Naturalization

Unlike other immigrants to the United States, Japanese and other Asians were not permitted to become naturalized American citizens until 1952. Under existing laws, naturalization was limited to "free white persons and to aliens of African nativity and to persons of African descent." Despite many attempts by Japanese immigrants (Issei) to gain citizenship, they were usually rejected on the grounds that the Issei were neither white nor black. The 1922 Supreme Court case Ozawa v. U.S. cemented the status of the issei as "aliens ineligible to citizenship" once and for all. It wasn't until 1952 with the passage of the Immigration and Nationality Act that Issei were finally allowed to become naturalized U.S. citizens.

Immigration and citizenship (105)
Naturalization (104)

Related articles from the Densho Encyclopedia :
Immigration Act of 1952, Naturalization Act of 1790, Ozawa v. United States, Tokutaro Slocum, Francis Walter

104 items
Letter denying naturalization to Issei male (ddr-densho-126-2)
doc Letter denying naturalization to Issei male (ddr-densho-126-2)
Until 1952 U.S. law forbade people of Japanese ancestry from becoming naturalized citizens. This letter was sent to George Mitsutaro Yoshihara, an issei male who applied for U.S. citizenship in 1947.
The Northwest Times Vol. 1 No. 64 (September 9, 1947) (ddr-densho-229-52)
doc The Northwest Times Vol. 1 No. 64 (September 9, 1947) (ddr-densho-229-52)
""Mac' Told to K.O. Japan's War-Making Industries; Allied Council Chairman Attacks Soviet Obstruction" (p. 1), "Nisei Demand End of Japan Nationality" (p. 1), "GI-Japanese Bride Reports Help Naturalization Push" (p. 4).
The Northwest Times Vol. 4 No. 99 (December 13, 1950) (ddr-densho-229-257)
doc The Northwest Times Vol. 4 No. 99 (December 13, 1950) (ddr-densho-229-257)
"House Approves Walter Measure" (p. 1), "JACL Calls Attention to Bias on FHA Homes for Veterans" (p. 1), "Fort Lincoln Cemetery Decides to Adopt Segregation Policy" (p. 2).
The Northwest Times Vol. 4 No. 92 (November 18, 1950) (ddr-densho-229-254)
doc The Northwest Times Vol. 4 No. 92 (November 18, 1950) (ddr-densho-229-254)
"Hearings Set on Masaoka, Fujii Cases" (p. 1), "Soldier Brides Act Deadline Feb. 18, 1951" (p. 1) "U.S. Assures Aid to Needy Issei" (p. 4).
The Northwest Times Vol. 2 No. 33 (April 14, 1948) (ddr-densho-229-101)
doc The Northwest Times Vol. 2 No. 33 (April 14, 1948) (ddr-densho-229-101)
"Pacific Northwest Trade Helps Orient Recovery, NWA Aide Says" (p. 1), "House Will Hear Legislations on Naturalization April 19" (p. 1), "Orders Halt on Hearing Against CIO" (p. 1), "JACL to File Brief with Top Court to Back Takahashi in Fish Case" (p. 2).
The Northwest Times Vol. 3 No. 5 (January 15, 1949) (ddr-densho-229-172)
doc The Northwest Times Vol. 3 No. 5 (January 15, 1949) (ddr-densho-229-172)
"Hawaii Pushes ENI Measure" (p. 1), "Additional Claims Queries, Replies" (p. 1), "They'll Consider Equality Bill" (p. 1).
The Northwest Times Vol. 3 No. 3 (January 8, 1949) (ddr-densho-229-170)
doc The Northwest Times Vol. 3 No. 3 (January 8, 1949) (ddr-densho-229-170)
"House Receives Three Identical Bills for Equality in Naturalization" (p. 1), "Masaoka Signs Up As Lobbyist" (p. 1), "Truman Reaffirms Civil Rights Stand in Annual State of Union Message" (p. 2).
The Northwest Times Vol. 2 No. 36 (April 24, 1948) (ddr-densho-229-104)
doc The Northwest Times Vol. 2 No. 36 (April 24, 1948) (ddr-densho-229-104)
"Matsuoka Elected Chairman of Jackson Council" (p. 1), "Ex-Envoy to Japan Believes Time Ripe to Drop Ban on Japanese in Immigration, Naturalization Bill" (p. 1), "Hearings Open on H.R. 5004; Four Testify" (p .1),
Identification card (ddr-densho-34-133)
img Identification card (ddr-densho-34-133)
The U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service issued this identification card after Frank Yoshito Kitamoto became a naturalized citizen of the United States on July 13, 1953.
Application for naturalization (ddr-densho-126-3)
doc Application for naturalization (ddr-densho-126-3)
U.S. law forbade people of Japanese ancestry from becoming naturalized citizens until 1952. This document is an application for naturalization filed by an issei male in 1947.
Pacific Citizen, Vol. 89, No. 2050 (July 6, 1979) (ddr-pc-51-26)
doc Pacific Citizen, Vol. 89, No. 2050 (July 6, 1979) (ddr-pc-51-26)
Selected article titles: "U.S. Leadership May Be Compromised: Eskimo Whaling vs. Moratorium Major IWC Issue" (pp. 1, 5), "East Wind: A Point of View: Redress" (p. 4), "From the Frying Pan: Tragedy of Vietnam's 'Boat People'" (p. 5), and "Pacific Sq. Marks Tanabata" (p. 8).
The Northwest Times Vol. 2 No. 98 (November 27, 1948) (ddr-densho-229-159)
doc The Northwest Times Vol. 2 No. 98 (November 27, 1948) (ddr-densho-229-159)
"Sabath Vows Support of Issei Rights" (p. 1), "Bias Noted in Chicago Cemeteries" (p. 1), "Claim Queries and Answers" (p. 1), "Community Basketball Season to Start Next Wed.,Dec. 1" (p. 3).
The Northwest Times Vol. 3 No. 47 (June 11, 1949) (ddr-densho-229-214)
doc The Northwest Times Vol. 3 No. 47 (June 11, 1949) (ddr-densho-229-214)
"House Unanimously Passes Resolution to Give "All' Right to U.S. Citizenship" (p. 1), "JACL ADC Seeks "Same Consideration' as Japanese for Okinawa People" (p. 1), "Solons Act on Two Appropriations Providing for Claims Processing" (p. 1).
The Northwest Times Vol. 3 No. 43 (May 28, 1949) (ddr-densho-229-210)
doc The Northwest Times Vol. 3 No. 43 (May 28, 1949) (ddr-densho-229-210)
"Canada's Japanese Unit Offices Will be Shut as of July 31" (p. 1), "Three Newspapers Support Passage of Judd's Measure for Equality with Editorials" (p. 1), ""House for Hiroshima' Group Will Depart United States for Japan Friday, Jun 24" (p. 1).
The Northwest Times Vol. 3 No. 36 (May 4, 1949) (ddr-densho-229-203)
doc The Northwest Times Vol. 3 No. 36 (May 4, 1949) (ddr-densho-229-203)
"Religious, Civic Leaders Back Judd's Legislation, JACL Midwest Worker Says" (p. 1), "Evacuation Claims Queries, Replies" (p. 1).
The Northwest Times Vol. 5 No. 4 (January 13, 1951) (ddr-densho-229-265)
doc The Northwest Times Vol. 5 No. 4 (January 13, 1951) (ddr-densho-229-265)
"Slight Changes in Alien Stay Rulings Cited" (p. 1), "West Coast Evacuees Can't be Paid for Certain Expenses, Justice Rules" (p. 1), "Bills to Aid Asian Kin of GI's Studied" (p. 1).
The Northwest Times Vol. 4 No. 102 (December 23, 1950) (ddr-densho-229-260)
doc The Northwest Times Vol. 4 No. 102 (December 23, 1950) (ddr-densho-229-260)
"Chinese Fear Mass Removal of Their Kind" (p. 1), "Ex-U Aide Says Evacuation Book Led to Ouster" (p. 1), "Pushes Walter Bill" (p. 2).
The Northwest Times Vol. 4 No. 73 (September 13, 1950) (ddr-densho-229-242)
doc The Northwest Times Vol. 4 No. 73 (September 13, 1950) (ddr-densho-229-242)
"President Truman Vetoes Walter Resolution, Calls It "Vague and Ill-Defined'; Urges Congress to Reconsider" (p. 1), "Kaiser & Frazier Will Manufacture Automobiles in Japan next January" (p. 1), "Convention Public Forum Will Probe JACL's "Blueprint for Tomorrow" (p. 1).
The Northwest Times Vol. 4 No. 71 (September 6, 1950) (ddr-densho-229-240)
doc The Northwest Times Vol. 4 No. 71 (September 6, 1950) (ddr-densho-229-240)
"Korean Situation Hampers ADC Efforts to Win Boost in Claims Plan Budget" (p. 1), "Walter Bill OK by Truman Expected Soon" (p. 1), "ADC Releases Full Text of GI Bride Bill" (p. 1).
The Northwest Times Vol. 5 No. 2 (January 6, 1951) (ddr-densho-229-263)
doc The Northwest Times Vol. 5 No. 2 (January 6, 1951) (ddr-densho-229-263)
"Ballots Sent to Members of JACL for Vote" (p. 1), "Naturalization Equality Bill to Get Priority in 82nd Congress, Says Masaoka in His '51 Plans" (p. 1), "Masaoka and Fujii's Attorneys Attack Cal's 37-Year-Old Alien Land Law" (p. 1).
Naturalization certificate (ddr-densho-23-16)
doc Naturalization certificate (ddr-densho-23-16)
Sawano Tazuma and her husband Bunshiro operated the Tazuma Ten-Cent Store at 12th Avenue and Jackson Street in Seattle's Nihonmachi. The Tazumas were not allowed to become naturalized American citizens until 1952, when the Immigration and Nationality Act was passed. Sawano finally became a citizen in 1954 at the age of fifty-eight, thirty-five years after ...
The Northwest Times Vol. 1 No. 51 (July 22, 1947) (ddr-densho-229-38)
doc The Northwest Times Vol. 1 No. 51 (July 22, 1947) (ddr-densho-229-38)
"Senate Passes Rider to Soldier Brides Act" (p. 1), "House to Debate One Hour on Evacuation Claims Bill" (p. 1), "Tables Deportation, Naturalization Measures" (p. 1).
img "The graduation exercise of the Americanization School sponsored by Japanese Ancestral Society" (ddr-densho-259-394)
Front of photograph: "The graduation exercise of the Americanization School sponsored by Japanese Ancestral Society Portland, Oreg. May 28, 1953." Caption by Homer Yasui: "Group portrait of the Issei in the Portland area who graduated from the Americanization school, in preparation for taking their citizenship examinations."
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