151.10 Wong Chong-sing

The Secretary of State to the Consul in Chargé at Hongkong (Carleton)

Sir: The Department has received your despatch No. 621 of October 15, 1924,1 upon the subject of the visa of certificates of identity held by American citizens of the Chinese race, and in this connection the Department encloses a copy of a letter received from Mr. August J. Knapp1 stating that one Wong Mow, a native born American citizen of Chinese descent, has a minor son named Wong Chong Sing, residing in China whom he desires to bring to the United States but that some difficulty has been experienced in obtaining the necessary visa from your office.

You are informed that a person of the class above described, who may claim American citizenship under the provision of Section 1993 of the Revised Statutes of the United States, may present to the Consulate General his own affidavit setting forth that his blood father was born in the United States, and giving the place and date of the affiant’s birth. This affidavit should be accompanied by documents bearing the endorsement of a qualified representative of the Immigration Service, Department of Labor, showing that Department’s [Page 1101] findings as to the father’s status. Upon presentation of such an affidavit and accompanying document, the consular officer is authorized to issue a certificate under the seal of the Consulate General, giving the name of the person concerned and showing the nature of the evidence submitted to establish his father’s birth in the United States. To the certificate the Consul should attach and certify thereto a photographic likeness of the person to whom the certificate is issued. Such certificate may then be used as a travel document for use in returning from China to the United States. The question of the admission to the United States of the bearer of such a document is one which must be determined upon his arrival at an American port of entry, and the person to whom the certificate is issued should be made clearly to understand this point. Your attention is invited in the above connection to the Department’s telegrams of October 11, 1919, and January 20, 1920, to your office upon this general subject.2

With respect to the recommendation contained in your dispatch under acknowledgment that finger prints be required on certificates of identity and on the applications of Chinese persons for passports or registration, you are informed that the Department is not disposed to concur in this recommendation, since it is believed that such a practice would be calculated to arouse more or less complaint on the part of Chinese Americans who might be subject thereto.

I am [etc.]

For the Secretary of State:
J. V. A. MacMurray
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