Seventh Circuit Review


In a case of first impression, the Seventh Circuit misinterpreted naturalization statutes to hold that a good moral character requirement is applicable to aliens who served honorably in the military during times of war. The obligation of naturalizing aliens to show good moral character is listed among the residency requirements of 8 U.S.C.S. § 1427. However, 8 U.S.C.S. § 1440 excuses alien wartime veterans from making this showing by exempting them from the residency requirements in 8 U.S.C.S. § 1427. In supporting its position that alien wartime veterans must prove good moral character in order to naturalize, the Seventh Circuit misquoted a key naturalization statute and misinterpreted several others. The Seventh Circuit should have held that, based on a plain reading of 8 U.S.C.S. §§ 1427 and 1440, a showing of good moral character is not required from alien wartime veterans seeking to naturalize.

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