Last updated on: 1/30/2017 | Author:

Nov. 13, 1922 – Ozawa v. US Supreme Court Decision Declares Japanese Ineligible for Citizenship

“The issue of U.S. citizenship eventually was decided by the 1922
Supreme Court decision [9-0] of Takao Ozawa v. United States, which declared
that Japanese were ineligible for U.S. citizenship. ‘Free white persons’
were made eligible for U.S. citizenship by Congress in 1790. ‘Aliens of
African nativity and persons of African descent’ were similarly
designated by Congress in 1870. Due to some ambiguity about the term
‘white,’ some 420 Japanese had been naturalized by 1910, but a ruling by
a U.S. attorney general to stop issuing naturalization papers to
Japanese ended the practice in 1906. Ozawa had filed his naturalization
papers in 1914. In 1922, the U.S. Supreme Court judged that since Ozawa
was neither a ‘free white person’ nor an African by birth or descent, he
did not have the right of naturalization as a Mongolian.”