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APRIL 29, 1949. Hon. EMANUEL CELLER, Chairman, Committee on the Judiciary,
House of Representatives, Washington, D. C. MY DEAR MR. CHAIRMAN: This is in response to your request for the views of the Department of Justice with respect to the bill (H. R. 1042) for the relief of Hoy C. Wong, an alien.
The bill would provide that, notwithstanding any provision of law to the contrary, Hoy C. Wong, who served in the military forces of the United States, shall be considered to have been lawfully admitted to the United States for permanent residence and shall be permitted to become a naturalized citizen without complying with any other provision of the naturalization laws by taking before any naturalization court the oath required by law to be taken in open court, before admission to citizenship, by persons who have petitioned for naturalization.
The records of the Immigration and Naturalization Service of this Department disclose that the alien was born in Canton, China, on August 15, 1920, and is a native and citizen of that country. He arrived at San Francisco, Calif., on November 14, 1946, as a passenger on the S. S. Monterey in possession of a passport visa issued at Sydney, Australia, and was admitted temporarily for 1 year under section 3 (2) of the Immigration Act of 1924 for business and pleasure, which period was extended until August 20, 1948.
He joined the United States Army at Brisbane, Australia, as an interpreter in 1943. About 4 months later he was hospitalized in an Army field hospital upon complaint of a swelling of his left leg, which condition has been diagnosed as filariasis. The alien believes that he contracted the disease while in the army. He applied to the American consul for a visa to proceed to this country for further treatment, and on December 4, 1946, he entered the United States naval hospital at Mare Island, Calif., where he remained for about 20 days.
It appears that hospitalization has not helped his condition. The Veterans' Administration has classified the alien as 30 percent disabled and placed him on a monthly pension of $41.40. In addition, compensation and subsistence which he receives in accordance with the provisions of the act of March 24, 1943 (57 Stat. 43), for vocational rehabilitation make his total income from the Government about $200 per month.
The alien was honorably discharged from the Army but does not come within the purview of Public Law 567, Eightieth Congress, which grants certain naturalization preferences to noncitizens who served honorably in the armed forces during World War II, since he was not in the United States at the time of his edlistment and has not subsequently been admitted for permanent residence.
The alien now resides at the Chinese YMCA in San Francisco and has stated that he is unable to work because of his disability. He enrolled in Lessman's Business College in January 1949 and has continued there although his attendance record has not been good.
Inasmuch as the alien would be eligible to apply for United States citizenship under the gener 1 naturalization laws if he is granted permanent residence, there appears to be no impelling reason for waiving the requirements of such naturalization laws in his favor. This Department therefore recommends amendment of the bill so as to grant him permanent residence only and suggests that this may be accomplished by striking out all after the word "residence" on line 7 of the bill and inserting in lieu "as of November 14, 1946, the date on which he last entered the United States as a temporary visitor.” Yours sincerely,
PETER CAMPBELL BROWN,
Acting the Assistant to the Attorney General. After consideration of all the facts in the case, the committee is of the opinion that the bill, H. R. 1042, as amended, should be enacted.
COL. WLODZIMIERZ ONACEWICZ
Mar 10, 1919.-Committed to the Committee of the Whole House and ordered
to be printed
Mr. FELLOWS, from the Committee on the Judiciary, submitted the
(To accompany H. R. 2349)
The Committee on the Judiciary, to whom was referred the bill (H. R. 2349) for the relief of Col. Wlodzimierz Onacewicz, having considered the same, report favorably thereon with amendments and recommend that the bill do pass.
The amendments are as follows:
On page 1 strike out line 11, and on page 2 strike out lines 1, 2, and 3, inclusive.
PURPOSE OF THE BILL The purpose of this bill is to compute, for naturalization purposes, the time of residence in the United States on the diplomatic and permanent residence status of a native and citizen of Poland.
GENERAL INFORMATION The complete facts in this case are set forth in a letter addressed to the chairman of the Senate Committee on the Judiciary in the Eightieth Congress, dated June 10, 1948, from the Assistant to the Attorney General, relative to S. 2188, a bill which was then pending in the Senate for the relief of the same individual. The said letter reads as follows:
DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE,
Washington, June 10, '1948.
United States Senate, Washington, D. C. My Dear Senator: This is in response to your request for the views of this Department relative to the bill (8. 2168) for the relief of Col. Wlodzimierz Onacewicz, an alien.
Section (a) of the bill would provide that Col. Wlodzimierz Onacewicz shall be deemed to have been lawfully admitted to the United States for permanent residence as of April 29, 1941, the date upon which he was admitted to the United States as the military attaché of the Polish Embassy. Section (b) of the bill would provide that Colonel Onacewicz may be naturalized upon compliance with all the requirements of the naturalization laws, except that no declaration of intention shall be required,
The files of the Immigration and Naturalization Service of this Department disclose that the alien is a 55-year-old native and citizen of Poland, having been born on November 24, 1892, at Warsaw, Poland. In December 1915 the alien graduated from the Michael Artillery School in St. Petersburg and was commissioned an officer in the Army of Czar Nicholas II of Russia. He took an active part in the First World War against the Germans and Austrians and at the outbreak of the Russian Revolution he joined with other Poles to form a Polish Army for the purpose of liberating Poland from German occupation. He finally escaped from Communist-controlled Russia and arrived in Warsaw in May 1920 where he joined the Polish Army in defending Poland against the Russian Communist invasion. In November 1923, he graduated from the Polish War College and thereafter was assigned to that institution as a professor and teacher until 1929 when he was assigned to duty with various Army units. At the outbreak of World War II he was assigned to the Office of Minister of War; was forced into exile in France where he was commissioned to form and command a Polish regiment and was forced to escape to England. He was then commissioned Commander in Chief of the Polish armies in England.
On April 29, 1941, the alien was admitted to the United States as the military attaché of the Polish Embassy. He has since resided in the United States, and on September 17, 1945, he was admitted to this country at St. Albans, Vt., for permanent residence upon presentation of a nonpreference quota immigration visa. On April 15, 1947, he filed his declaration of intention to become a citizen of the United States.
The alien resides in the District of Columbia, and since August 1947 he has been employed by the Army Map Service. He also writes articles for a Polish daily newspaper.
In July of 1947 he was awarded the “Legion of Merit, Degree of Officer” by the President of the United States. The record indicates that he is a person of good moral character.
The alien has resided in the United States since April 29, 1941, but under the naturalization laws only that period of residence which is subsequent to his lawful admission for permanent residence may be taken into account in petitioning for naturalization. The law also requires that 2 years must expire between the filing of the declaration of intention to become a citizen and the filing of the petition for naturalization. The alien filed his declaration of intention to become a citizen on April 15, 1947, and will complete the 5-year residence requirement in September 1950. The purpose of the bill is to accelerate the date upon which the alien may petition for naturalization. Sec. (a) of the bill would permit the alien to count as part of the requisite period of 5 years permanent residence time for which he was temporarily admitted as a member of the Polish diplomatic staff, thus satisfying the 5-year residence requirement, and sec. (b) of the bill would remove the necessity of waiting for 2 years from the filing of his declaration of intention before he is permitted to file his petition for naturalization.
The result of the bill would be that the alien could immediately petition for naturalization instead of being required to wait until September 17, 1950.
Whether in this case the general provisions of the immigration and naturalization laws should be waived presents a question of legislative policy concerning which this Department prefers not to make any recommendation. Yours sincerely,
The Assistant to the Attorney General. Inasmuch as the beneficiary of this bill has filed his declaration of intention to become a citizen on April 15, 1947, the committee felt that there is no necessity for removing the statutory 2-year-period from the filing of his declaration of intention before he is permitted to file his final petition for naturalization.
Mr. Gorski of Illinois, the author of the bill, testified before a subcommittee of the Committee on the Judiciary, and urged the enactment of the measure, presenting two witnesses who, in turn, testified
to the good moral character and meritorious services rendered to this country by the beneficiary of the bill. The witnesses were Col. Theodore Babbitt; former professor at Yale University; former United States military attaché in Tangier; former Assistant United States military attaché in Turkey; and former Chief, Foreign Liaison Division, War Department; Colonel Babbitt is at present an official of the Central Intelligence Agency; and Col. Hugo Kenyon, at present civilian specialist, Army Intelligence (G-2), Department of the Army; former member of the Foreign Liaison Division, War Department.
The following document was submitted to the committee's attention: CITATION TO ACCOMPANY THE AWARD OF THE LEGION OF MERIT DEGREE OF
OFFICER TO W LODZIMIERZ ONACEWICZ Col. Wlodzimierz Onacewicz, Polish Army, military attaché from 29 April 1941 to 6 July 1945, rendered exceptionally meritorious service to the United States Government, He personally forwarded to the War Department all matters of an intelligence nature procured by Polish Military Intelligence agents operating in occupied Europe. In addition, he evaluated many of these reports and in all cases saw to it that they were clearly translated. Further, he directed the training in this country of all Polish Officers and enlisted men so that they would be able efficiently to use the equipment furnished his Government under lend-lease. He personally screened thousands of prisoners of war in choosing those individuals capable of joining the Polish ranks in Europe.
HARRY S. TRUMAN. THE WHITE HOUSE.
On page 1502 of the Congressional Record of February 20, 1948, there appears the following concerning the beneficiary of this bill: Military SERVICES OF WLODZIMIERZ ONACEWICZ, COLONEL, Polish ARMY,
RETIRED Col. W. Onacewicz, veteran of three wars, fought in the First World War with the Russian Army as a junior horse artillery officer. After the Bolshevik revolution he escaped to Poland.
In 1920, when the Red armies invaded Poland, he was in command of a Polish volunteer field artillery battery.
In 1923 he graduated from the War College and General Staff School of Warsaw, became its professor and taught at the War College from 1923 to 1929. After that he served in different capacities in the general staff and with the troops.
At the outbreak of the Second World War, on September 1, 1939, he was on the staff of the Minister of War and was appointed liaison officer to the headquarters of the commander in chief.
September 17, 1939, when the Russian armies invaded Poland and were only a few miles from the headquarters of the Polish high command, he was ordered to cross the border into Rumania and proceed to France, where a new Polish army was to be organized in order to continue the fight on the Allied side.
In Rumania he was interned, as all Polish soldiers, but fled from the internment camp and reached Paris in November 1939. He was appointed by the new commander in chief, General Sikorski, to command the First Polish Artillery Regiment in France, which he organized and trained in the first months of 1940.
He fought in the French campaign of 1940 as commander of the First Artillery Regiment, First Polish Grenadier Division, first in the battle of the Maginot line, and then in the general retreat of the French Army. During the last 8 days of the French campaign, the First Polish Grenadier Division lost in heavy fighting 45 percent of its men'in killed and wounded.
When the French armies capitulated on June 21, 1940, the Polish divisions refused to surrender with the French. On orders of the general commanding the First Polish Grenadier Division, Colonel Onacewicz broke his regiment in small groups and directed them to steal at night through German lines encircling French armies and to try to reach the south of France. He himself took nine men from his regiment and succeeded in crossing with them the German lines in the Vosges mountains at night. Then they walked 300 miles in 3 weeks through
the German armies, and, after many adventures, among them capture of himself and two of his companions by the Germans, the whole group, though dispersed, reached unoccupied France. Most of the Polish soldiers escaped German captivity.
In August 1940 he reached Great Britain and joined again the Polish Army. For his command in the French campaign he was awarded the Order of Virtuti Militari (Polish equivalent of the Congressional Medal) and promoted to full colonel. He has been appointed chief of the military cabinet of the commander in chief, General Sikorski, in London and served in this capacity until April 1941.
In April 1941 he was sent to Washington as military attaché, to represent the Polish armed forces in the United States and later to organize collaboration between the Polish and the United States Army. For his war work in Washing. ton he has been awarded by the United States Government the Legion of Merit, degree of officer, with the enclosed citation.
In July 1945, after the establishment in Warsaw of a Soviet puppet government, he resigned from the Embassy, retired from the Polish Army, and asked for the United States immigration visa, which he was granted September 17, 1945. Actually, he is working with the Department of the Army, Army Map Service.
Besides the Legion of Merit and the Polish Virtuti Militari, he holds the French Legion of Honor and Military Cross, 1940, and other Polish and foreign decorations.
He has a fluent knowledge of English and four European tongues and is a graduate of St. Petersburg University, Russia, in Far Eastern languages.
Colonel Onacewicz is presently employed by the Library of Congress on a temporary basis and his permanent employment by the Military Establishments of the Government is conditioned upon his naturalization.
After consideration of all the facts in the case, the committee is of the opinion that the bill should be enacted and it accordingly so recommends its enactment.