I was looking at my Italian ancestor's petition for naturalization (US) and wondered about the language in section seven.
I am attached to the principles of the Constitution of the United States, and it is my intention to become a citizen of the United States and to renounce absolutely and forever all allegiances to any foreign prince, potentate, state, or sovereignty and particularly to VICTOR EMMANUEL III KING OF ITALY, of whom at this time I am a subject, and it is my intention to reside permanently in the United States.
"Reounce absolutely and forever all allegiances to any [...] state": maybe it's just me, but that sure as heck sounds like a renunciation of citizenship. Is it? Or is there a semantic argument that one can renounce their state but not their citizenship?
It was my understanding that most peoples' Italian ancestors who became naturalized Americans did not automatically renounce their Italian citizenship, that you had to go out of your way and specifically do so. But looking at this form--which seems pretty standard--I feel like my ancestor renounced his. Any advice?
Secondly, if he did indeed renounce his citizenship, does that nullify any claim I may have to Italian citizenship? It was my understanding that it would not, because this naturalization (renunciation?) occurred in 1927, over 20 years after he gave birth to the son that is in my direct line.
There were several ways that an Italian adult (man) could lose his citizenship. One was through voluntary naturalization in a foreign country, regardless of whether it included any renunciation of other allegiances. Another was by renunciation of Italian citizenship in front of an Italian consular or diplomatic authority. So a renunciation of Italian citizenship in front of a foreign authority was irrelevant and had no meaning to Italy. OTOH, because that person naturalized, after his 21st birthday, that by itself caused a loss of his Italian citizenship.
However, this would not have affected his son's citizenship if his son was age 21 or older or if the son was born in the US and did not possess any other citizenship (aside from Italian and American).