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In re Petition of Marco Reginelli

Decided: July 20, 1955.

IN THE MATTER OF THE PETITION OF MARCO REGINELLI, FOR NATURALIZATION


Naame, J.c.c.

Naame

The final hearing of the petition for naturalization of one Marco Reginelli came before this court on June 21, 1955, at Mays Landing, Atlantic County, New Jersey. Prior to this hearing briefs were submitted to this court by Herbert M. Levy, Esquire, the designated Federal Examiner for the Immigration and Naturalization Service, and Lemuel B. Schofield, Esquire, John B. Brumbelow, Esquire, and Edward I. Feinberg, Esquire, counsel for the petitioner. Both briefs contained a most adequate treatment of the subject matter and revealed exhaustive research as to the applicable authorities on the law at issue. This court carefully considered all of the facts presented and examined in detail all the authorities noted in the briefs, in addition to related cases not mentioned in the written arguments.

On the date of the hearing counsel for the Government, in open court, abandoned all (except one) contentions contained in the government findings and conceded that they were without merit, except point (j) in paragraph 4 under Statements of Fact, (a) to (k) inclusive, which charges "that the petitioners accounting for this large income is not believable, and leaves the source of this income unexplained." These admissions reduce the issues in this matter to one single challenge.

In addition to the foregoing the Government also concedes:

(1) That the Nationality Act of 1940, Section 307(a)*fn1 applied to the petitioner and that the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1952, 8 U.S.C.A. § 1101 et seq. , did not apply. Section 307(a) of the Nationality Act of 1940, the section of the law under which this petition was filed, reads as follows:

"No person, except as hereinafter provided in this Act, shall be naturalized unless such petitioner, (1) immediately preceding the

date of filing petition for naturalization has resided continuously within the United States for at least five years and within the State in which the petitioner resided at the time of filing the petition for at least six months, (2) has resided continuously within the United States from the date of the petition up to the time of admission to citizenship, and (3) during all the periods referred to in this subsection has been and still is a person of good moral character." (54 Stat. 1142, 8 U.S.C. 707)

A recent case, U.S. v. Cunha , 209 F.2d 326, 328 (1 Cir. , 1954), supports this view and holds that:

"The Immigration and Nationality Act, 66 Stat. 163, 8 U.S.C.A. § 1101 et seq. , passed by Congress * * * on June 27, 1952, * * * went into effect with an exception not here material 180 days thereafter. * * * § 405(b) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (1952) categorically provides that except as otherwise specifically provided in its Title III, 'any petition for naturalization heretofore filed which may be pending at the time this Act shall take effect shall be heard and determined in accordance with the requirements of law in effect when such petition was filed.' And, although Congress saw fit to provide specifically that § 313 and § 315 of Title III forbidding, respectively, the naturalization of persons who, broadly speaking are, or are likely to be, violently opposed to our form of government, or who claim alienage to avoid military service, shall apply as of the applicable date of the Act notwithstanding the provisions of § 405(b), Congress did not see fit to make a like specific provision in § 316 wherein five years residence immediately preceding petition for naturalization, and 'good moral character' during such residence, are made conditions precedent to naturalization. Thus we are not concerned with 'good moral character' as that phrase is defined in detail in § 101(f) of the Immigration and Nationality Act. Instead we are concerned with 'good moral character' as that phrase was used without any attempt at precise definition in § 307(a) of the Nationality Act of 1940."

(2) That the authorities are unanimous in the opinion that character is not synonymous with reputation, since character refers to what a person really is and not what he is supposed to be.

In Ralich v. United States , 185 F.2d 784, at page 786 (8 Cir. , 1950), the court said:

"It is first worthy of note that the statute does not prescribe as a condition for naturalization that the applicant be a person of

good repute during the five-year period, but that during that period he shall be a person of good moral character. Character implies moral qualities which belong to and distinguish an individual person. It signifies the reality as distinguished from reputation or the opinion generally entertained of him. * * * In Sloan v. United States, supra [8 Cir. , 31 F.2d 902], Judge Stone, speaking for this court, said: ...


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