WHY YOU SHOULD BECOME A CITIZEN OF THE UNITED STATES.
(1) It is the
first duty of gratitude to the land that has welcomed you; that
gives you and your family a prosperous living, and the protection of
the laws; that educates your children; that grants you all the
privileges that belong to its native sons. You cannot honestly
neglect this duty.
(2) It is also
your duty to become a citizen out of love for your own nation. The
foreign nations that are most honored and respected in the United
States are precisely those whose emigrants in the greatest number
(3) It is a
duty to yourself and your family to become a citizen and voter, and
help select the men who are to represent you in the government, and
see that your rights are respected.
(4) A man
counts for nothing in the United States until he becomes a voter.
But once a citizen and a voter you receive more considerations, not
only from the public, but from police and courts, and all
enjoy certain exclusive rights and privileges. As a naturalized
citizen you will have the same rights as the native born. You can
get better paid employment. You will be eligible for certain
government positions, which the citizen can obtain by passing rather
elementary examinations. You can be elected to any public office
except that of President.
(6) When you
are admitted to citizenship, your wife also becomes a citizen,
without other formality.
(7) If you
travel abroad, as a citizen, you will have the protection of the
United States Government against illegal arrest and unjust
(8) As a
citizen you will have greater right to public help for yourself and
family in case of need.
(9) In case of
death by accident, compensation from the employer in some states is
not paid to the families of those who are not citizens, or the sum
paid is less; also the right to recover damages is not always
granted to the wife and children. And in some stats the alien is
under certain restrictions. He may not be able, for instance, to
fish, hunt or be a barber. Women, too, who are aliens sometimes are
restricted in their work, and may not benefit by the mother's
women both may become citizens. Learning English will best help you
to obtain knowledge of a citizen's full rights and duties, and of
the reasons why your new country invites your love and asks you to
respect and loyally obey its laws.
BECOME A CITIZEN OF THE UNITED STATES.
after your arrival in the United States you should go to a Federal
court and make your declaration under oath that you intend to become
a citizen. You do not need to be able to speak English to do this.
Any immigrant over eighteen years of age may at any time make such
declaration. In making this declaration you must give the same name
as that on your certificate of landing, and you must remember the
name of the ship on which you came, and the exact date of your
arrival. To obtain the necessary certificate of this declaration of
intention ("the first paper") you must pay a court fee of one
In many cities
of the United States there are societies that help immigrants in the
formalities necessary to become a citizen. In New York the
Educational Alliance at East Broadway and Jefferson Street gives
lectures on this subject and supplies all necessary information. And
the Hebrew Sheltering and Immigrant Aid Society, at 229 East
Broadway, gives lectures to newly arrived immigrants on this
subject, assists in securing first papers, gives all needed physical
help, assisting in filling out blanks and accompanying the applicant
to court, when necessary. If you live in another city, and can
obtain help in no other way, you may write for advice to any Yiddish
paper that is published in the United States.
years of continuous residence in the United States, and after at
least two years, and not more than seven years, from the granting of
your first paper, you may apply to the court for full citizenship.
Producing your first paper, you must then prove by the oath of two
citizens who know you that you have lived in this country without
returning to Europe at least five years, continuously--the last one
of which you must have lived in the state in which you made
application for citizenship. You must produce a certificate of
landing, which is obtained from the immigration officer in charge at
the port where you landed. You must give your approval to our form
of government and prove by your witnesses that you are a person of
good morals and law abiding character. You must give up all claims
of duty to the government of your land of origin and take oath to
support the Constitution of the United States. You must be able to
speak English. You must prove that you are capable of exercising the
duties of citizenship. This means that you must be able to explain
the organization of the government and know how the laws are made
and administered. The chapters on the Government of the United
States, and the State Governments in this book contain information
sufficient to enable you to answer nearly all questions that
judges usually ask on these subjects. Learn these chapters
thoroughly. The list of questions and answers that are sold about
the streets are misleading and are of little use. To register this
application and for the following hearing, the court fee is four
after this, accompanied by two witnesses, you must visit the court
again and declare again under oath the truth of all the statements
in your application. If you then prove to the satisfaction of the
court that you are worthy to become a citizen, you are granted full
are no fees or charges of any kind beyond these above mentioned,
unless witnesses are required by court order to attend, or
depositions are to be taken.
NOTES ABOUT NATURALIZATION AND CITIZENSHIP.
An anarchist or a polygamist cannot become a citizen of the United
sailor, who, after having declared his intention of becoming an
American citizen, has served three consecutive years on a United
States merchant vessel, has the right to claim full citizenship
papers and be admitted by the court upon proof of such three years'
service in an American ship.
Any one born in
the United States is a citizen, even if his parents were born abroad
and never became citizens.
When a court
has granted citizenship to a man he is an American citizen in every
part of the country. His citizenship papers will everywhere obtain
for him his full rights. If he should lose these, he can obtain
duplicates from the court which granted them.
citizen who within the five years succeeding that in which he
acquired American citizenship returns to his native country and
takes up his abode there is no longer considered a citizen and loses
all right of citizenship.
The right to
vote may be forfeited by the commission of a crime.