Friday, July 15, 2016

Born in the USA

As noted in yesterday's post, Francisco Suastegui married Laura Vasquez in Tucson, Arizona on 16 October 1907. Laura was the daughter of noted carriage maker Adolfo Vasquez and Amelia Heras, and she was born in Phoenix, Arizona on 6 October 1889. Her father became a US citizen on 2 July 1890. She was American, first generation born in the US.

For some reason, the act of marrying Mexican citizen Francisco Suastegui seems to have caused an issue for Laura's US citizenship, as she had to apply to regain her citizenship later in life. She appears throughout the US border crossing records over the years, but not as a US citizen. I haven't looked into how the immigration laws of the day might have caused this confusion, but it seems odd.

Laura filed her petition for naturalization on 24 April 1950, seven years after returning to reside permanently in the US. I wonder what caused her to have to do this, when she was a natural born citizen and should never have been considered an alien.

A July 1936 border crossing entry lists Laura as a Mexican citizen, although clearly she had listed her place of birth as Phoenix, Arizona on the form. On this particular visit she was returning to visit her mother.

Laura's 1911 US border crossing record also lists her as a Mexican citizen but born in the US. She had been living in Hermosillo, Sonora with husband Francisco Suastegui for over a year.

In the 1910 US Census, taken in April 1910, Laura and daughter Amelia Suastegui appear in the household of Laura's parents Adolfo and Amelia living in Tucson. 1910 was a tumultuous time in Mexico, and perhaps Francisco Suastegui was working in Hermosillo or perhaps in military service at the time.

Laura's 1919 US border crossing record shows the family was moving to Nogales, Arizona. She listed the purpose was to reside permanently. On the question for ever in the US, and period, she listed "Yes, all my life".

The family later moved to Washington DC when Francisco was placed in the Mexican Embassy.

After the death of her husband Francisco in 1954, Laura took a trip to the UK with her daughter Amelia and son-in-law Frank Vasquez (son of her brother Raul Vasquez). The ship arrived in Plymouth, England on 20 April 1956 from New York on the SS Ile de France. Laura is listed as a US citizen, traveling under a US Passport. Her occupation was listed as hotel operator. They spent two months in the UK.

The return trip was on the SS Ile de France, sailing out of Le Havre, France on 21 June 1956. They arrived back in New York on 28 June 1956. One month later this ship would be involved in a famous rescue operation involving the Andrea Doria in the North Atlantic.

The luxury ocean liner SS Ile de France is also known as the first ship to bring Brie cheese to the US.
SS Ile de France. Source:
Laura Vasquez de Suastegui died on 18 January 1980 in Tucson, Arizona.

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