The citizens a nation and time forgot

  • Article by: DANIEL SWALM
  • Updated: January 12, 2013 - 11:58 AM

Back then, the women who were wed to unnaturalized immigrants remained noncitizens.

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pumiceJan. 12, 1312:20 PM

Thank you for writing this commentary, Daniel Swalm. A coherent and comprehensive immigration policy would be the perfect vehicle for righting the injustice done to your grandmother Elsie and to her citizen-sisters. And to past, present and future generations of immigrants.

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davehougJan. 12, 13 2:03 PM

It's time for Congress to finally get this one right. It should pass a bill that completes the job and provides posthumous restorative justice to all those women wronged and robbed a century ago. - - How would that be allowed, when the Constitution says Congress shall pass no Ex Post Facto laws? That is laws apply going forward, not backward. One thing to have a Congressional apology and state the original law will not be repeated, a whole diffent thing to change laws in the past.

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chuckdancerJan. 12, 13 5:46 PM

Apparently it would be possible. "Over the years, when deciding ex post facto cases, the United States Supreme Court has referred repeatedly to its ruling in Calder v. Bull, in which Justice Samuel Chase held that the prohibition applied only to criminal matters, not civil matters, and established four categories of unconstitutional ex post facto laws.[11]Calder v. Bull, 3 U.S. 386 (1798). 12.^ Found at wikipedia.

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davehougJan. 12, 13 9:11 PM

Chuckdancer, thanks for the info.

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elrichmanJan. 13, 13 4:17 PM

A Congress of Baboons. Nuff said.

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hobie2Jan. 13, 13 4:43 PM

1) No one said Congress was filled with the brightest bulbs, just the ones we picked. 2) Not to be too obvious, but Elsie probably doesn't mind now - I assume her children were all citizens.

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hobie2Jan. 13, 13 5:07 PM

chuckdancer - Caldwell - 1798, before the Bill of Rights was adopted - was argued that the matter at hand, a will, was a "civil/personal right"; the opinion was clear - it was not a "civil matter" vs a "criminal matter". Majority held that the Constitution's ban on ex post facto laws could not apply to "natural and civil rights" (remember that it was still a separation of powers constitution, with no amendments and no mention of rights)... The majority opinion is quite clear that it is a rights case -"personal and natural" and about a "natural social contract"... Is Elsie's situation a matter of civil/personal right? Not thinking so - but Congress could pass the law and it stands until is challenged - and who would challenge it?

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pumiceJan. 13, 13 5:41 PM

Re: "Congress should pass a bill that completes the job and provides posthumous restorative justice ..." How would that be allowed, davehoug? The article did a thorough job of explaining the process of repealing the Expatriation Act: Congress passed the Cable Act of 1922 and rewrote naturalization laws with the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1940. Congress often revisits laws from the past.

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