Mr. Cramer to Mr. Bayard.
Berne, June 8, 1885. (Received June 20.)
Sir: Mr. Robert Emden, of St. Gall, Switzerland, twenty-three years of age, and a son of Mr. Moritz Philip Emden, a naturalized citizen of the United States, but residing and doing business at said city of St. Gall, addressed a note to this legation, under date of April 15,1885, and inclosing an affidavit, in which he attempts to prove that according to the provisions of section 2172 of the Revised Statutes of the United States he is a citizen of the United States, and that therefore he makes application to this legation for a passport. A copy of his letter and affidavit is herewith inclosed. I requested young Mr. Emden to make application for a passport in due form through the United States consulate at St. Gall, as also to submit to this legation his father’s naturalization certificate. Last Saturday, the 7th instant, such an application [Page 804] was received through said consulate, dated May 31, 1885, together with a duplicate of said naturalization certificate.
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From these documents it appears that Robert Emden was born at St. Gall, Switzerland, on March 4, 1862; that his father was naturalized on the 28th of June, 1854; that young Robert Emden has never been in the United States; that he is now twenty-three years of age, and that he wants a passport for the purpose of going to Strasburg to study.
Now, in view of the fact (1) that Robert Emden has never been in the United States; (2) that his father’s right to be entitled to a passport was doubted by the Department for several years, as the correspondence on this subject between the Department and this legation during 1880–’83 will show; (3) that section 2172 of the Revised Statutes of the United States says, “The children of persons who have been duly naturalized under any law of the United States, being tinder the age of twenty-one years at the time of the naturalization of their parents, shall, if dwelling in the United States, be considered as citizens thereof,” this legation does not feel itself at liberty to issue a qualified passport to Mr. R. Emden before first having submitted his case to your consideration. It may further be stated that Mr. Moritz Philip Emden, the father of Robert Emden, has not been in the United States for many years; nor is it certain, so far as 1 know, that he ever will return thither.
It is so often the case that a certain class of persons go to the United States for the sole purpose of becoming naturalized, and without intending ever to assume the obligations of citizenship. After their naturalization they return to their original home, enter into business, marry, and have families, and their children are not even sent to the United States before reaching the age of majority; in some cases not even then. They thus avoid assuming the obligations of citizenship in both their original homes and the country in which they were naturalized. The sons of some of these persons born and residing abroad do not even as much as their fathers did, that is, they fail to go to the United States on reaching the age of majority to acquire citizenship according to law; and yet they claim citizenship in our country, which they have never seen much less resided therein; nor have they ever performed any duties or assumed any obligations of citizenship. Such a person is Mr. Robert Emden. The question is, are such persons entitled to passports, that is, to the protection of the United States Government?
I have, &c.,