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First Nations, French Canadians & Acadians

Legal Fight to Determine if Indian is “Foreign” (1927) | Surnames: Diabo


Philadelphia, Jan. 6 (AP) – A legal battle to determine whether the American Indian is a “foreigner” starts in the Federal District Court today.

An application for habeas corpus is to be filed in the case of Paul Diabo, an Iroquois, of the Caughnawaga Reservation in Canada, and not only the Iroquois, but the whole “six nations” were said to be deeply interested in the outcome. A fund to carry the case to the United States Supreme Court, if necessary, was said to have been raised by the Iroquois.

Diabo was arrested in March, 1926, charged with entering this country without a passport, He was reported to have been earning $70 a week as a structural engineer in this city, but the immigration authorities contended he was likely to “become a public charge” and ordered his deportation.

Last week Adrian Bonnelly, counsel for the Iroquois Nation, argued the case in Washington before the secretary of labor’s board of review. The board held that Diabo was an alien.

Then Mr. Bonnelly announced that he would produce the Indian at the office of the commissioner of immigration here today for deportation and would at the same time file application for a writ of habeas corpus. This procedure, the attorney said, would remove his client from the jurisdiction of the immigration authorities and place him under the United States District Court.

Until 1924, Mr. Bonnelly said, the Iroquois Indians had been permitted by treaty from the earliest history to cross the Canadian border at will.

“Since the ruling subjecting them to the immigration act of 1924,” he added, “a program of humiliation of the Indians had been carried out. My one purpose in this case is to establish once and for all the right of the Indian to enter his native land.

Reading Eagle, Jan. 6, 1927



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February 1, 2019 - Posted by | . | , , , ,

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