Mr. Sherman to Mr. Pringle.

No. 155.]

Sir: Your No. 181 of the 7th ultimo has been received and due consideration given to your reference to the Department of the case of Mr. Leon Aparicio, who, although producing evidence of citizenship in the form of a passport issued by you September 26, 1897, has been denied Guatemalan registry as a foreigner on the ground that all children born abroad of Guatemalan parents are citizens of the Republic of Guatemala.

The Department fails to comprehend the application of the cited Guatemalan law to the present case. Granting that Mr. Leon Aparicio may have been born abroad of parents who, at the time of his birth, were citizens of Guatemala, that circumstance would not prevent his becoming a citizen of the United States by due process of naturalization, precisely the same as if he had been born in Guatemala.

It appears from his sworn application of January 2, 1895, upon which your legation issued a passport, No. 249, of the same date, that having been so born in Paris, France, on the 28th February, 1868, he emigrated to the United States in September, 1884; that he resided six years uninterruptedly in the United States, from 1884 to 1890, at San Mateo, Cal., and that he was naturalized as a citizen of the United States before the superior court of San Francisco on the 25th day of August, 1890. He was then over 23 years of age, fully competent to become naturalized in the United States according to the laws of this country, and this Government must anticipate for him the same recognition of his acquired status as it expects in the case of any other Guatemalan duly naturalized in the United States.

As the reply of Señor Munoz rests apparently upon a misapprehension, you should bring to his attention the facts as they appear, explaining to him that your note of October 1 did not rest any ground of exemption on the fact of Mr. Aparicio having been born in France, but solely on his lawful acquisition of United States citizenship. It is unfortunate that you should have put that point forward in your note, for by so doing you afforded Senor Munoz reasonable ground to answer as he did.

It is further noticed that you state in your dispatch that Mr. Aparicio “distinctly renounced his allegiance to the French Government when his first passport was issued to him by Minister Young,” whereas in fact it appears from the papers in the case that he renounced his original allegiance when he was naturalized in California five years previous to the date of his first application for a passport. It does not appear that he renounced French allegiance on naturalization or that he ever had any to renounce; but that is immaterial to the statement, inasmuch as by no authority of statute or international law could he have renounced any foreign allegiance before Minister Young. Such renunciation is a part of the statutory process of naturalization, only to be performed before a court within the jurisdiction of the United States.

Respectfully, yours,

John Sherman.