previous chapter
Chapter 3 The Cable Act: Solutions and Problems
next chapter

Chapter 3
The Cable Act:
Solutions and Problems

Feminism today demands patient research rather than eloquence, and brains even more than devotion.
—Crystal Eastman, "Suffragists Ten Years After"

By the closing decades of the woman suffrage movement, the ballot had become the leading symbol of women's civic aspirations. Ratified in an era when voting was well on its way to becoming the exclusive privilege of the citizen, the Nineteenth Amendment was heralded as women's ticket out of second-class citizenship. But for the women shorn of their U.S. citizenship by marriage, the nationwide extension of suffrage to American women magnified the gravity of that expatriation. For some, the most unsettling reminder of their dilemma was no longer the first-paper male voter but the foreign-born woman naturalized and enfranchised by marriage. Helen Papanastasion, who had lost her citizenship when she married a Greek, expressed her frustration in a letter to the NWP. "A few days ago in my social work I visited a Greek woman, a 'picture bride,' married to a Greek, who is naturalized. She knows not one word of English and probably never will, for most of my Greek women . . . have no intercourse with Americans. . . . Well, when I left this particular woman her husband followed me out in the street and wanted to know how soon his wife can vote.


Presently, she will be voting and I who have read our literature, imbibed our standards, thrilled with our ideals, am an alien!"[1]

Congress, too, had grasped the implications of the Nineteenth Amendment's ratification, and this recognition had immediately infused the debates over marital expatriation and naturalization with a new intensity and urgency. Federal lawmakers were finally ready to negotiate the terms of reform. Once the country's female citizens acquired the Constitutional prerogative to vote, more members of Congress acknowledged that marital expatriation imposed hardships on married women, and they began to question whether national interests were still best served by a naturalization practice that now also enfranchised female immigrants. Marital expatriates' involuntary forfeiture of the right to vote and naturalized women's simultaneous acquisition of the vote made the political consequences of derivative citizenship concrete.

Federal lawmakers, sensing the existence of wide support for independent citizenship among the newly enfranchised female population, did not wish to alienate these new and numerous voters. The month the Nineteenth Amendment was ratified, female citizens gained not only the Constitutional right to vote but also pledges from both major political parties to support independent citizenship for resident women.[2] As one member of the House Committee on Immigration and Naturalization declared, the ratification of the national woman suffrage amendment had rendered the concept of derivative citizenship "as archaic as the doctrine of ordeal by fire."[3]

Women's organizations had initially introduced independent-nationality rights as a corollary to woman suffrage, and the two goals shared broad support within women's reform organizations. Although


the national achievement of woman suffrage did add considerable ballast to demands to repeal or revise the laws proscribing women's independent citizenship, the struggle to end sex discrimination in the country's nationality laws continued long after the Nineteenth Amendment's ratification and the passage of the first women's nationality-rights reform act in 1922. During those reform years the federal government's attitude toward equal nationality rights remained unpredictable, guaranteeing that women's full recovery of their nationality rights would remain throughout a story of piecemeal reconstruction.

Despite conscientious efforts by suffragists, none of the women's nationality bills introduced in the few years before or after ratification of the Nineteenth Amendment survived. Each failure seemed to spotlight another facet of the political culture of the interwar years and, more particularly, the various forces obstructing reform. Congressional Republicans and Democrats hesitated to expunge all gender-based double standards from the country's nationality laws; the State Department grew increasingly uneasy about American feminists' involvement in the international expansion of the nationality-rights campaign; and although the Americanization movement had already peaked and waned, public concerns over the sociopolitical impact of the country's growing cultural diversity continued to impede the advancement of women's nationality rights.

When the ratification process of the Nineteenth Amendment had entered its final six months, Representative John Jacob Rogers unveiled a reform bill that allowed American women with foreign husbands to retain their citizenship as long as they remained residents of the United States—the same proposal that shortly found its way into the party platforms of both major political parties. But Rogers's bill was doomed because it required husbands and wives to work through the same set of naturalization procedures.[4]

Asking a foreign-born wife to apply for citizenship independently provoked few complaints from legislators at a House hearing on the Rogers bill, but requiring that she then meet all the standard naturalization requirements—including proof of five years' residence in the United States—met stiff resistance. John Raker, whose uncurbed sarcasm had earlier enlivened debates over the Rankin bill, spoke for many of his colleagues when he objected to this fundamental change in the government's treatment of citizens' foreign-born wives. "We have been trying to give [these] women an opportunity to participate in the elec-


torate," he reminded his colleagues. "Why should we jump around now and deprive these good women who marry American citizens, and who are rearing American citizens, from the right to vote?"[5]

Advocates of the bill tried to shift attention to the injustices dependent citizenship dealt married women.[6] One witness cited the high incidence of desertion among alien husbands to illustrate the difficulties facing some women forced to remain noncitizens. These abandoned wives did not qualify for public assistance, might be dismissed from their jobs and face deportation because they were aliens. Federal law denied them the means of avoiding these crises by prohibiting them from pursuing naturalization.

Florence Bain Gual knew such hardship. After fifteen years as a public school teacher in New York City she faced dismissal from her job because she had lost her citizenship when she married a Cuban. And she had poor prospects for becoming an American again. The husband for whom she had forfeited her citizenship had deserted her and their baby and had not followed up on his declaration of intention to become an American citizen. As the distraught woman told a correspondent, "I am the daughter of an American citizen and the mother of an American citizen, yet I am to be deprived of my livelihood in my own country because of the citizenship of a man."[7] Rogers's bill would have extended the option of naturalization to Gual and others similarly situated, even if their spouses had disappeared, were not qualified for naturalization, or declined to seek citizenship.

Nevertheless, the Rogers bill offered only a partial remedy for the harsh effects of marital expatriation. Even if the proposed suffrage amendment and the Rogers bill had both become law in 1920, a married woman with a foreign spouse would have been forced to remain in the country to take advantage of the new rules. The American who left the United States with her foreign husband was still forced to relinquish her citizenship at the border. Gauging a female's allegiance by her choice of a marital partner still retained some credibility in 1920. Even


Rogers acknowledged that he had no desire to protect the interests of nonresident women—women who, in his words, were mere "title-hunters."[8] The Chicago Tribune offered this conventional appraisal of the merits of the policy: "Women sentimentally adopt the land of their husbands when they marry abroad. That is the land of their children. Generally they marry because of social ambition and they take a great deal of American money abroad in doing so. A law which regarded them as American citizens in spite of their transfer of allegiance would be a harmful fiction."[9]

The Rogers bill was just one of an ample handful of women's nationality bills introduced before the ratification of the Anthony Amendment.[10] The most radical provisions surfaced in a bill sponsored by Representative Daniel R. Anthony of Kansas. Anthony proposed giving American mothers the ability to transmit their citizenship to their foreign-born minor children, an innovation requiring a significant alteration in the country's customary understanding and application of the rule of jus sanguinis .[11]

A family's shared nationality, like its common surname, was more a tribute to paternal authority than to family unity, and patriarchal notions about familial headship deterred the adoption of this reform in the United States. Indeed, transferring U.S. citizenship to their children would be the last major advance by married women in the realm of nationality rights.[12] Only a minority of countries allowed the ride of jus sanguinis to include maternal rights in the conveyance of nationality from parent to child.

The Anthony bill suggested another controversial departure from the rules governing marital domicile in order to preserve the citizenship of a nonresident American woman with a noncitizen spouse. Unless a woman married to an alien submitted a declaration of renunciation of her citizenship to a naturalization court or an American consul, she


could not be denationalized. This provision implied that, in addition to receiving an independent and personal nationality, wives could claim a legal domicile other than their husbands' for citizenship purposes. Congress's rather cynical view of the nonresident woman's attachment to the United States made this provision unpopular.

The reactions to this spate of reform proposals varied widely outside Congress. The National League of Women Voters (NLWV), which formed shortly after the suffrage victory, publicly applauded the Anthony bill but privately dismissed its provisions as unrealistic.[13] Instead, the League seemed satisfied with the comparatively modest Rogers plan, which aided only resident women seeking to gain or retain American citizenship. Undoubtedly, the League's cautious leaders favored the more conservative bill because it had the best chance for survival. At its first annual convention, held shortly before the Congressional hearing on these nationality bills, NLWV members had agreed to press for nationality-reform legislation that would produce only minimal international complications. This decision by the most prominent organization in the women's independent-citizenship campaign silenced any endorsement of nonresidents' repatriation until after the passage of legislation granting independent citizenship to women living in the United States. The NLWV had not discussed the Rogers bill at its annual convention, but when asked for an opinion on this legislative proposal, NLWV president Maud Wood Park pronounced the bill a promising candidate for League endorsement and compatible with her views. "Realizing that if the woman were to go abroad there might be complications, I personally am very glad to see that this bill . . . applied . . . to circumstances when women remain in the country," she responded.[14]

John M. Maguire, a legal scholar, was one of the decidedly unfriendly


commentators on the debate over women's naturalization and expatriation. In his article for the American Law Review, which appeared a few months after ratification of the Nineteenth Amendment, Maguire noted that recent nationality bills did not clarify whether a married woman could establish an independent domicile. This was a serious oversight, he argued, because an American woman departing from the country with her alien husband could leave behind a host of unanswered questions regarding the circumstances of her removal, her future plans, and the taxation of her property. However, Maguire's major objection to these independent-nationality bills was their reactivation or retention of an expatriated woman's premarital citizenship, even if her husband was classified as an alien enemy. This policy, he warned, could seriously compromise national security interests: "Just as we have for more than sixty years acted upon the reasonable hope that the average foreign-born wife of an American would herself be a loyal citizen, so we must recognize that this country is likely to forfeit some of an American-born woman's original loyalty after her foreign marriage. . . . A woman torn by double allegiance and with her affections pledged to a man in the enemy camp may easily be a very bad citizen indeed. Often it will be necessary to restrain her activities as we restrained those of alien enemies during the war."[15] Former American women married to these aliens always had the option of divorce, Maguire reasoned. As long as a wife remained with her foreign husband, she compromised her devotion to the United States. The wisdom of allowing her to petition for naturalization while still married was, concluded the cautious Maguire, "doubtful to say the least."[16]

The vigorous struggle for women's independent citizenship would continue unabated until the mid-1930s. In the early 1920s, members of the fledgling Women's Joint Congressional Committee (WJCC) dominated the campaign; and standing at the forefront of that coalition was the NLWV The WJCC was a confederation of independent women's groups, self-defined as "a clearinghouse for organizations engaged in promoting in Congress legislation of especial interest to women." Respectfully dubbed by outsiders as "the Women's Lobby on Capitol


Hill," the WJCC represented twelve organizations in 1921, when it created its subcommittee on independent citizenship.[17]

The original citizenship subcommittee included some of the most influential organizations within the WJCC: the NLWV, National Women's Trade Union League, American Association of University Women, National Council of Jewish Women, National Woman's Christian Temperance Union, and General Federation of Women's Clubs. Maud Wood Park coordinated the subcommittee's efforts. Having served as a president of both the NLWV and the WJCC and highly respected by federal legislators, Park was amply qualified for this leadership role. Over the decade, Park and her associates would successfully cultivate key allies within the House Committee on Immigration and Naturalization, including John Raker, John Cable, and its chairperson, Albert Johnson. The National Federation of Business and Professional Women was not a member of the subcommittee, but it also endorsed federal legislation for independent citizenship at its July 1922 convention.[18] The NWP was conspicuously absent from both the WJCC's membership list and, until 1922, from the nationality-rights crusade, but that absence was not lamented by the network of WJCC members orchestrating lobbying efforts from 1920 to 1922. The WJCC subcommittee preferred a gradualist approach to legal equality, a tactical style the NWP found inhibiting and inefficient as a way to reach its ambitious goals.

Nationality-reform bills for women appeared then disappeared regularly in the two years immediately following achievement of woman suffrage, and the absence of any legislative triumph during these few years belied the fact that the Nineteenth Amendment had begun to work a significant alteration in lawmakers' attitudes toward derivative citizenship. Despite evidence of a favorable shift in attitude within Congress toward nationality reform, the women had to direct their ap-


peals to a federal government charged with establishing more effective (that is, more stringent) immigration and naturalization practices. Many of the consequences of granting independent citizenship to women conflicted with this objective.

Proposals to redeem women's autonomous citizenship appeared at every session of the Sixty-sixth and Sixty-seventh Congresses, but an outpouring of omnibus nationality-reform bills during these years created new difficulties for independent-citizenship activists. Many of these proposals lumped together several other reforms—some of which were highly controversial—with independent citizenship for resident women.[19] For example, one omnibus naturalization bill presented before the Sixty-sixth Congress required derivative citizens (wives and children) to take an oath of allegiance—a provision based on the notion that women who voted should offer an explicit expression of their national loyalty.[20] This requirement would have marked a modest step away from the assumption that vows of marital fidelity constituted an indisputable oath of political allegiance, but it was placed in a bill that also dealt with subjects unrelated to gender such as the elimination of first-paper voting in the states and the introduction of an English-literacy test for naturalization.

As a result, women's nationality rights proponents spent a frustrating two years trying to save their cause from being consumed in the debates on these other proposals, but Congress resisted isolating independent citizenship for married women from other legislative concerns relating to immigration and naturalization. The members of the WJCC subcommittee found they could not easily harness the growing interest in immigration and naturalization reform to work in their favor. Law-makers' attentiveness to immigration and nationality policies generated brisk debate and a multitude of reform bills but not rapid progress in the expansion of married women's nationality rights. Legislation proposing comprehensive and controversial alterations in naturalization procedures repeatedly swamped proposals backed by the WJCC subcommittee. Although the women's coalition could continue to rely on


their supporters in Congress to champion independent citizenship, omnibus bills routinely sidelined their legislative proposals and dimmed their hopes of gaining even the smallest victory for equal nationality rights.[21]

The WJCC's subcommittee believed a separate nationality bill could at least progress to a floor vote if it was not absorbed or pushed aside by a package bill freighted with provocative provisions. That opportunity finally materialized when Albert Johnson, chairperson of the House Committee on Immigration and Naturalization, agreed to heed the subcommittee's demands for a separate bill.[22] In early summer of 1922, a major House hearing reopened discussion on naturalization reform for women, focusing particularly on one bill from the previous session that proposed to equalize naturalization standards and opportunities for immigrant women and men.[23] The House Committee on Immigration and Naturalization also discussed a new bill authored by one of its members, John L. Cable of Ohio. Strictly a women's nationality-rights bill, it quickly secured the endorsement of the NLWV, General Federation of Women's Clubs, American Association of University Women, National Council of Jewish Women, National Woman's Christian Temperance Union, and National Women's Trade Union League—all members of the WJCC's independent-citizenship subcommittee.[24]

Cable's bill differed somewhat from its predecessors; it abbreviated the repatriation process for resident, American-born women who had lost their citizenship through marriage by waiving the five-year resi-


dency requirement for naturalization. Yet, in other critical respects the plan did not represent an improvement over earlier proposals. The nonresident American who married an alien still lost her citizenship, and women who married aliens in the United States but subsequently established a residence abroad remained expatriates. The WJCC subcommittee still endorsed the bill, despite the restrictions it maintained on women's control of their citizenship.[25] It was apparent to the reform coalition that a viable bill would have to deny independent citizenship to some nonresident women in order to obtain relief for other women.

Cable's bill offered no shortcuts to naturalization for the foreignborn wife of a citizen and thus assured its failure. Subsequent developments suggested that this bill could have passed if it had distinguished itself from preceding bills on this particular issue. The majority in Congress still resisted the notion that American men's foreign wives should have to jump through all the conventional hoops leading to naturalization. Many legislators still viewed automatic naturalization as protective legislation for an especially deserving class of foreign-born women. Convinced that American citizenship carried unrivaled distinction and privilege, most members of Congress had never viewed automatic naturalization as an oppressive rule that robbed foreign women of something valuable. Alien women presumably welcomed the advantages of becoming "a citizen in a minute." Although immigrant women as a group were not customary recipients of Congressmen's solicitude, those who purportedly demonstrated their love for America by wedding an American enjoyed uncommon favor. If the advocates of independent naturalization expected to argue persuasively for the legislative abolition of marital naturalization, they would have to exhibit more compassion for the welfare of the citizen's immigrant wife.[26]

By 1922 the members of the House Committee on Immigration and Naturalization were prepared to discard the practice of automatically naturalizing wives in favor of a modified independent-naturalization process. Many of their colleagues also appeared more receptive than they had been in the past to this modification in the law, but the sort


and number of naturalization requirements to be placed on the American citizen's wife was still a matter of debate.[27]

A new Cable bill offered an acceptable compromise: abolish marital naturalization but offer some special naturalization privileges to citizens' wives. Although marriage to an American would no longer immediately naturalize women, they could follow a simplified and speedier naturalization process that allowed them to bypass the declaration of intention and fulfill the residency requirement for naturalization after one year rather than five. Shoring up arguments against the abolition of marital naturalization was the underlying presumption that foreignborn women suffered from a kind of cultural affliction that made them less independent-minded than their American counterparts.[28] In the context of the debate over women's citizenship, these assumptions were rarely articulated so baldly but were nevertheless discernible in legislators' comments on the social implications and political consequences of transnational marriages. An American woman's marriage to an alien was, as one Congressman described it, "a clear, open, broad daylight, voluntary surrender of citizenship." Her act was defiant and deliberate and, ironically, was evidence of her singularly American spirit of independence. Indeed, the most devastating personal loss self-inflicted by her marriage was her submission to a man who could not appreciate or perhaps even tolerate the sense of autonomy that had distinguished her as an American woman.[29]

If the American woman was celebrated for her self-possession, the immigrant woman's unhappy distinction was her presumed lack of it. Given this conventional stereotype of the immigrant woman, it was no stretch of faith to assume that such a woman would readily submit to "the kind tutelage of her American husband" and embrace his country with an undivided heart.

Both supporters and critics of derivative citizenship believed Ameri-


canization would boost an immigrant woman's self-esteem—but by what means she would truly become a "100 percent American" was debatable. The proponents of marital naturalization confidently entrusted that job to her citizen husband, while opponents insisted that citizenship training should precede rather than follow naturalization. Furthermore, the reformers asserted, marital naturalization robbed immigrant women of the opportunity to move independently through the process of achieving U.S. citizenship. It was this denied opportunity, not simply living with an American man, that would develop an immigrant woman's civic consciousness.

Park, the major spokesperson for the WJCC's subcommittee on nationality, expressed her impatience with the stock argument that independent naturalization posed an unscalable barrier to immigrant women's acquisition of citizenship. "If citizenship is a valuable thing to that woman, she will . . . find few obstacles in her way," she retorted. "If she does not pursue citizenship, then she will not suffer at its lack because it simply is not important to her." However, if perseverance led to success–and Park seemed assured that it would-achieving citizen ship would give the immigrant woman "new standing in her family and in the community" because she alone had labored for the prize.[30]

After the NLWV successfully completed its first major postsuffrage campaign, the passage of the Sheppard-Towner Infancy and Maternity bill, independent citizenship for married women became the major federal measure on the League's agenda.[31] Its presuffrage predecessor, NAWSA, had been drawn to nationality-rights reform by American women's denationalization and disfranchisement under the 1907 act—not foreign women's loss of independent citizenship. The League had inherited many of NAWSA's members as well as its perspective on the securing of women's citizenship rights. It represented primarily, although not exclusively, the interests of native-born women, and League leaders spoke most earnestly when addressing the need to safeguard the citizenship of native-born women.[32]


The League's work among the foreign-born never persuaded its leadership to support the derivative naturalization of alien women; rather, it invigorated their interest in naturalization reform. When urging an end to marital naturalization, the NLWV refrained from arguing that automatic naturalization would produce generations of ignorant female voters. Instead, the organization approached the issue more diplomatically by emphasizing the personal disadvantages of marital naturalization. All women merited the freedom to chose their own citizenship, which was denied to them by both marital expatriation and marital naturalization. And, League spokespersons argued further, if the law enabled immigrant wives to seek naturalization on their own, it would enhance their status as citizens and the quality of their personal and political lives.

The NLWV promoted both the cultural assimilation and political education of foreign women. Indeed, its clear political objective made the League's work with immigrant women distinctive. The primary purpose of the NLWV's work with immigrant women was the production of responsible, voting female citizens. Any alien woman residing in the United States, the League enjoined, must be given the opportunity to assume the responsibility of pursuing American citizenship independently, regardless of whom she married.

The picture of the married immigrant woman carefully sketched by feminists during the course of the debates over marital naturalization was that of an independent individual. This representation provided little hint of her roles as wife or mother. Discussions about wifely devotion and maternal responsibilities had too often worked against the reformers' objectives. But members of Congress found the more familiar, family-focused image of the foreign-born woman far more appealing. Indeed, in the House debates over the revised Cable bill, the image of the immigrant woman as mother overwhelmed all others.

House and Senate opponents and supporters of the Cable bill both relied heavily on this domestic image of the immigrant wife, but the Congressional advocates of reform proved most skillful at using it to their advantage. One of the standard arguments raised against independent naturalization was that the woman who claimed a different nationality than her husband and children undermined her family's


sense of unity. The Congressional advocates of the Cable plan had to arrest this argument quickly or risk losing major support for their bill. They responded by not only placing themselves under the family-unity banner raised by their opponents but also declaring that their opponents were marching under false colors. Pro-Cable legislators vowed that they, not their challengers, wished to reinforce the ties that bound family members together. Their argument was as simplistic and no less nationalistic than their rivals': the stable immigrant home was the home in which every member had earned U.S. citizenship by the distinction of birth or the discipline of training.

Although both sides in the Congressional debate shared an interest in Americanizing the citizen's foreign wife, they disagreed hotly over the means to that end. House members resistant to wives' separate naturalization argued that most immigrant women with families lacked the will or the time to prepare for the rigors of a naturalization examination. Consequently, the number of fully assimilated immigrant families would decline if married alien women were forced to satisfy all criteria for citizenship.[33] Raker, a supporter of the Cable bill, disagreed passionately: "[Immigrant wives] will be given an opportunity to be naturalized under this law and . . . become American citizens, irrespective of the sluggish, un-American, lazy husbands, who do not want to take the time and opportunity to give their wives American citizenship. We will eliminate that class, and they will wake up when mother begins to take an active part. . . . Father will wake up and take a bath and put on decent clothes and go with mother and become naturalized."[34]

Raker had a weakness for melodrama, but judging from the House record of the Cable debates, many of his colleagues were equally indulgent. Legislators' most vivid image of the immigrant woman was as a mother raising the country's budding citizens. Raker's message of redemption through naturalization capitalized on that image, enabling the Cable bill's advocates to subdue Congressional fears that independent citizenship threatened cherished models of marriage, motherhood, and family. But if this woman was not properly schooled for citizenship and the vote, it followed that her children and the country would suffer from her ignorance. Cable exploited this concern when extolling the virtues of his bill: "The true process of naturalization should include the education of the mother of this immigrant family.


The mother's influence and guidance would be lost to the family without the education that naturalization proceedings provide and require. My bill is intended to permit this wife and mother to learn something about the country. She is the one who should guide these children and ought to have the same privileges of an education as the father.[35]

This particular image of motherhood was far from new. The "republican mother" whose greatest civic duty was training her children to be virtuous Americans could be traced back to the early national period. The earliest calls for improving the education of American women had linked that reform to the maternal responsibilities of child rearing. In 1922 the association between maternalism and citizenship remained strong. Legislators respected the traditional division of parental responsibilities, which gave the mother principal responsibility for her children's moral and civic instruction. And when promoters of independent naturalization warned that dependent citizenship not only limited immigrant women's opportunities for self-improvement but stunted their ability to transmit American concepts to their children, their Congressional audience listened.

When one Congressman dared then to ask whether it was reasonable to "throw the same burden, the same mental requirement upon that wife when she is busy with her family and her household duties from morning until night," Cable quickly censured him. "We seek to give these foreign-born women a chance to be educated, and we are opposed to keeping the mother and wife in ignorance of our language and laws, as you do in many cases under the present naturalization law," he proclaimed.[36] Likewise, Riker accused the opposition of preferring to see the immigrant woman remain "a beast of burden . . . without any opportunity to see God's sunlight, or to get some of the benefits of civilization."[37]

Once assimilated, the immigrant woman presumably made that critical conversion from quaint "Old World" relic to proselyte of Americanization. The key transformative factor was, of course, her power to become a citizen on her own. Thus, the independent naturalization of alien wives, earlier condemned as a threat to family stability, was superbly marketed by the legislative supporters of the Cable bill as the most promising means of accelerating the Americanization of families


and elevating the status of the immigrant woman within her home and her community. How could their opponents question the merits of such goals?

These arguments in support of independent naturalization for women carried a subtle warning to immigrant women. Acceptance of the Cable bill appeared to herald legislators' recognition of married women's right to autonomous citizenship and self-directed lives. Yet, in building a case for the independent naturalization of alien women, legislators emphasized not only the need for but the responsibility of foreign-born mothers to be educated, Americanized, and naturalized—all for the welfare of others. Thus a paramount obligation of those mothers of Americans was to assimilate and seek U.S. citizenship for the sake of their children. Resistance to Americanization betokened two of motherhood's deadly sins: ignorance and selfishness.

And despite all the rhetoric about a woman's influence over her children's citizenship, no member of Congress ventured to suggest that this influence should assume a more tangible form, such as the transmission of nationality from mother to child. Legislators seemed more comfortable continuing to assess maternal authority as an invisible tangle of moral and affective forces rather than something concrete enough to command the force of law.

Picture the scene described by a reporter for the Woman Citizen moments after the revised Cable bill's decisive victory in the House on June 20, 1922: "The women in the gallery stood up and smiled; the men on the floor looked up and smiled and one of them waved a hand to the group of women who have worked so hard for the bill. A man and a brother and a fellow-citizen, he made use of a sentence which from time immemorial has been held to be the inalienable property of women. 'I told you so,' he called out. 'Ladies, I told you so.'"[38]

The President would sign the bill three months later. Christened the Married Women's Independent Citizenship Act and nicknamed the Cable Act, the new law was initially hailed by both the enthusiastic and the disgruntled as a highly significant reform measure. The Cable Act would soon reveal its conservative reach, but at the moment of victory those who had labored so long for the law were not inclined to be apolo-


getic or to be disheartened by the law's imperfections. The Cable Act was the best deal the reformers could negotiate in 1922.

The editors of the Christian Science Monitor shared feminists' initial satisfaction with the statute, proclaiming that the United States had "freed a legion of women from an archaic law which took no cognizance of political and moral progress."[39] Within a year of its enactment, however, sobering analyses had subdued praise for the Cable Act. The law had handed new freedoms to some women but removed legal protections from others. Even the law's supporters had initially underestimated the range of obstacles left intact or newly erected by the Cable Act. Its erstwhile boosters agreed that the statute served women inadequately, and bills to amend the law soon followed. Within a dozen years of its passage, all major provisions of the original statute would be amended or repealed.

The ratification of the Anthony Amendment had nudged Congress to consider the reasonableness, if not justness, of making some alterations in the laws prescribing marital expatriation and naturalization. Some legislators acknowledged that woman suffrage made derivative citizenship an archaic practice. Others declined to repudiate the rule so decisively but feared that the United States did risk dulling its recently burnished postwar image as a champion of democracy if the federal government continued to withhold independent citizenship and votes from thousands of resident women. But the most widely shared concern of federal legislators on the eve of the Cable bill's passage was the reaction of newly enfranchised women to Congress's resistance to reform. At a time when American women were still expected to form a bloc vote, Democrats and Republicans in Congress judged it politically hazardous to refuse to support some improvement in the nationality rights of women.

The Cable Act affected both alien and citizen-born women—women who had already married men of a different nationality as well as those who would wed noncitizens in the future. The new law granted most resident wives the option of maintaining their premarital citizenship or, in the case of aliens, pursuing naturalization independently. Nevertheless, without the protection of an American spouse, married women could still face exclusion from U.S. citizenship and in some cases from the country. A woman's ability to pursue naturalization or maintain


U.S. citizenship remained contingent on her spouse's eligibility for naturalization.[40] If he could not be naturalized for any reason, she could not; and if she was a citizen, she was denationalized for wedding a man ineligible for citizenship and could not seek repatriation until the termination of the marriage.

Under the Cable Act, race remained a central factor in the determination of a married woman's naturalization privileges. Indeed, as other barriers to women's independent citizenship gradually fell away, this criterion for naturalization emerged as one of the greatest threats to married women's citizenship—rivaled perhaps only by the equally durable residency requirement. If an alien woman was racially ineligible for citizenship, she could not be naturalized under any circumstances.

One of the most shocking consequences of the country's race-based naturalization policies was the permanent denationalization of native-born women of color. The American-born woman not identified as Caucasian or of African descent who married an alien ineligible for naturalization lost her U.S. citizenship permanently. Unlike other women who married men barred from naturalization, her situation could not be reversed by a subsequent divorce or widowhood. She assumed the ineffaceable and highly precarious status of an alien ineligible for naturalization. And in 1924, new immigration rules made her ability to retain residency in the United States even more problematical. If she left the country, immigration officials could deny her reentry into the United States, her country by birth.

As for the fate of other American women who married foreigners and resided abroad, the Cable Act made them "subject to the same presumption as a naturalized citizen," which meant they would lose their U.S. citizenship if they lived for two years in their husband's country or five years in any foreign territory.[41] Section 15 of the Expatriation Act of 1906 allowed the federal government to cancel citizens' naturalization papers if they established a permanent residence in another country within five years of receiving American citizenship.[42] Section


2 of the 1907 Expatriation Act, which also only applied to naturalized citizens, provided specific guidelines for the withdrawal of government protection once a naturalized citizen left the United States.

Federal law provided for the loss of United States citizenship if a naturalized citizen resided in his or her native country for two years or in any other country for at least five years. However, this absence did not necessarily result in the unrebuttable loss of citizenship—unless the individual had an alien husband. The act of returning to the country in all but these exceptional cases lifted the presumption of expatriation imposed by Section 2 of the Expatriation Act of 1907.

The relevant provisions in the 1906 and 1907 statutes generally only suspended or revoked the citizenship of absentee naturalized Americans.[43] The Cable bill not only extended this expatriation-through-residence policy to a group of native-born citizens, but after its passage American women who married foreigners and left the country had to seek reentry into the country as aliens not citizens. Rather than creating greater uniformity in the naturalization laws' treatment of the sexes, this particular provision actually increased the disparities. As the country's immigration laws grew increasingly restrictive, it became increasingly difficult and sometimes impossible for marital expatriates to return to the United States. The provisions of the Cable Act, working in conjunction with new immigration policies introduced in 1921 and 1924, barred some foreign-born and U.S.-born women from naturalization and repatriation and virtually excluded others from the United States.


The Cable Act carried both enumerated and hidden disadvantages for expatriate women with foreign spouses or domiciles. Indeed, some of the law's provisions meted out penalties harsher than those imposed on any other group of citizens, native or naturalized. For example, married women seeking repatriation had to demonstrate that they would live in the United States permanently. In most cases their repatriation involved requesting permanent entry into the country as a quota immigrant, establishing permanent residency, and then submitting to naturalization proceedings to regain American citizenship. If naturalization examiners or courts did not believe the applicant would remain in the United States, they could refuse to grant naturalization papers.

Marriage to a noncitizen man clearly remained a serious liability under the Cable Act. Even if a married woman successfully navigated through the various stages of the naturalization process, her citizenship remained endangered. If she left the country, the Bureau of Naturalization could revoke her naturalization certificate on the grounds that it was procured fraudulently.[44] If Congress had not carefully classified all women who resumed U.S. citizenship under the Cable plan as naturalized Americans, the reach of the Bureau's supervision over marital expatriates would have ended at the point of repatriation. But, technically, a native-born American woman was not repatriated but naturalized under the Cable Act rules. The new law allowed the government to disavow any knowledge of this woman's former status as a U.S. citizen. By refusing to restore her former status as a birth citizen, the federal government retained its control over her future status as a citizen.

The Cable Act's provisions did not apply exclusively to married women, and the restrictions they placed on the repatriation of women previously married to aliens exceeded those imposed by previous rules. If these women were still living abroad after the termination of the marriages, they would have to follow the same "repatriation" guidelines set out for other female expatriates living abroad. Prior to 1922, the rules governing the repatriation of widowed or divorced women had been more lenient: a woman simply returned to the United States or registered as an American citizen with a consul. The Cable Act discarded this simple repatriation procedure and replaced it with a more


complicated naturalization process. All nonresident, expatriate women followed the same set of procedures applicable to the foreign-born wives of citizens. They had to affirm their allegiance to the United States by returning to the country, establish residency, and petition for naturalization. This particular policy also governed the restoration of a resident woman's citizenship. Even if she had never left the country while married to a noncitizen, she had to petition for naturalization. Prior to the passage of the Cable bill, she would have automatically reassumed her premarital citizenship when her marriage ended. Although the proposed new set of repatriation and naturalization procedures simplified the administration of the law, it complicated the lives of many married foreign-born and native-born women who sought U.S. citizenship after 1922.

Under the Cable plan it was possible for a resident American woman married to an alien to hold two nationalities—a situation that provoked some protest from the State Department. The more serious dilemma posed by the new statute, however, was the rise in cases of statelessness resulting inevitably from the abolition of automatic naturalization by marriage. For example, British law expatriated a citizen woman who married an alien. If her husband was an American, she became stateless because she did not automatically become a U.S. citizen. This dilemma confronted any foreign woman who married an American and who was a citizen of one of the many countries that continued to enforce the rule of marital expatriation.[45]

The reduced residency requirement built into the Cable Act was designed to provide some relief to heimatlos (stateless) women married to Americans by allowing them to become U.S. citizens after living one year in the country. The House Committee on Immigration and Naturalization had anticipated this problem but reasoned that women could escape from statelessness quickly. "In the first place, [the married alien woman] will have every incentive to qualify herself as rapidly as possible," noted the Committee, "and, in the second place, if she can qualify, it is desirable to relieve her of the embarrassment of being without a


country as soon as may be consistent with the welfare of the United States."[46] Regardless of these assurances, the law put many women's ability to hold any citizenship at risk. If a U.S. citizen's wife could not satisfy other basic naturalization standards established by federal law, she would remain trapped in the limbo of statelessness. Her other means of escape were divorce or the death of her husband.

When the Cable bill had reached the Senate Committee on Immigration, several members had hesitated to approve it, citing the State Department's objections to some provisions. Lebaron Cott, the chair of the Senate Committee, warned that a bill producing significant international complications "should not be passed in the absence of very weighty reasons."[47] Cott was echoing the views of Secretary of State Charles Evans Hughes, who had worried that the bill's expatriation-by-residence rule would create new problems for his Department. The federal courts were still wrestling with the original expatriation rules related to foreign domiciles because they contained no clear agreement on the definition of "residence." "These provisions have never been construed by the court of last resort," Hughes told Cott. "I believe unfortunate and vexatious questions would arise should the bill under consideration become law."[48]

The State Department was also alarmed by the prospect of a rise in the number of dual citizens, a trend that would surely develop if the bill passed. This was a concern that proved far more durable as an influence on future policymaking than the purported lack of virtue of expatriate heiresses. An increasing number of Americans moved and settled abroad after World War I, and an estimated 435,000 natives and 62,000 naturalized citizens left the United States between 1918 and


1929 for extended, sometimes permanent "visits" to other countries.[49] As the size of this absentee citizen population increased, so did protests from State Department officials responsible for protecting citizens abroad.

The State Department had not been a highly visible contributor to the debates over the Cable bill, but subsequent efforts by proponents of equal nationality rights to amend this policy would face stiff opposition from State Department officials. Eventually reformers would find themselves standing at odds with the Department not only over this particular policy but over others relating to the transference of nationality from citizen women to their foreign-born children.[50]

The Labor Department's internal discussions of the Cable bill had revealed considerable concern over the uncertain impact of some key provisions. Secretary of Labor James Davis accurately predicted the "practical difficulties" that would face the Cable bill if it became law, and his correspondence with other Labor officials and President Warren Harding revealed that Davis initially planned to derail what he considered a highly imperfect piece of legislation. Davis sent the President a lengthy list of suggested alterations to the Cable bill compiled by his Bureau of Naturalization. Then, in a letter dated a few days before the bill moved successfully through Congress, Davis suggested that Harding should, if it arrived on his desk, send the bill back to the House with the Naturalization Bureau's amendments attached. Davis's correspondence suggests some ambivalence toward the bill. He berated Cable's plan as nothing less than "a radical departure from the fundamental principles of society upon which the Anglo-Saxon governments have been founded" but then conceded that it was "widely endorsed by women's organizations all over the country, and for that reason, perhaps, . . . should become a law."[51]

Davis wanted to see a more precise blueprint for reform, one that


painstakingly detailed the benefits and losses dispensed by the law. His concern was legitimate. The Naturalization Bureau's proposed alterations would have provided needed clarifications in the bill without altering its framers' intent. However, this list of amendments probably never reached the House Committee because Davis abruptly rescinded his advice to the President. Consultations with his advisors had convinced the Secretary that meddling with the bill after it passed both houses of Congress could have unpleasant political repercussions. Theodore Risley, solicitor for the Department of Labor, had agreed with Davis that the changes suggested by the Bureau of Naturalization would put the legislation "in better form." But "at best," he added, "it would be impossible to reframe the act in language which would give a positive assurance that it was tight in every respect." The Solicitor's Office advised letting the bill proceed without interference; the bill's effect on the Immigration Quota Act of 1921, an issue that naturally concerned the Labor Department, could be adjusted later through an amendment to the immigration laws.[52]

Davis had received similar warnings from other Department members. His secretary, reacting to Risley's comments, pointed out that if Harding returned the bill to Congress, his action would be "of no appreciable benefit and might be the source of embarrassment to Congressman Cable."[53] Harriet Taylor Upton, vice chairman of the Republican National Committee's Executive Committee, also cautioned against instigating any stalling maneuvers. "Several Congressmen whom I know feel that their seats depend on the passing of this bill," she warned. "Mr. Cable . . . is perfectly sure that he cannot be elected if it does not pass." Upton also believed that the bill would succeed despite Harding's objections, and the Republicans would have sacrificed "every advantage we hope to gain by its passage." However, if the Cable bill passed before the November elections, "the Republican Party will take unto itself a group of bi-partisans, non-partisans, neutrals or whatever you want to call them, women."[54]

Davis then sent a letter to Harding advising acceptance of the Cable bill. Perhaps to dispel any doubts he may have planted earlier in Harding's mind (or to justify his reversal), Davis noted that Cable had


agreed to support the Labor Department's amendments once the bill passed.[55]

Despite Secretaries Davis's and Hughes's doubts, Park and a few other lobbyists managed to persuade a quorum to file a favorable Senate Committee report in early September.[56] On September 9, 1922, the Cable bill passed in the Senate without a roll call, and on the September 22 it became law. When the President signed the bill, he presented the signatory pen to Park in recognition of her distinguished efforts in behalf of women's nationality rights.[57]

The WJCC subcommittee on citizenship had agreed to let the bill's residence restriction on repatriation pass unchallenged. Park did acknowledge that she and her colleagues eventually hoped to rout all double standards from the country's nationality laws, but she confessed that for the moment "we are willing to waive that point if the provision for residence in this country will help to discount any further international complications."[58]

The strong Congressional support for the Cable Act confirmed that many members of Congress still believed that American women's foreign liaisons carried cultural and political liabilities that American men's marriages to foreigners simply could not. While women's marriages to aliens still struggled for respect, American men's marriages to noncitizens drew praise as pro-American rather than anti-American acts. The ratification of the Nineteenth Amendment alone could not banish all the arguments arrayed against women's demands for equal political rights, and deeply ingrained notions about male dominance and female passivity had knit a gendered contradiction into the law of nationality that was not easily unraveled. Marrying an alien could be either an act of disloyalty or one of patriotism, depending on the sex and nationality of the actor. As one American woman disowned by her country lamented, "If for men it is even a patriotic deed to extend by marriage the influence and partnership of their country in foreign lands, why should it not be the same when it is an American girl who marries a foreigner?"[59]


The Cable Act did not explain this legal conundrum, and the government's ability to sidestep this question had been part of the bargain struck by reformers in 1922 to reap key votes in Congress. Realizing that legislators' distrust of women who had left the United States to marry foreigners could not then be dispelled by lobbying alone, the reform coalition and its allies in Congress temporarily set aside the interests of these so-called prodigal daughters living abroad in order to build legislative support for an independent citizenship bill.[60]

The Cable Act drew mixed responses from the distinguished members of the American Society for International Law.[61] Some influential participants attacked the law as a breach of international comity; and one highly placed member, who held a position in the State Department's Solicitor's Office, openly criticized the Cable Act. While participating in a discussion at a meeting of the Society, Richard Flournoy, Jr., was asked why the State Department had not pressed President Harding to reject the Cable bill. "I cannot answer that question," he declared flatly. "I had nothing to do with it myself. I would have vetoed it."[62] Flournoy was dissatisfied not only with the provisions of the law but the reason for its passage. Speculating that a group of aggressive female lobbyists forced the law on Congress, he thought it "questionable whether the majority of women of this country really wanted the new law." "Probably most of them knew nothing about it," he added.[63]

Flournoy was one of the more prominent critics of the Cable Act in the 1920s, but another well-known member of that circle of interna-


tional-law experts also withheld his applause for the new statute. Edwin Borchard, a law professor at Yale University, thought it most practical for the nationality of husband and wife to be identical, but he also believed women should have an opportunity to avoid expatriation. "The Cable Act, I think, would have created much less confusion than it has if it had been left . . . that the nationality of the wife shall follow that of the husband, provided she does not, by some affirmative act, indicate her desire to the contrary," concluded Borchard. "That would, I think, have preserved all the liberty that most of the women would like."[64] Borchard suggested presenting a more generous alternative to women but stopped short of questioning the application of unique expatriation rules to married women. Both he and Flournoy failed to address the principled argument for gender-blind expatriation policies forwarded by the WJCC subcommittee, choosing instead to place a higher value on the administrative expediencies afforded by pre-Cable policies.

Borchard and Flournoy were legal technicians, more concerned with avoiding legal conflicts between nations than with analysing the merits of feminists' case for equal nationality rights. The individual's basic right to enjoy an independent personal nationality, overlooked by Flournoy and Borchard and too many others, was the heart of the coalition's argument. Yet, it is revealing that both the critics and the proponents of gender-blind nationality policies never challenged sex-based naturalization standards as a violation of Article I, Section 8, of the U.S. Constitution, which gave Congress the power and responsibility to establish uniform naturalization rules. Although such a Constitutional argument probably would not have fared well in the federal courts at that time, the absence of a serious attempt to present this position in any governmental forum reflects the limited tactical insight of the defenders of equal nationality rights.

Some legal scholars did defend the Cable Act. Gladys Harrison, responding directly to Borchard's critique of the Cable Act, challenged the persistent assumption that a woman's marriage vows represented her voluntary consent to expatriation. However, Harrison made it clear that although she welcomed the passage of the Cable Act, she believed the task of reform was far from complete. Most women in international marriages, she complained, still only received "a choice between penalties."[65]


James Brown Scott and Cyril Hill, who had both served as members of the Roosevelt commission instrumental in the drafting of the Expatriation Act of 1907, also defended the Cable Act. Scott, a renowned expert in international law, would later support a gender-blind international code on nationality. His endorsement of the Cable Act in 1922, however, was not enthusiastic. He offered no generous praise of the Cable Act but welcomed the new law as a foundation for further reform.

Hill seemed more approving, presenting evidence of widespread support for the Cable Act among naturalization judges. A survey undertaken by the Carnegie Corporation of New York prior to the passage of the law had revealed that a majority of these judges supported the reforms the Cable Act instituted. When asked whether they favored women's separate naturalization regardless of the eligibility of their husbands as well as the preservation of an American woman's citizenship after marriage to an alien, two-thirds of the judges answered affirmatively.

Hill also questioned the reasonableness of the marital-unity argument that had once shielded derivative citizenship from harsh scrutiny. "The ties which unite husband and wife do not result from motives and desires of a political nature," counseled Hill. "Rarely does marriage result solely because the man is a member of a certain club, a certain church, a certain athletic organization, a certain political party, or a member of a certain political state. Marriage and citizenship are two institutions, separate and distinct. Never in the history of the world did they have less in common than they do today."[66]

The effectiveness of the Married Women's Independent Citizenship Act of 1922 remained a topic of debate throughout the 1920s and into the next decade. The voices for dependent citizenship grew fewer and fainter, and although a few bills to repeal the Cable Act appeared, they represented no real danger to the survival of law. Although the law never had to endure a battle for its repeal, it was the target of numerous reform bills. Before the statute was a year old, plans were underway for its reconstruction.

As predicted, the Cable Act did create some "vexatious" conflicts of law between the United States and those nations clinging to the tradi-


tional rules of matrimonial naturalization and expatriation; but the statute also reflected a new trend in nationality-law reform.[67] As its defenders noted, several countries were contemplating similar changes in their nationality laws, and other nations had already adopted them. Global uniformity in the laws dealing with women's transnational marriages was disintegrating, making conflicts of law inevitable whether or not the United States altered its rules.

Interest in women's nationality rights was quickening globally. With the enactment of the Cable Act, the U.S. government placed itself in the vanguard of a developing international movement that promised to grant women around the globe increased control over their citizenship. Nevertheless, top officials in the State Department and other experts in international relations continued to caution against the introduction of new nationality rules that could further disrupt the reciprocal practices the United States and most countries still followed to determine the citizenship of transnational couples.

Frustrated with the many limitations imposed by the so-called Married Women's Independent Citizenship Act, women in the United States continued to seek the freedom to hold a truly distinct political identity. If granted this status unconditionally, they could finally place themselves beyond the reach of punitive immigration laws: they would be able to travel outside the country without jeopardizing their citizenship, maintain their citizenship regardless of their spouse's eligibility for naturalization, bring family members to the United States as non-quota immigrants, and clothe their foreign-born children with American citizenship—all privileges or protections guaranteed to citizen men. Throughout the interwar years, a well-organized host of women would demand and secure these changes in federal law, moving women continuously closer to the goal of equal nationality rights. Their relentless reform efforts and the federal government's developing interest in creating an international code of nationality law would keep the issue of women's nationality rights within Congress's sights for many years. As before, attention to the issue did not mean easy work for reformers.


They were asking the federal government to do nothing less than re-draw the boundaries between volitional and nonvolitional expatriation, between consensual and conscripted allegiance.[68] A successful struggle by women to achieve increased independence in matters of nationality meant granting citizen women a host of legal protections and privileges long enjoyed by citizen men. It also promised to infuse the concept of volitional citizenship with greater meaning than it had in the past by restraining Congress's ability to expatriate American citizens without their explicit consent.

When female reformers crusading under the banner of equal protection demanded a confrontation with their government on this ideological terrain, federal administrators repeatedly shrank from the challenge. Preoccupied with demands to restrict immigration and beginning to feel less intimidated by the demands of female voters, the federal government resisted acknowledging that independent citizenship was fundamentally a question of a woman's or even any individual's rights. Lawmakers certainly could not attempt the feeble argument that women and men enjoyed equal treatment under the country's immigration and nationality laws, and a dwindling number of legislators were willing to argue openly that citizen women deserved to be expatriated for marriages to aliens. But the inequities in the country's immigration and nationality laws lingered nevertheless because the policies in which they were embedded ably served the restrictionist goals of the era.

What evolved in the 1920s was a struggle between two reform objectives of irreconcilable parts. As the champions of citizens' rights, the advocates of independent citizenship believed their demands occupied a higher plane than those represented in other nationality-reform bills. Nevertheless, it proved impossible to broach the question of independent citizenship without becoming mired in the debates over containing the immigrant population and aliens' access to citizenship. Woman's rights reformers contended that these policy objectives, which focused on the status of the foreign-born, were irrelevant to discussions of the woman citizen's rights. The federal government, however, viewed all issues touching on immigration and expatriation as inter-


locking concerns facing a nation of immigrants. In the 1920s, the ideal of equal nationality rights for women simply was not powerful enough to remain untouched by the other public-policy matters that so engrossed Congress during these years of anxiety over immigration.

The New York Times spoke for many proponents of the Cable Act when it expressed both enthusiasm for the new statute and concern over its fate. "The principle of this [law] is excellent," the editors announced, "though it may encounter practical difficulties in execution."[69] As the decade progressed, making progress toward achieving equal nationality rights became increasingly difficult because the issue of dependent citizenship became even more entangled than it had been in the past in the elaborate net of federal legislation set to entrap undesirable aliens or absentee naturalized citizens. Most of the major laws passed to regulate immigration in the first half of the 1920s complicated rather than enhanced women's ability to control their citizenship and the fate of their families.

Initially, women had been able to capitalize on the Nineteenth Amendment's ratification. Emphasizing the interdependence of equal nationality rights and the citizen's right to vote, women's groups had argued that a country that accepted female suffrage could not deny a woman's entitlement to self-determined citizenship. Such arguments appeared to draw sympathy from crucial quarters: Congress agreed that, theoretically, a woman's determination of her citizenship should be represented by an uncoerced, unambiguous act; the Labor and State Departments claimed to accept the argument that a woman's marriage to an alien was not in itself a declaration of expatriation.

Yet, these concessions did not translate readily into new laws because pleas for independent citizenship filtered through a federal bureaucracy that was still more inclined to fortify than diminish the requisites for living and becoming a citizen in the United States. Liberalizing the standards governing married women's nationality meant undercutting a major policy goal many legislators thought vital to the nation's strength. Requiring women to provide detailed proof of their fitness for naturalization meshed with restrictionist aims; allowing American women to maintain their nationality despite foreign residences, to transfer their citizenship to foreign-born children, or to petition for the admission of their foreign spouses did not.

In the defense of its objectives, however, the women's coalition for


independent citizenship never abandoned the fundamental conviction that the nation's commitment to volitional citizenship did advance national interests and that one of those vital interests was aiding the emergence of one who had been too long shuttered from public view—the independent woman citizen.


previous chapter
Chapter 3 The Cable Act: Solutions and Problems
next chapter