U.S. Codifies Alien Laws (10-5-40)

Reading Eagle (October 5, 1940)


No Naturalization For Those Engaged With Subversive Groups

Washington, Oct. 5 (UP) –

Legislation to codify all federal nationality laws and to bar naturalization to members of alien subversive groups today lacked only President Roosevelt’s signature before becoming law.

The bill received final Congressional approval late yesterday, when both House and Senate adopted the conference report compromising differences in drafts approved by the two chambers. It was the result of a four-year study looking toward reconciling all existing laws affecting nationality and naturalization.

To prevent subversive activities, it would bar these aliens from naturalization as U.S. citizens:

  1. Those connected with any organization, association, society or other body opposed to organized government.

  2. Those who advise, teach, write, publish or otherwise advocate the overthrow of this government by violence of force, or who are connected in any way with organizations having this purpose.

  3. Those who write, teach or otherwise advocate the murder or killing of officials of organized government.

Major Provisions

Two other major provisions of the measure provide that:

  1. A native-born American may volunteer and serve in foreign armies without losing his citizenship, provided he does not take the oath of allegiance to the foreign government. A person of dual nationality – one who, by parentage or otherwise, is a citizen of a foreign country as well as of the United States – who serves in the army of a foreign government will lose his U.S. citizenship.

  2. Persons having dual nationality but not at the moment residing here must, upon becoming 21 years of age, return to the United States and assert their American citizenship or they will, within two years and 90 days after passage of the act, be considered as having forfeited their American citizenship.