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Two Bills in Congress Would Modify Present Naturalization Law

January 13, 1928
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

(Jewish Daily Bulletin)

Two identical bills on naturalization were introduced, in the House by Congressman Albert Johnson, Chairman of the House Immigration Committee, and in the Senate by Senator Hiram Johnson.

The principal change in the present law proposed by this bill is a requirement that applicants for citizenship must not only be able to speak English but aso to read and write it unless phyically unable to do this. The provision, which is of farreaching importance to thousands of immigrants, would not go into effect until a year after the passage of the bill.

Other important provisions are that absence abroad for more than six months allows the presumption of a break in the continuity of five years’ residence required for naturalization and absence abroad for more than year definitely breaks the continuity. The bill also prohibits the naturalization of those who believe in the overthrow of the United States government by force or violence or are opposed to all organized forms of government.

Representative LaGuardia, of New York City, speaking in the House on the naturalization law asserted that its operation in New York was already being impeded by “prejudice and animus” on the part of immigration officials there, who were said to be asking totally unfair questions at the naturalization examinations.

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