This law further extended the principle that women assumed the citizenship of their husbands by stripping citizenship from U.S.-born women when they married non-citizen immigrant men. Losing their citizenship barred women from certain kinds of employment and made the vulnerable to detention and deportation. Soon after women received the vote with the Nineteenth Amendment in 1920, this law was abolished with the Cable Act of 1922 except for women who married “aliens ineligible for citizenship,” or Asian immigrant men. The impact of this loss of citizenship fell most heavily upon U.S.-born Asian American women until this condition was also ended in 1931.
Women held at Ellis Island (1902)
CHAP. 2534.-An Act In reference to the expatriation of citizens and their protection abroad.
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of’ the United States of America in Congress assembled . . . .
SEC. 2. That any American citizen shall be deemed to have expatriated himself when he has been naturalized in any foreign state in conformity with its laws, or when he has taken an oath of allegiance to any foreign state . . . .
SEC. 3. That any American woman who marries a foreigner shall take the nationality of her husband. At the termination of the marital relation she may resume her American citizenship, if abroad, by registering as an American citizen within one year with a consul of the United States, or by returning to reside in the United States, or, if residing in the United States at the termination of the marital relation, by continuing to reside therein.
Approved, March 2, 1907.