Mr. Hay to Mr. Meyer.

No. 125.]

Sir: The Department has received your No. 204, of the 6th ultimo, in which you submit the application of Antonio Basile, a boy of 11 years of age, born in Italy, whose father was naturalized as a citizen of the United States September 7, 1902. As the boy had never been in the United States Mr. Iddings refused to issue him a passport, and you ask the Department’s opinion on the propriety of this action.

The question is whether he is a citizen of the United States within the meaning of section 2172 of the Revised Statutes of the United States, which provides that the minor child of parents duly naturalized as citizens of the United States shall be considered a citizen of the United States “if dwelling in the United States.” In the instruction of January 22, 1900, of this Department to the legation at Vienna, in [Page 686] the case of Anton Macek (Foreign Relations, 1900, p. 13), it was stated:

In practice, therefore, it may be said that the naturalization of the father operates to confer the municipal right of citizenship upon the minor child, if he be at the time of the father’s naturalization within the jurisdiction of the United States, or if he come within that jurisdiction subsequent to the father’s naturalization and during his own minority.

And in a recent memorandum on a case arising in Switzerland, the assistant solicitor of the Department, Mr. Van Dyne, said:

To construe the statute (sec. 2172, Rev. Stats.) as conferring citizenship upon a minor who is not in the United States at the time of the father’s naturalization, nor subsequently, would be to needlessly open the door to further abuses of our citizenship.

The action of the embassy in refusing the passport to Antonio Basile is accordingly approved.

I am, etc.,

John Hay.