Jap Citizenship Rests On Old Case Before High Court
WASHINGTON (UP) - Demands for rescinding the citizenship of Japanese-Americans follows nationwide anger over the execution of some of the Doolittle aviators in Japan.
At the same time it was learned that a California case being appealed to the supreme court may provide a test of the 46-year-old court decision under which citizenship is granted to American-born children of Asiatics who are prohibited from becoming naturalized citizens.
Sen. Tom Stewart, D., Tenn., in a senate speech, appealed to the court to take jurisdiction in the case and reverse the 1897 decision. He charged that the Japanese in this country "haven't got the American ideal, and never can have," and that treachery, deception and arrogance are "inborn characteristics of the race."
The supreme court divided 6 to 2 in the Wong Kim Ark case in 1897 in granting citizenship to a child of Chinese parents. The California case, Regan vs. King, is being pushed by the California joint immigration committee and would call for a review of that decision.
The present naturalization laws prohibits both Japanese and Chinese from becoming citizens, but considers the American-born children of such aliens as citizens. Stewart said that the Chinese are "proving themselves as a fine people" and that he favors bestowing naturalization rights upon them.
Obviously, any reversal of the old court decision could be expected to create an embarrassing diplomatic problem with China, which is one of the United Nations.
Stewart said that the basis for the 1897 decision was "unsound" in giving citizenship to a child of parents who cannot become a citizen because of the laws of not only this country but of their native land. He said that Japan recognizes all Japanese as citizens, that this country does not bestow naturalization upon Japanese, and "therefore the whole proposition is absurd."
"They cannot and never can be honest," he said. "Their religion, government and social understanding are opposed to ours. They cannot be assimilated.
"There is not a single Japanese in this country who would not stab you in the back. Show me a Jap and I'll show you a person who is inherently deceptive."