More About Age Of Majority

Over 25 million Italians have emigrated between 1861 and 1960 with a migration boom between 1871 and 1915 when over 13,5 million emigrants left the country for European and overseas destinations.
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More About Age Of Majority

Postby jennabet » 14 Jan 2011, 00:44

Don't want to sound like a broken record but as I already stated, Consulate told me that at age 19 (nineteen), Frank Perri was NOT a minor.

While some in this forum have stated that age of majority in Italy at the time was 21, and this is most likely correct, it's obvious to me that Italy recognizes America's age of majority 18 (eighteen) when considering whether or not a person was naturalized derivatively.

And this makes perfect sense to me because foreigners who choose to be here are expected to follow the laws of their new country and not the country they left behind.

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Re: More About Age Of Majority

Postby mler » 14 Jan 2011, 14:15

I think you may be misinterpreting the reason for their response. Until the latter part of the 20th century, in the US the age of majority was also 21, and Italy would use the laws existing at the time to make its determination.

However, if I recall correctly, Frank Perri was married at the age of 19, and this seems to be the determining factor. It is difficult to take the position that a 19-year old male, married and supporting a spouse, is legally bound by his parents' decisions. This, I believe is the basis for the consulate's decision. It seems that the consulate has determined Frank to be an "emancipated minor," and this makes total sense. It does not, however, have anything to do with the age of majority in the US at that time.

I point this out because Frank Perri's situation is unique and would not apply in most cases of derivative citizenship.

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Re: More About Age Of Majority

Postby jennabet » 14 Jan 2011, 19:09

Hi Mler. Frank was actually married at the age of 18 but was 19 by the time his father naturalized. The Consulate stated, "At age 19, Frank was not a minor so there is no controversy". This was before any mention of him being married. Just the fact that he was 19 seemed to be the determining factor.

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Re: More About Age Of Majority

Postby mler » 14 Jan 2011, 19:20

Unusual response, perhaps from a consulate officer unfamiliar with US law at the time. Frank was most definitely emancipated when he married at age 18, which means he was unaffected by his father's naturalization.

You know citizenship law quite well, having been through the process yourself, so you understand that citizenship decisions are based, not on current law, but on the law existing at the time. If the consulate officer assumed that the age of majority in the US was 18 at the early part of the 20th century, he was mistaken, and his error would ultimately have been noted. In this case, however, there was no problem since Frank's marriage changed his status.

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Re: More About Age Of Majority

Postby jennabet » 14 Jan 2011, 19:57

Mler, I'm curious how you think Frank was regarded in the US since he is listed on his father's petition. Was he a citizen? What kind of status did Frank hold from 1913 until his death in 1926? Was he renewing a greencard or was he undocumented? He was employed.

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Re: More About Age Of Majority

Postby mler » 14 Jan 2011, 20:09

What great questions! I'll make some guesses. Frank may have been listed on the petition because the petition was completed before Frank's marriage; but I tend to think that both Frank and his father thought he was naturalized. . .and, interestingly enough, he may have been considered to be naturalized by the US government.

Frank's father was not likely to have informed the authorities that his son was no longer part of his household. He was a 19-year old, born in Italy, and listed on his father's petition. Since the age of majority was then 21, when his father naturalized, I'm guessing everyone, including the US government, thought Frank came under his father's umbrella. So my guess is that he was technically--but not legitimately--naturalized.

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Re: More About Age Of Majority

Postby jennabet » 14 Jan 2011, 22:18

Probably it happened as you guessed, especially about the petition being prepared before Frank got married.

However, Frank told the draft board that he was an "Alien". Does anyone know if "Aliens" at that time were subject to being drafted?

Did Frank tell them he was an "Alien" because he knew that he really was? Or if he thought he was a citizen, did he tell them he was an Alien to possibly get out of serving?

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Re: More About Age Of Majority

Postby jennabet » 14 Jan 2011, 22:30

Forgot to mention. Also, in 1918, his father Angelo registered with the draft board as NA (1913).

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Re: More About Age Of Majority

Postby mler » 15 Jan 2011, 02:30

I know aliens served, but I don't know if they were subject to the draft. It's funny how many questions are generated from genealogical research.


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