PREMIUM LEGAL RESOURCES LEGAL FORMS ASK A LAWYER

CITIZENSHIP, AMERICAN

Status acquired by birth within the United States or through judicial proceedings known as 'naturalization.' One is also a citizen, even though born outside the United States, if both of his parents were citizens and one of them had a residence in the United States prior to the birth.

A citizen is one who, under the Constitution and laws of the United States, has a right to vote for representatives in congress and other public officers, and who is qualified to fill offices in the gift of the people. In a more extended sense, under the word citizen are included all persons born in the United States and naturalized persons born out of the same who have not lost their right as such. This includes men, women and children.

Citizens are either native born or naturalized. Native citizens may fill any office; naturalized citizens may be elected or appointed to any office under the Constitution of the United States, except the office of president and vice-president. The Constitution provides, that 'the citizens of each state shall be entitled to all the privileges and immunities of citizens in the several states.' Art. 4, s. 2.

Obs. All natives are not citizens of the United States; the descendants of the aborigines, and those of African origin, are not entitled to the rights of citizens. Anterior to the adoption of the Constitution of the United States each state had the right to make citizens of such persons as it pleased. That Constitution does not authorize any but white persons to become citizens of the United States; and it must therefore be presumed that no one is a citizen who is not white.

A citizen of the United States residing in any state of the Union is a citizen of that state.

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