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 (302)
Naturalization (130)

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

130 items
Pacific Citizen, Vol. 49, No. 14 (October 2, 1959) (ddr-pc-31-40)
doc Pacific Citizen, Vol. 49, No. 14 (October 2, 1959) (ddr-pc-31-40)
Selected article titles: "President signs amendment to immigration bill" (p. 1), "Elderly Issei in 80s and 90s sworn in as new citizens" (p. 1), "Few Japanese farm laborers able to save million yen from three-year U.S. stay" (p. 1), "Nisei discrimination topic of Yoshino speech" (p. 1), "Nisei administrative assistant to Burns steps into political job …
Autobiography of Arthur Yakabi (ddr-densho-401-3)
doc Autobiography of Arthur Yakabi (ddr-densho-401-3)
Photocopy of Arthur Yakabi's handwritten autobiography detailing his childhood in Peru, detention in the United States during WWII, and his adulthood in the United States.
Harry Matsuoka's certificate of naturalization (ddr-densho-390-31)
doc Harry Matsuoka's certificate of naturalization (ddr-densho-390-31)
Harry's certificate of naturalization with a name change decree typed on the back, changing his name from Tomio to Harry as part of naturalization.
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."
Kay Kido Threw Her Trousseau Overboard to Become American (ddr-one-3-76)
doc Kay Kido Threw Her Trousseau Overboard to Become American (ddr-one-3-76)
November 5, 1953 issue of the Mt. Adams Sun, Volume XIX, Number 6. The newspaper contains an article on the front page titled "Kay Kido Threw Her Trousseau Overboard to Become American." The article is about the Kenjiro and Miyuki "Kay" Kida process for American citizenship and their experiences living in the United States.
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