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Cook County ILGenWeb Genealogy User Submitted Data

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                        Learn About U.S. IMMIGRATION & NATURALIZATION PROCESSES
                                    Cook County, Illinois


Information contributed for use in Cook County ILGenWeb (from Cook-Co-L mail-list)
        with permission from original submitter
        by Cook County ILGenWeb Coordinator(s), July 1999


1790 - Citizenship required a 2 year residency in the US and must be preformed
in a court of record.

1795 - Added: 3 yr residency to file a declaration of intent, 5 yr residency
to file final papers. This also provided citizenship to wives and minor
children. (But remember women did not have the right to vote so there was no
great motive for a women to become a citizen)

1804 - Widows and children of an alien who died before filing final papers
were granted citizenship.

1855 - An alien female who married a US citizen was automatically granted
citizenship (this was repealed in 1922)

1862 - Aliens over 21 yrs who were in the military could become citizens after
1 yr of residence.

1891 - Office of Immigration was established. Polygamists and those convicted
of certain crimes or who carried certain diseases were excluded from

1906 - Bureau of Immigration and Naturalization was established. Alien
registration was required. residency requirements were changed to 2 years to
file intent and 5 years for final papers. Wives and minor children still came
under the 1855 law.

1907 - A female citizen who married an alien lost her citizenship and took the
nationality of her husband. This was later changed in 1922 but citizenship was
not restored until 1936.

1918 - Aliens serving in the US armed forces during WWI could be naturalized
without any residency requirements (But remember they still had to go to some
court to become a citizen)

1921 - The 1st Immigration Act to establish quotas of immigrants based on
national origin was enacted.

1922 - Women 21 yrs and over were entitled to citizenship (women no longer
became citizens when their husbands did) (Most important-women now had the
right to vote so there was an incentive to become a citizen on their own)

1940 - Alien Registration Act required registration and fingerprinting at a
local post office within 30 days of arrival.

1952 - Immigration and Nationality Act Amendment abandoned the national origins
system of setting quotas on ethnic groups.

(thanks to Arleen G. for providing this info)

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This PAGE was last updated: 30 Apr 2001 by the Cook County ILGenWeb County Coordinators.