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Senate apologizes for 1907 ‘injustice’


This article was published May 18, 2014 at 3:49 a.m.

WASHINGTON — The Senate has a message for Grandma Elsie: so sorry. The apology came in the form of a resolution expressing regret for a law passed more than a century ago that stripped thousands of women of their U.S. citizenship for marrying foreigners.

The law gained attention when Daniel Swalm discov- ered that his grandmother El- sie Knutson Moren, born and raised in Minnesota, lost her U.S. citizenship under a 1907 law after she married a legal immigrant from Sweden.

Swalm met with aides to Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn., who introduced the reso- lution. The measure, which gained support from other senators who heard from other descendants of other American-born women who lost their citizenship, passed last week.

“I hope all the people who have their own Grandma El- sie in their family history take this opportunity to put a can- dle on a cupcake in her hon- or and give thanks for justice finally served after all these years,” Swalm said.

He praised Franken and co-sponsor Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wis., for “recognizing the wrong that was done a cen- tury ago and taking the steps necessary for the Senate to make amends.”

“What Elsie Moren and many other women went through was wrong and should never happen again,” Franken said in a statement. “Our resolution won’t scrub history, but with its passage in the Senate, we hope to bring attention to the injustice that these women faced.”


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