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04-Oct-2016 00:03

The District Court of Hawaii, however, held that, having been born in Japan and being of the Japanese race, he was not eligible to naturalization under section 2169 of the Revised Statutes (Comp. The two changes which the committee has recommended in the principles controlling in naturalization matters and which are embodied in the bill submitted herewith are as follows: First, the requirement that before an alien can be naturalized he must be able to read, either in his own language or in the English language and to speak or understand the English language; and, second, that the alien must intend to reside permanently in the United States before he shall be entitled to naturalization.' This seems to make it quite clear that no change of the fundamental character here involved was in mind. The sections of title XXX remaining without repeal are: Section 2166, relating to honorably discharged soldiers; section 2169 (Comp. § 4358), now under consideration; section 2170 (section 4360), requiring five years' residence prior to admission; section 2171 (section 435211), forbidding the admission of alien enemies; section 2172 (section 4367), relating to the status of children of naturalized persons; and section 2174 (section 43528), making special provision in respect of the naturalization of seamen. Individual cases falling within this zone must be determined as they arise from time to time by what this court has called, in another connection (Davidson v. We have no function in the matter other than to ascertain the will of Congress and declare it.

There is nothing in section 2169 which is repugnant to anything in the act of 1906. It is clear, therefore, that there is no repeal by implication. Of course there is not implied—either in the legislation or in our interpretation of it—any suggestion of individual unworthiness or racial inferiority. The questions submitted are therefore answered as follows: Question No. The act of June 29, 1906, is not complete in itself, but is limited by section 2169 of the Revised Statutes of the United States.

He was a graduate of the Berkeley, Cal., high school, had been nearly three years a student in the University of California, had educated his children in American schools, his family had attended American churches and he had maintained the use of the English language in his home. ' These questions for purposes of discussion may be briefly restated: 1. There is nothing in the circumstances leading up to or accompanying the passage of the act which suggests that any modification of section 2169, or of its application, was contemplated. Controversies have arisen and will no doubt arise again in respect of the proper classification of individuals in border line cases. A large number of the federal and state courts have so decided and we find no reported case definitely to the contrary.

Writing for a unanimous Court, Justice George Sutherland approved a line of lower court cases that held that "the words 'white person' were meant to indicate only a person of what is popularly known as the Caucasian race." Because in ordinary usage, the Japanese were not considered Caucasian, these courts had held, the Japanese were not "free white persons" within the meaning of the law.

In 1915, Takao Ozawa filed for United States citizenship under the Naturalization Act of 1906 which allowed only “free white persons” and "persons of African nativity or persons of African descent" to naturalize.

Ozawa did not challenge the constitutionality of the racial restrictions.

The word, however, has long since ceased to have any practical significance and may now be disregarded.

We have been furnished with elaborate briefs in which the meaning of the words 'white person' is discussed with ability and at length, both from the standpoint of judicial decision and from that of the science of ethnology.

Writing for a unanimous Court, Justice George Sutherland approved a line of lower court cases that held that "the words 'white person' were meant to indicate only a person of what is popularly known as the Caucasian race." Because in ordinary usage, the Japanese were not considered Caucasian, these courts had held, the Japanese were not "free white persons" within the meaning of the law.In 1915, Takao Ozawa filed for United States citizenship under the Naturalization Act of 1906 which allowed only “free white persons” and "persons of African nativity or persons of African descent" to naturalize.Ozawa did not challenge the constitutionality of the racial restrictions.The word, however, has long since ceased to have any practical significance and may now be disregarded. We have been furnished with elaborate briefs in which the meaning of the words 'white person' is discussed with ability and at length, both from the standpoint of judicial decision and from that of the science of ethnology. The appellant is a person of the Japanese race born in Japan.