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United States Department of State / Papers relating to the foreign relations of the United States, with the annual message of the president transmitted to Congress December 2, 1902
(1902)

Ecuador,   pp. 386-390 PDF (348.7 KB)


Page 386

386ECUADOR. 
PASSPORTS AND CITIZENSflIP—EXPLANATORY OF DEPART 
MENT'S ATTITUDE IN REGARD TO, AND DEFINING LIMITS 
WITHIN WHICH NATURALIZATION CERTIFICATES ARE 
RECOGNIZED. 
Aft. Sampson to JW~. hay. 
 No. 269.] LEGATION OF THE UNITED STATES, 
Quito, December 20, 1901. 
 Siu: One of the most difficult experiences a representative of the United
States has is to determine what are the rights of certain claimants to American
citizenship. It is a well-known fact that there are many instances of persons
claiming citizenship of the United States, both native and naturalized, who
have been living abroad for many years, all the time claiming the protection
of the United States, but discharging none of the duties of citizenship and,
in many instances, of no honor to the nation, while all their scheming is
to avoid allobligation to and claim all exemptions possible from duties to
the country in which residing. (1 know one case in which a naturalized subject
has resided for over forty years in the land of his nativity, without even
visiting the United States, and can not now speak a word of English.) Such
persons make it a "religious duty" (?) to sign the Register of American Citizens
in the United States legation or consulate each succeeding two years and
profess great admiration for the "Stars and Stripes" and sigh for the day
to speedily come when they can once more be "at home in the best country
in the world" (always saying, "1 hope in two or three years more"). Some
such persons are engaged in merchandising. You may enter and inspect their
large stock of goods and not find a dollar's worth that has been purchased
in the. United States. In many instances they have amassed fortunes, but
not one dollar of it increases the wealth of tbe United States; and yet it
seeks the protection of the same. In prominent letters over the front door
are seen the words "American property." Thus, in every possible way and by
repeated assertions they claim American citizenship, and if an official representative
of the United States dare question it, the overzealous citizen becomes indignant
and informs the said official that "— Government" would not hesitate
to protect her citizens when abroad. True, there are those who i-eside abroad
for many years who are engaged in some business or enterprise that will advance
the interests of American commerce or manufactures, and who fully intend
to return to the United States to resume the duties of citizenship as soon
as a certain result has. been accomplished. Such persons are entitled to
proper recognition. One not "on the ground" may be ready to say it is an
easy matter to determine between these two classes. But after an "experience"
he will be ready to acknowledge that it is almost impossible 


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