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Perkins v. Elg (1939)

This case involved Marie Elizabeth Elg, who was born in the United States in 1907 to Swedish parents and raised in Sweden. When she turned 21 she acquired a U.S. passport and returned to live in the United States. Later, the U. S. government tried to deport her, claiming that under Swedish law she had become a Swedish citizen when she and her parents returned to Sweden. The U. S. Supreme Court ruled unanimously that Elg was in fact a U. S. citizen because her parents’ action did not take away her right to reclaim U. S. citizenship when she reached her majority. While this is not technically a dual citizenship case (since Elg did not try to maintain her Swedish citizenship), it nonetheless was important for those who did not wish to lose their right to U. S. citizenship through no fault of their own.

Inside Perkins v. Elg (1939)