLE, WITHOUT THE PAYMENT OF A FEE EITHER FOR FILING AND DOCKETING THE PETITION AND FOR FINAL HEARING THEREON OR FOR THE ENTERING OF THE FINAL ORDER AND THE ISSUANCE OF THE CERTIFICATE OF NATURALIZATION THEREUNDER; THAT IS, UNLESS THE PROCEEDINGS WERE IN A STATE COURT AND THE LAWS OF THE PARTICULAR STATE REQUIRED THAT A FEE BE CHARGED. NOT HAVING TAKEN THE NECESSARY STEPS TO PERFECT HIS NATURALIZATION WITHIN THE TIME SPECIFIED IN THE ACT OF JULY 19, 1919, AND THE INITIAL STEPS NOT HAVING BEEN TAKEN FOR HIM WITHIN THAT TIME, NO REASON APPEARS WHY HE SHOULD BE IN A MORE FAVORABLE SITUATION THAN THE PERSON OF FOREIGN BIRTH WHO SERVED IN THE MILITARY FORCES OF THE UNITED STATES AND WHO DID NOT MAKE HIS PETITION OVERSEAS. THE FORMER AS WELL AS THE LATTER, AFTER THE TIME SPECIFIED IN THE ACT OF JULY 19, 1919, IS REQUIRED TO PAY THE FEES PROVIDED IN THE ACT OF JULY 29, 1906, SUPRA, AND THE DECISION IS ACCORDINGLY.