Cable Act

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Cable Act
Great Seal of the United States
Other short titles
  • Married Women's Citizenship Act
  • Married Women's Independent Nationality Act
  • Women's Citizenship Act
Long title An Act relative to the naturalization and citizenship of married women.
Nicknames Cable Act of 1922
Enacted by the 67th United States Congress
Effective September 22, 1922
Public law 67-346
Statutes at Large 42 Stat. 1021b
Acts repealed Expatriation Act of 1907
Titles amended 8 U.S.C.: Aliens and Nationality
U.S.C. sections created 8 U.S.C. ch. 9 §§ 367-370
Legislative history

The Cable Act of 1922 (ch. 411, 42 Stat. 1021, "Married Women's Independent Nationality Act") was a United States federal law that reversed former immigration laws regarding marriage. (It is also known as the Married Women's Citizenship Act or the Women's Citizenship Act). Previously, a woman lost her US citizenship if she married a foreign man, since she assumed the citizenship of her husband, a law that did not apply to US citizen men who married foreign women. The law repealed sections 3 and 4 of the Expatriation Act of 1907.[1]

The law is named for Ohio representative John L. Cable, who proposed the legislation.

Context of the Law[edit]

Former immigration laws prior to 1922 did not make reference to the alien husband's race.[2] However, The Cable Act of 1922 guaranteed independent female citizenship only to women who were married to an "alien eligible to naturalization."[3] At the time of the law's passage, Asian aliens were not considered to be racially eligible for US citizenship.[4][5] As such, the Cable Act only partially reversed previous policies and allowed women to retain their US citizenship after marrying a foreigner who was not Asian. Thus, even after the Cable Act become effective, any woman who married an Asian alien lost her US citizenship, just as under the previous law.

The Cable Act also had other limitations: a woman could keep her US citizenship after marrying a non-Asian alien if she stayed within the United States. However, if she married a foreigner and lived on foreign soil for two years, she could still lose her right to US nationality.

ln 1931, the Naturalization Act of 1906 amendment allowed females to retain their citizenship even if they married an Asian.[6] In 1936, the Cable Act was rescinded by the 74th United States Congress's passage of the Citizenship Repatriation Act of 1936.[5][7]

Amendments to 1922 Act[edit]

U.S. Congressional amendments to the Married Women's Citizenship Act.

Date of Enactment Public Law Number U.S. Statute Citation U.S. Legislative Bill U.S. Presidential Administration
July 3, 1930 P.L. 71-508 46 Stat. 854 H.R. 10960 Herbert Hoover
March 3, 1931 P.L. 71-829 46 Stat. 1511 H.R. 10672 Herbert Hoover
May 17, 1932 Public Resolution 20 47 Stat. 158a S.Con.Res. 36 Herbert Hoover
May 24, 1934 P.L. 73-250 48 Stat. 797 H.R. 3673 Franklin D. Roosevelt

See also[edit]

American Woman Suffrage Association
National American Woman Suffrage Association
National Woman Suffrage Association
National Woman's Party


  1. ^ Tsiang, I-Mien (1942). The question of expatriation in America prior to 1907. Johns Hopkins Press. p. 115. OCLC 719352. 
  2. ^ [1][full citation needed]
  3. ^ Marian L. Smith (1998), "Women and Naturalization, ca. 1802-1940", Prologue Magazine, 30 (2), retrieved 2009-01-03 
  4. ^ For Teachers: A Brief Introduction to Asian American History, Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Program, retrieved 2009-01-03 
  5. ^ a b Timeline of Asian American History, Digital History: University of Houston, retrieved 2009-01-03 
  6. ^ Gardner, Martha Mabie (2005), The Qualities of a Citizen: Women, Immigration, and Citizenship, 1870-1965, Princeton University Press, p. 146, ISBN 978-0-691-08993-5  ISBN 0-691-08993-0, ISBN 978-0-691-08993-5
  7. ^ "Citizenship Repatriation Act of 1936 ~ P.L. 74-793" (PDF). 49 Stat. 1917 ~ Senate Bill 2912. Legis★Works. June 25, 1936. 

External links[edit]