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The Politics of Armenian Migration to North America, 1885-1915Sojourners, Smugglers and Dubious Citizens$
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David Gutman

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9781474445245

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: May 2020

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9781474445245.001.0001

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Dubious Citizens

Dubious Citizens

(p.121) 5 Dubious Citizens
The Politics of Armenian Migration to North America, 1885-1915

David Gutman

Edinburgh University Press

This chapter examines the politics of Armenian return migration in both the Ottoman Empire and United States between 1890 and 1908. In the mid-1890s, allegations of Ottoman mistreatment of returning Armenians who had naturalized as US citizens while abroad caused a major diplomatic row between the two states. Over the course of the late-1890s, harnessing the growing anti-immigrant sentiment in the US, Ottoman diplomatic officials successfully convinced the US government to grant Istanbul wide latitude in handling the return of Armenians who claimed US citizenship. By the start of the twentieth century, the convergence of Ottoman and US policies on Armenian return resulted in returnees losing the protections of citizenship and rendering them vulnerable to imprisonment and deportation from the empire.

Keywords:   citizenship, deportation, return migration, naturalisation, restrictionism, Chinese Exclusion, denaturalisation

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