MVB, Senate remarks on motion on naturalization bill, 21 May 1824
On motion of Mr. Van Buren, the bill reported by the Committee on the Judiciary, "in addition to an act, entitled "An act to establish an uniform system of naturalization," was taken up for consideration in Committee of the Whole. Mr. Van Buren stated the provisions of the different sections of the bill. Its principal provisions are, to authorize aliens, who were infants at the time of entering the country, to take the oaths and produce the necessary proofs of residence in the country for the requisite period, and to become citizens; and it also reduces the term of residence, prerequisite for an alien to become a citizen, from five to three years.
On motion of Mr. Holmes, of Maine, the provisions of the bill were limited to "free white persons."
Messrs. Findlay, Van Buren, Holmes of Maine, Mills, Elliott, H. Johnson of Louisiana, and Taylor of Virginia, discussed the propriety of the bill, in respect to its general principles, and to its details.