Mr. Olney to Mr. Uhl.
Washington , October 10, 1896 .
Sir: I have to inform you that your dispatches Nos. 135 and 137, of the 24th and 27th ultimo, respectively, relative to the application of Mr. Paul Rosenheim for a passport, have been received and fully considered.
In reply I have to say that under the statue to confer American citizenship upon the child the father must be a citizen of the United States at the time of the birth of the child. If the father has become a citizen of a foreign power or if he has abandoned his citizenship in the United States before the birth of the child, the latter can make no claim to citizenship. “If born after the father has in any way expatriated himself the children born abroad are to all intents and purposes aliens, and not entitled to protection from the United States.” (Mr. Fish to the President, August 25, 1873; Foreign Relations, 1873, Part II, p. 1191.)
Without regard to the treaty, it is the duty of this Government to decide whether young Rosenheim is entitled to a passport. In doing this, it must necessarily pass upon the citizenship of the father, as the son can claim citizenship only through the father.
You do not claim that Rosenheim, the father, had reacquired Bavarian citizenship, but that he had, by his acts, renounced his naturalization in the United States, and that all rights and privileges acquired there-under were surrendered. It seems to me, in view of the father’s departure from the United States a few months after his naturalization, his return to Bavaria and his establishment of a permanent domicile there as a retired gentleman (it has now been nearly thirty years since his return) that the conclusion is irresistible that he had abandoned his citizenship in the United States at the time of the birth of the son. This being so, then the son has no claim to American citizenship and is not entitled to a passport.
Returning Mr. Rosenheim’s original application for a passport,
I am, etc.,