B-4115, JULY 7, 1939, 19 COMP. GEN. 9

B-4115: Jul 7, 1939

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WERE REQUIRED BY THE ACT OF 1917 AS AMENDED AND EXTENDED. THERE APPEARING NO REASON FOR ASSUMING CONGRESS DID NOT INTEND A PROPER FEE SHOULD BE CHARGED AND THE LONG STANDING PRACTICE INDICATING THE MATTER WAS SO UNDERSTOOD BY THE ADMINISTRATIVE DEPARTMENT AND BY THE COURTS. AS FOLLOWS: YOUR DECISION IS RESPECTFULLY REQUESTED AS TO THE PROPRIETY OF COLLECTING FEES UNDER SECTION 5 OF THE ACT OF MARCH 2. THAT ANY PERSON WHO IS BORN IN PUERTO RICO OF AN ALIEN PARENT AND IS PERMANENTLY RESIDING IN THAT ISLAND MAY. SHALL HAVE A PERIOD OF ONE YEAR FROM THE APPROVAL OF THIS ACT TO MAKE THE DECLARATION PROVIDED FOR IN THE AFORESAID SECTION: AND PROVIDED FURTHER. THAT THE "DISTRICT COURT OF THE UNITED STATES FOR PUERTO RICO SHALL HAVE JURISDICTION OF THE NATURALIZATION OF ALIENS AND PUERTO RICANS.'.

B-4115, JULY 7, 1939, 19 COMP. GEN. 9

FEES - PUERTO RICAN CITIZENSHIP PROCEEDINGS WHILE NEITHER SECTION 5 OF THE ACT OF MARCH 2, 1917, 39 STAT. 953, NOR AMENDATORY ACTS OF MARCH 4, 1927, AND MAY 16, 1938, PROVIDE FOR THE CHARGING OF FEES FOR THE ACQUIRING OF UNITED STATES CITIZENSHIP IN THE MANNER AND BY THE CLASSES OF PUERTO RICANS OUTLINED THEREIN, SINCE IN ALL NATURALIZATION MATTERS THE NATURALIZATION LAWS OF THE UNITED STATES WOULD APPLY, AND SINCE NATURALIZATION PROCEEDINGS, EVEN THOUGH IN MODIFIED FORM, WERE REQUIRED BY THE ACT OF 1917 AS AMENDED AND EXTENDED, THE FEE PROVIDED BY THE ACT OF APRIL 19, 1934, 48 STAT. 597, IN THE CASE OF ALIENS GENERALLY, FOR MAKING, FILING, AND DOCKETING THE PETITION OF CITIZENSHIP AND ISSUING A CERTIFICATE OF CITIZENSHIP, SHOULD BE CHARGED, THERE APPEARING NO REASON FOR ASSUMING CONGRESS DID NOT INTEND A PROPER FEE SHOULD BE CHARGED AND THE LONG STANDING PRACTICE INDICATING THE MATTER WAS SO UNDERSTOOD BY THE ADMINISTRATIVE DEPARTMENT AND BY THE COURTS.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL BROWN TO THE SECRETARY OF LABOR, JULY 7, 1939:

THERE HAS BEEN CONSIDERED YOUR LETTER OF MAY 23, 1939, AS FOLLOWS:

YOUR DECISION IS RESPECTFULLY REQUESTED AS TO THE PROPRIETY OF COLLECTING FEES UNDER SECTION 5 OF THE ACT OF MARCH 2, 1917 (39 STAT. 953; 8 U.S.C. 5), ENTITLED " AN ACT TO PROVIDE A CIVIL GOVERNMENT FOR PORTO RICO, AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES.' AND SECTION 5A, ADDED TO THAT ACT BY THE ACT OF MARCH 4, 1927 (44 STAT. 1419; 8 U.S.C. 5A), AS WELL AS SECTION 5 (C) ADDED TO THAT ACT BY THE ACT OF MAY 16, 1938 (52 STAT. 377; 8 U.S.C. 5A-1).

SAID SECTION 5 (IN THE LAST PARAGRAPH) READS:

"* * *, THAT ANY PERSON WHO IS BORN IN PUERTO RICO OF AN ALIEN PARENT AND IS PERMANENTLY RESIDING IN THAT ISLAND MAY, IF OF FULL AGE, WITHIN SIX MONTHS OF THE TAKING EFFECT OF THIS ACT, OR IF A MINOR, UPON REACHING HIS MAJORITY OR WITHIN ONE YEAR THEREAFTER, MAKE A SWORN DECLARATION OF ALLEGIANCE TO THE UNITED STATES BEFORE THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR PUERTO RICO, SETTING FORTH THEREIN ALL THE FACTS CONNECTED WITH HIS OR HER BIRTH AND RESIDENCE IN PUERTO RICO AND ACCOMPANYING DUE PROOF THEREOF, AND FROM AND AFTER THE MAKING OF SUCH DECLARATION SHALL BE CONSIDERED TO BE A CITIZEN OF THE UNITED STATES.'

SECTION 5A, ADDED BY THE ACT OF MARCH 4, 1927, READS:

"* * * THAT PERSONS BORN IN PUERTO RICO OF ALIEN PARENTS, REFERRED TO IN THE LAST PARAGRAPH OF SECTION 5, WHO DID NOT AVAIL THEMSELVES OF THE PRIVILEGE GRANTED TO THEM OF BECOMING CITIZENS OF THE UNITED STATES, SHALL HAVE A PERIOD OF ONE YEAR FROM THE APPROVAL OF THIS ACT TO MAKE THE DECLARATION PROVIDED FOR IN THE AFORESAID SECTION: AND PROVIDED FURTHER, THAT PERSONS WHO ELECTED TO RETAIN THE POLITICAL STATUS OF CITIZENS OF PUERTO RICO MAY WITHIN ONE YEAR AFTER THE PASSAGE OF THIS ACT BECOME CITIZENS OF THE UNITED STATES UPON THE SAME TERMS AND IN THE SAME MANNER AS IF PROVIDED FOR THE NATURALIZATION OF NATIVE PUERTO RICANS BORN OF FOREIGN PARENTS.'

SECTION 5C, ADDED BY THE ACT OF MAY 16, 1938, READS:

"THAT ANY PERSON OF GOOD CHARACTER, ATTACHED TO THE PRINCIPLES OF THE CONSTITUTION OF THE UNITED STATES, AND WELL DISPOSED TO THE GOOD ORDER AND HAPPINESS OF THE UNITED STATES, AND BORN IN PUERTO RICO ON OR AFTER APRIL 11, 1899, WHO HAS CONTINUED TO RESIDE WITHIN THE JURISDICTION OF THE UNITED STATES, WHOSE FATHER ELECTED ON OR BEFORE APRIL 11, 1900, TO PRESERVE HIS ALLEGIANCE TO THE CROWN OF SPAIN IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE PROVISIONS OF THE TREATY OF PEACE BETWEEN THE UNITED STATES AND SPAIN ENTERED INTO ON APRIL 11, 1899, AND WHO, BY REASON OF MISINFORMATION REGARDING HIS OR HER OWN CITIZENSHIP STATUS FAILED WITHIN THE TIME LIMITS PRESCRIBED BY SECTION 5 OR SECTION 5A HEREOF TO EXERCISE THE PRIVILEGE OF ESTABLISHING UNITED STATES CITIZENSHIP AND HAS HERETOFORE ERRONEOUSLY BUT IN GOOD FAITH EXERCISED THE RIGHTS AND PRIVILEGES AND PERFORMED THE DUTIES OF A CITIZEN OF THE UNITED STATES, AND HAS NOT PERSONALLY SWORN ALLEGIANCE TO ANY FOREIGN GOVERNMENT OR RULER UPON OR AFTER ATTAINMENT OF MAJORITY, MAY MAKE A SWORN DECLARATION OF ALLEGIANCE TO THE UNITED STATES BEFORE ANY UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT. SUCH DECLARATION SHALL SET FORTH FACTS CONCERNING HIS OR HER BIRTH IN PUERTO RICO, GOOD CHARACTER, ATTACHMENT TO THE PRINCIPLES OF THE CONSTITUTION OF THE UNITED STATES, AND BEING WELL DISPOSED TO THE GOOD ORDER AND HAPPINESS OF THE UNITED STATES, RESIDENCE WITHIN THE JURISDICTION OF THE UNITED STATES, AND MISINFORMATION REGARDING UNITED STATES CITIZENSHIP STATUS, AND SHALL BE ACCOMPANIED BY PROOF THEREOF SATISFACTORY TO THE COURT. AFTER MAKING SUCH DECLARATION AND SUBMITTING SUCH PROOFS, SUCH PERSON SHALL BE ADMITTED TO TAKE THE OATH OF ALLEGIANCE BEFORE THE COURT, AND THEREUPON SHALL BE CONSIDERED A CITIZEN OF THE UNITED STATES.'

THAT ACT OF MARCH 2, 1917, ALSO PROVIDES IN SECTION 41, THAT THE "DISTRICT COURT OF THE UNITED STATES FOR PUERTO RICO SHALL HAVE JURISDICTION OF THE NATURALIZATION OF ALIENS AND PUERTO RICANS.' THEREAFTER ON MARCH 28, 1917, THAT COURT ENTERED AN ORDER AS FOLLOWS:

"IT IS THIS DAY ORDERED AND DIRECTED BY THE COURT THAT APPLICATIONS OF NATURALIZATION AND PROCEEDINGS THEREON UNDER SECTION V OF THE ACT OF MARCH 2, 1917, OF PERSONS BORN IN PORTO RICO, PERMANENTLY RESIDING THEREIN, SHALL FOLLOW THE ORDINARY AND REGULAR WAY OF PETITIONS OF OTHER ALIENS EXCEPT AS TO THE PUBLISHING OF NOTICE AND TIME OF HEARING OF SAID APPLICATIONS.'

AT THAT TIME THE ACT OF JUNE 29, 1906, ENTITLED " AN ACT TO ESTABLISH A BUREAU OF IMMIGRATION AND NATURALIZATION AND TO PROVIDE FOR A UNIFORM RULE FOR THE NATURALIZATION OF ALIENS THROUGHOUT THE UNITED STATES" (34 STAT. 600) PROVIDED IN SECTION 13 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 MARCH 2, 1929 (45 STAT. 1514), AMENDED THAT PROVISION TO READ:

"FOR MAKING, FILING, AND DOCKETING A PETITION FOR CITIZENSHIP AND ISSUING THE CERTIFICATE OF CITIZENSHIP IF THE ISSUANCE OF SUCH CERTIFICATE IS AUTHORIZED BY THE COURT, AND FOR THE FINAL HEARING ON THE PETITION, $10.'

AND THAT PROVISION WAS AMENDED BY THE ACT OF APRIL 19, 1934 (48 STAT. 597; 8 U.S.C. 402), TO READ:

"FOR MAKING, FILING, AND DOCKETING A PETITION FOR CITIZENSHIP, AND ISSUING THE CERTIFICATE OF CITIZENSHIP IF THE ISSUANCE OF SUCH CERTIFICATE IS AUTHORIZED BY THE COURT, AND FOR THE FINAL HEARING ON THE PETITION, $5.'

THE ABOVE-MENTIONED ACT OF JUNE 29, 1906, IN SECTION 4 (8 U.S.C. 379) AUTHORIZED THE FILING OF PETITIONS FOR CITIZENSHIP, AND IN SECTION 12 (8 U.S.C. 400) DEALT WITH THE ISSUANCE OF CERTIFICATES OF CITIZENSHIP. AND SECTION 28 OF THAT ACT, READ WITH THE ACT OF MARCH 4, 1913 (37 STAT. 737), TRANSFERRING THE ENFORCEMENT OF THE NATURALIZATION LAWS TO THE DEPARTMENT OF LABOR, EMPOWERED THE SECRETARY OF LABOR TO "MAKE SUCH RULES AND REGULATIONS AS MAY BE NECESSARY FOR PROPERLY CARRYING INTO EXECUTION THE VARIOUS PROVISIONS OF THIS ACT.' ALSO SECTION 1 OF THAT ACT DECLARED THAT THE BUREAU OF IMMIGRATION AND NATURALIZATION "SHALL HAVE CHARGE OF ALL MATTERS CONCERNING THE NATURALIZATION OF ALIENS.'

SINCE MARCH 31, 1917, IN THE CASES OF DECLARATIONS OF ALLEGIANCE MADE IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT AT SAN JUAN, PORTO RICO, UNDER THE ABOVE- MENTIONED SECTION 5 OF THE ACT OF MARCH 2, 1917, THE CLERKS OF THAT COURT HAVE COLLECTED AND PAID OVER TO THIS DEPARTMENT FEES FOR SUCH DECLARATIONS OF ALLEGIANCE IN THE SAME MANNER AND AT THE SAME RATES AS THE FEES DUE FOR TRANSMISSION TO THIS DEPARTMENT OF PETITIONS FOR CITIZENSHIP AS SPECIFIED BY THE ABOVE-MENTIONED SECTION 13 OF THE NATURALIZATION ACT OF JUNE 29, 1906, AND AS AMENDED. THE ADMINISTRATIVE REASON FOR THE COLLECTING AND ACCOUNTING OF SUCH FEES WAS SET FORTH IN A MEMORANDUM OF APRIL 5, 1917, OF RAYMOND F. CRIST, THEN DEPUTY COMMISSIONER OF NATURALIZATION, AS FOLLOWS:

"THIS IS CLEARLY A FORM OF NATURALIZATION, AND IN VIEW OF THE AUTHORITY OF THIS BUREAU OVER ALL MATTERS CONCERNING THE NATURALIZATION OF ALIENS, I DIRECTED THE USE OF THE PETITION VOLUME AS THE DOCKET FOR THESE CASES AND MADE THE MODIFICATIONS OF THE FORM NECESSARY TO EMBRACE THIS CLASS OF CANDIDATES FOR CITIZENSHIP. THIS ALSO INCLUDED THE ISSUANCE OF A CERTIFICATE OF NATURALIZATION. THE CHARGE OF $4 WILL BE MADE FOR THIS PETITION AND A CERTIFICATE, AND THE ACCOUNTING WILL BE MADE TO THIS BUREAU IN THE USUAL MANNER, ALONG WITH THE FEES FOR THE PETITIONS FOR NATURALIZATION FILED UNDER THE TERMS OF THE ACT OF JUNE 29, 1906, AND OTHER ACTS, FOR WHICH THIS PETITION IS D.'

THAT VIEW WAS APPROVED ON MAY 5, 1917, BY THE THEN COMMISSIONER OF NATURALIZATION.

FOR YOUR FURTHER INFORMATION IN CONSIDERING THIS QUESTION, IT IS ALSO TO BE MENTIONED THAT UNTIL RECENTLY DECLARATIONS OF ALLEGIANCE FILED UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF THE ACT OF MARCH 2, 1917, WERE PREPARED ON REGULATION PETITION FOR CITIZENSHIP FORMS, NO. 2204-L-A (SPECIMEN ATTACHED) AND THESE PAPERS FOLLOWED THE REGULAR WAY OF OTHER PETITIONS FOR NATURALIZATION, EXCEPT AS TO THE PUBLISHING OF NOTICE AND TIME OF HEARING OF SAID APPLICATION, BUT INCLUDED ISSUANCE OF CERTIFICATES OF NATURALIZATION TO THE PERSON FILING UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF THE ACT. THE USE OF PETITION FORMS HAVING BEEN FOUND OBJECTIONABLE, A DISTINCT FORM NO. 2234A WAS PREPARED AND IS NOW IN USE (SPECIMEN ATTACHED). CERTIFICATES OF NATURALIZATION ARE ALSO BEING ISSUED, BASED ON THIS LATTER FORM. THEY ARE IDENTICAL WITH THOSE ISSUED ON REGULAR PETITIONS FOR CITIZENSHIP FILED UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF SECTION 4 OF THE ACT OF JUNE 29, 1906 (8 U.S.C. 379) AS AMENDED.

IT DOES NOT APPEAR THAT THE QUESTION AS TO WHETHER A FEE PROPERLY COULD BE EXACTED FOR THE FILING OF A DECLARATION OF ALLEGIANCE AND THE ISSUANCE OF A CERTIFICATE OF CITIZENSHIP UNDER THE ABOVE-MENTIONED SECTION 5 OF THE ACT OF MARCH 2, 1917, WAS CONSIDERED BY THIS DEPARTMENT OR THE SOLICITOR FOR THIS DEPARTMENT UNTIL THE QUESTION AROSE IN CONNECTION WITH THE PROMULGATION OF REGULATIONS FOR THE ENFORCEMENT OF THE ACT OF MAY 16, 1938 (42 STAT. 377), WHICH ADDED TO SECTION 5 OF SUCH ACT OF MARCH 2, 1917, A NEW SECTION (8 U.S.C. 5A-1) TO PERMIT CERTAIN INDIVIDUALS WHO, BECAUSE OF MISINFORMATION, HAD FAILED TO TAKE ADVANTAGE OF PRIOR ENACTMENTS, TO MAKE DECLARATIONS OF ALLEGIANCE, AND UPON PROPER SHOWING TO BE REGARDED AS CITIZENS OF THE UNITED STATES. IN THE MEANTIME THE PROVISION IN SECTION 28 OF THE ACT OF JUNE 29, 1906 (34 STAT. 606), AUTHORIZING THE SECRETARY OF LABOR TO MAKE REGULATIONS FOR THE ENFORCEMENT OF THAT ACT HAD BEEN AMENDED BY SECTION 8 OF THE ACT OF MARCH 2, 1929 (45 STAT. 1515; 8 U.S.C. 356) TO AUTHORIZE THE SECRETARY OF LABOR TO "MAKE SUCH RULES AND REGULATIONS * * * AS MAY BE NECESSARY TO CARRY INTO EFFECT THE PROVISIONS OF THE NATURALIZATION LAWS.' UNDER THAT AUTHORITY SECTION 4 OF GENERAL ORDER C-5, ISSUED BY THIS DEPARTMENT, STATES:

"FEES--- NONE TO BE EXACTED--- THE ACT OF MAY 16, 1938, MAKES NO PROVISION FOR CHARGING OR COLLECTING ANY FEE FOR THE MAKING OF THE DECLARATION OF ALLEGIANCE, OR FOR THE ISSUANCE TO THE APPLICANT OF THE DOCUMENTARY EVIDENCE DESCRIBED IN SECTION 3 OF THIS ORDER.'

IN VIEW OF THIS REGULATION AND THE ABSENCE OF SPECIFIC PROVISION IN ANY STATUTE FOR THE COLLECTION OF FEES IN CASES UNDER SECTION 5 OF THE ACT OF MARCH 2, 1917, AND THE AMENDMENTS THERETO POINTED OUT, SERIOUS DOUBT HAS ARISEN AS TO WHETHER THERE IS ANY AUTHORITY FOR THE COLLECTION OF FEES IN SUCH CASES. AND IN THE EVENT THERE IS NO SUCH AUTHORITY, THE FURTHER QUESTION ARISES AS TO WHAT STEPS, IF ANY, SHOULD BE OR MAY BE TAKEN WITH REFERENCE TO REFUND OF SUCH FEES HERETOFORE COLLECTED AND DEPOSITED IN THE TREASURY TO " MISCELLANEOUS RECEIPTS.' TO DATE THEY AMOUNT APPROXIMATELY TO $5,000 ON SOME ONE THOUSAND DECLARATIONS OF ALLEGIANCE FILED FROM 1917 TO THE PRESENT TIME AND ALREADY COVERED INTO " MISCELLANEOUS RECEIPTS.'

FOR THE PURPOSE OF CARRYING INTO EFFECT THE PROVISIONS OF THE ACT OF MAY 16, 1938, FORM 2236 (SPECIMEN ATTACHED), WAS DEVISED AND IS NOW IN USE. AS IN THE CASES OF FORMS 2204-L-A AND 2235A, USED IN CONNECTION WITH SECTION 5 OF THE ACT OF MARCH 2, 1917, CERTIFICATES OF NATURALIZATION HAVE BEEN AND ARE BEING ISSUED AS DOCUMENTARY EVIDENCE OF CITIZENSHIP IN THIS CLASS OF CASES. THE CERTIFICATES OF NATURALIZATION ISSUED ARE IDENTICAL WITH THOSE ISSUED ON REGULAR PETITIONS FOR CITIZENSHIP FILED UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF SECTION 4 OF THE ACT OF JUNE 29, 1906 (8 U.S.C. 379), AS AMENDED.

THE FEES APPEARING IN THE CURRENT ACCOUNTS OF THE CLERK OF THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT AT SAN JUAN, PUERTO RICO, AND WHICH HAVE REFERENCE TO SECTION 5 OF THE ACT OF MARCH 2, 1917, AND THE AMENDMENTS REFERRED TO HEREIN INCLUDE NOT ONLY THOSE IN CASES IN WHICH PERSONS WITHIN THOSE PROVISIONS HAVE RECENTLY REACHED THEIR MAJORITY BUT ALSO CASES WITHIN THE TERMS OF THE ACT OF MAY 16, 1938, REFERRED TO HEREIN. APPROVAL OF SUCH ACCOUNTS WILL BE WITHHELD PENDING YOUR DECISION.

IT SHOULD ALSO BE MENTIONED THAT CASES ARE ARISING IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF NEW YORK UNDER THE ABOVE- MENTIONED ACT OF MAY 16, 1938, UNDER WHICH THE DECLARATION OF ALLEGIANCE MAY BE MADE BEFORE ANY UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT. THE CLERK OF THAT COURT TAKES THE VIEW THAT IF THE MAKING OF THE SWORN DECLARATION OF ALLEGIANCE IS A NATURALIZATION PROCEEDING HE SHOULD COLLECT A FEE THEREON OF FIVE DOLLARS, AS PROVIDED IN SECTION 13 OF THE NATURALIZATION ACT OF 1906, QUOTED HEREIN, AND THAT ON THE OTHER HANDIF THE PROCEEDING IS NOT A NATURALIZATION PROCEEDING BUT FALLS WITHIN THE CATEGORY OF WHAT THE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE DESCRIBES AS A MISCELLANEOUS PROCEEDING HE WOULD BE OBLIGED TO COLLECT A FEE OF TEN DOLLARS.

SECTION 5 OF THE ACT OF MARCH 2, 1917, 39 STAT. 953, PROVIDED: THAT ALL CITIZENS OF PUERTO RICO, AS DEFINED BY SECTION SEVEN OF THE ACT OF APRIL TWELFTH, NINETEEN HUNDRED,"TEMPORARILY TO PROVIDE REVENUES AND A CIVIL GOVERNMENT FOR PUERTO RICO, AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES," AND ALL NATIVES OF PUERTO RICO WHO WERE TEMPORARILY ABSENT FROM THAT ISLAND ON APRIL ELEVENTH, EIGHTEEN HUNDRED AND NINETY-NINE, AND HAVE SINCE RETURNED AND ARE PERMANENTLY RESIDING IN THAT ISLAND, AND ARE NOT CITIZENS OF ANY FOREIGN COUNTRY, ARE HEREBY DECLARED, AND SHALL BE DEEMED AND HELD TO BE CITIZENS OF THE UNITED STATES: PROVIDED, THAT ANY PERSON HEREINBEFORE DESCRIBED MAY RETAIN HIS PRESENT POLITICAL STATUS BY MAKING A DECLARATION, UNDER OATH, OF HIS DECISION TO DO SO WITHIN SIX MONTHS OF THE TAKING EFFECT OF THIS ACT BEFORE THE DISTRICT COURT IN THE DISTRICT IN WHICH HE RESIDES, THE DECLARATION TO BE IN FORM AS FOLLOWS:

" I, -----------, BEING DULY SWORN, HEREBY DECLARE MY INTENTION NOT TO BECOME A CITIZEN OF THE UNITED STATES AS PROVIDED IN THE ACT OF CONGRESS CONFERRING UNITED STATES CITIZENSHIP UPON CITIZENS OF PUERTO RICO AND CERTAIN NATIVES PERMANENTLY RESIDING IN SAID ISLAND.'

SAID SECTION CONTAINED, ALSO, UNDER A PROVISO THE MATTER QUOTED IN YOUR LETTER TO THE EFFECT THAT ANY PERSON BORN IN PUERTO RICO OF AN ALIEN PARENT, THAT IS TO SAY, A PARENT WHO HAD DECLARED HIS INTENTION NOT TO BECOME A CITIZEN OF THE UNITED STATES UNDER SAID SECTION 5, OR OTHERWISE AN ALIEN, COULD BECOME A CITIZEN BY MAKING A SWORN DECLARATION OF ALLEGIANCE AS PROVIDED IN THAT PORTION OF THE LAW QUOTED IN YOUR LETTER. THE LAW OF 1927, ALSO QUOTED IN YOUR LETTER, IS TO THE SAME EFFECT AND WAS DESIGNED TO COVER PERSONS WHO DID NOT AVAIL THEMSELVES OF THE PRIVILEGE OF BECOMING CITIZENS GRANTED TO THEM IN THE PRIOR LAW. IT SHOULD BE NOTED, ALSO, THAT UNDER THE LAW OF 1927 PERSONS WHO HAD ELECTED UNDER THE PRIOR LAW NOT TO BECOME CITIZENS OF THE UNITED STATES WERE ALLOWED 1 YEAR AFTER THE DATE OF SAID ACT OF 1927 TO ACQUIRE UNITED STATES CITIZENSHIP "UPON THE SAME TERMS AND IN THE SAME MANNER AS IS PROVIDED FOR THE NATURALIZATION OF NATIVE PUERTO RICANS BORN OF FOREIGN PARENTS.' IN THIS CONNECTION IT WOULD SEEM SIGNIFICANT TO THE QUESTION YOU PRESENT THAT THE LAW OF 1927 SPECIFICALLY REFERS TO THE MANNER OF ACQUIRING CITIZENSHIP UNDER SECTION 5 OF THE ACT OF 1917, AS AMENDED, AS THE NATURALIZATION OF NATIVE PUERTO RICANS BORN OF FOREIGN PARENTS.

THE ORIGINAL PROVISIONS OF SECTION 5 OF THE ACT OF MARCH 2, 1917, APPEAR TO HAVE DEFINITELY SETTLED THE STATUS OF PUERTO RICANS. IT EXTENDED UNITED STATES CITIZENSHIP TO ALL CITIZENS OF PUERTO RICO AS DEFINED IN SECTION 7 OF THE ACT OF APRIL 12, 1900, 31 STAT. 79, WITH PROVISION THEREIN THAT AS TO THOSE WHO DID NOT WISH TO BECOME CITIZENS OF THE UNITED STATES COULD RETAIN THEIR THEN PRESENT POLITICAL STATUS BY MAKING A DECLARATION UNDER OATH TO THAT EFFECT AND FILING IT WITH THE DISTRICT COURT OF THE DISTRICT IN WHICH THEY WERE RESIDENTS. AS TO ALL THOSE RESIDING IN PUERTO RICO NOT EXTENDED UNITED STATES CITIZENSHIP UNDER THE 1917 LAW AND NOT OTHERWISE CITIZENS OF THE UNITED STATES AS WELL AS THOSE WHO REFUSED SUCH CITIZENSHIP, THEY WERE TO BE CONSIDERED ALIENS, SUBJECT TO THE NATURALIZATION LAWS OF THE UNITED STATES IN THE EVENT THEY DESIRED TO BECOME CITIZENS. HOWEVER, WITH RESPECT TO THOSE PERSONS BORN IN PUERTO RICO OF ALIEN PARENTS WHOSE PERMANENT RESIDENCE WAS IN PUERTO RICO, A SWORN DECLARATION OF ALLEGIANCE TO THE UNITED STATES BEFORE THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR PUERTO RICO, SETTING FORTH ALL THE FACTS AS SPECIFIED IN SECTION 5 OF THE ACT OF 1917, AS AMENDED, WAS SUBSTITUTED FOR THE REGULAR PROCEEDINGS OF NATURALIZATION UNDER THE/GENERAL NATURALIZATION LAWS OF THE UNITED STATES.

BY THE ACT OF MAY 16, 1938, SECTION 5 OF THE ACT OF 1917, WAS FURTHER AMENDED AND IT WAS PROVIDED IN SAID LAW THAT PERSONS WHO BY REASON OF MISINFORMATION REGARDING HIS OR HER OWN CITIZENSHIP STATUS FAILED WITHIN THE TIME LIMITS PRESCRIBED BY SECTION 5 OF THE ACT OF 1917 OR SECTION 5 (A) OF THE ACT OF 1927 TO EXERCISE THE PRIVILEGE OF ESTABLISHING UNITED STATES CITIZENSHIP AND HAD NOT SWORN ALLEGIANCE TO ANY FOREIGN GOVERNMENT MIGHT MAKE A SWORN DECLARATION OF ALLEGIANCE TO THE UNITED STATES BEFORE ANY UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT, SETTING FORTH SUCH FACTS AS REQUIRED UNDER SAID LAW. IT WILL BE NOTED THAT UNDER THIS LAW THE DECLARATION OF ALLEGIANCE MAY BE MADE NOT ONLY BEFORE THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR PUERTO RICO BUT BEFORE ANY UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT. ASIDE FROM THAT, HOWEVER, THE ACT OF 1938 IS NOT UNLIKE THE TWO PRIOR LAWS. AS YOU STATE, NONE OF SUCH LAWS SPECIFICALLY PROVIDE FOR THE CHARGING OF A FEE FOR ACQUIRING CITIZENSHIP. HOWEVER, SINCE IN ALL NATURALIZATION MATTERS THE NATURALIZATION LAWS OF THE UNITED STATES WOULD APPLY, AND SINCE NATURALIZATION PROCEEDINGS, EVEN THOUGH IN MODIFIED FORM, WERE REQUIRED BY THE ACT OF 1917, AS AMENDED AND EXTENDED, NO REASON APPEARS WHY IT SHOULD BE ASSUMED THE CONGRESS DID NOT INTEND THAT A PROPER FEE THEREFOR SHOULD BE CHARGED. THAT THE MATTER WAS SO UNDERSTOOD BY THE DEPARTMENT AND BY THE COURTS IS EVIDENCED BY THE PRACTICE WHICH HAS BEEN ADOPTED AND FOLLOWED FOR 22 YEARS SINCE THE ENACTMENT OF THE 1917 LAW, AND, AS HEREIN STATED, THERE APPEARS TO BE NOTHING IN THE ACT OF 1938 WHICH WOULD JUSTIFY VIEWING THE MATTER ON A DIFFERENT BASIS.

ACCORDINGLY, YOU ARE ADVISED THAT, REGARDLESS OF THE FORMS ADOPTED BY THE DEPARTMENT FOR CARRYING OUT THE PROVISIONS OF SECTION 5 OF THE ACT OF 1917, AS AMENDED, THE FEE PROVIDED BY THE ACT OF APRIL 19, 1934, FOR MAKING, FILING, AND DOCKETING THE PETITION OF CITIZENSHIP AND ISSUING A CERTIFICATE OF CITIZENSHIP SHOULD BE CHARGED.

THERE APPEARS TO BE NOTHING IN THE CONCLUDING PARAGRAPH OF YOUR LETTER REQUIRING DECISION BY THIS OFFICE AT THIS TIME.