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 (290)
Naturalization (128)

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

128 items
Issei naturalization ceremony (ddr-densho-113-39)
img Issei naturalization ceremony (ddr-densho-113-39)
This picture, taken at the Broadway Performance Hall, shows the naturalization ceremony of many of Seattle's Issei.
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.
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.
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. 32 (April 20, 1949) (ddr-densho-229-199)
doc The Northwest Times Vol. 3 No. 32 (April 20, 1949) (ddr-densho-229-199)
"ADC Fund Push Opens with Kickoff Luncheon" (p. 1), "Evacuation Claims Queries, Replies" (p. 2), "ADC to Ask Amendment to HR 199" (p. 2).
The Northwest Times Vol. 1 No. 46 (July 1, 1947) (ddr-densho-229-34)
doc The Northwest Times Vol. 1 No. 46 (July 1, 1947) (ddr-densho-229-34)
"House Will Get Claims Board Measure Soon" (p. 1), "House to Study H.R. 3555" (p. 1)
The Northwest Times Vol. 2 No. 43 (May 19, 1948) (ddr-densho-229-111)
doc The Northwest Times Vol. 2 No. 43 (May 19, 1948) (ddr-densho-229-111)
"Two Congressmen Point Out Wrong of Racial Bias against Minorities; Cite Plight of Japanese Americans" (p. 1), "Senate OK's Citizenship for War Vets" (p. 1), "Endorsements of Evacuation Claims Bills Now Urged by JACL-ADC in D.C.; Hearings Scheduled to Start Friday" (p. 1).
The Northwest Times Vol. 4 No. 72 (September 9, 1950) (ddr-densho-229-241)
doc The Northwest Times Vol. 4 No. 72 (September 9, 1950) (ddr-densho-229-241)
"Truman Must Approve or Veto Walter Bill by Today; Ten-Day Period Ends" (p. 1), "C-B-I Hero's Wife Awaits Truman Okay" (p. 1), "Masaoka, Brilliant ADC Chief, Named to Distinguished Leadership Award" (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. 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. 3 No. 2 (January 5, 1949) (ddr-densho-229-169)
doc The Northwest Times Vol. 3 No. 2 (January 5, 1949) (ddr-densho-229-169)
"Truman Shows Interest in Rights Bill" (p. 1), "Pa. Solon Vows to Present Measure for Equality in Naturalization" (p. 1).
The Northwest Times Vol. 1 No. 22 (March 25, 1947) (ddr-densho-229-9)
doc The Northwest Times Vol. 1 No. 22 (March 25, 1947) (ddr-densho-229-9)
"Text of Masaoka's Speech : Clarifies Japanese-American Situation" (p. 1), "Seeks Linguists" (p. 1)
The Northwest Times Vol. 1 No. 41 (June 13, 1947) (ddr-densho-229-29)
doc The Northwest Times Vol. 1 No. 41 (June 13, 1947) (ddr-densho-229-29)
"House Unit Hears Masaoka's Plea for National FEPC Legislation" (p. 1), "H.R. 3771 Asks U.S. Citizenship for Alien Parents of GI's, Vets" (p. 1), "Equal Rights for Nisei in Trade Sought" (p. 1).
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