[Congressional Record: July 22, 2002 (House)]
From the Congressional Record Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]
CONFERRING HONORARY CITIZENSHIP ON THE MARQUIS DE LAFAYETTE
Mr. SENSENBRENNER. Mr. Speaker, I move to suspend the rules and pass
the Senate joint resolution (S.J. Res. 13) conferring honorary
citizenship of the United States on Paul Yves Roch Gilbert du Motier,
also known as Marquis de Lafayette, as amended.
The Clerk read as follows:
S.J. Res. 13
Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives of the
United States of America in Congress assembled, That Marie
Joseph Paul Yves Roche Gilbert du Motier, the Marquis de
Lafayette, is proclaimed posthumously to be an honorary
citizen of the United States of America.
The SPEAKER pro tempore. Pursuant to the rule, the gentleman from
Wisconsin (Mr. Sensenbrenner) and the gentlewoman from Texas (Ms.
Jackson-Lee) each will control 20 minutes.
The Chair recognizes the gentleman from Wisconsin (Mr.
Mr. SENSENBRENNER. Mr. Speaker, I ask unanimous consent that all
Members may have 5 legislative days within which to revise and extend
their remarks and include extraneous material on S.J. Res. 13.
The SPEAKER pro tempore. Is there objection to the request of the
gentleman from Wisconsin?
There was no objection.
Mr. SENSENBRENNER. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may
Mr. Speaker, Senate Joint Resolution 13 confers honorary U.S.
citizenship on the Marquis de Lafayette in recognition of his many
contributions to and sacrifices for the cause of American independence
and his lifelong crusade for the principles of representative
American citizenship is the highest honor that we as a country can
confer upon the citizen of another country. The granting of honorary
citizenship is the admission and welcoming of that person into our
The granting of honorary U.S. citizenship has only been given to
individuals four times in our history.
The Marquis de Lafayette's role in the fight for this country's
freedom justifies adding the Marquis to this select group of
This resolution acknowledges the many efforts made by the Marquis de
Lafayette that are the basis for granting him honorary United States
Although the Marquis de Lafayette was granted citizenship by Maryland
and Virginia before the Constitution was adopted, it has been
determined that citizenship conferred by those States did not confer
U.S. citizenship on the Marquis.
Because of the many ways in which the Marquis played a major role in
the creation of our great Nation, it is appropriate to bestow the rare
distinction of honorary U.S. citizenship upon the Marquis de Lafayette.
No other foreign national involved in this country's independence
contributed so much to the cause. The Marquis de Lafayette certainly
deserves this tribute for his role in creating a free America.
Unfortunately, the resolution passed by the Senate states the
Marquis's name incorrectly. This motion that I have made amends the
joint resolution to grant honorary citizenship to the real Marquis de
Lafayette and, thus, the resolution must go back to the other body for
its consideration. I hope that the other body will move quickly and not
cause any further delay in granting this much overdue honor to the
Marquis de Lafayette. I urge the House to pass this resolution.
Mr. Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time.
Ms. JACKSON-LEE of Texas. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I
Mr. Speaker, just under a month ago, we celebrated our Independence
Day, when many Americans begin to turn their attention to, again, the
values of this country and the privileges of this country. I took the
opportunity again to reflect upon the Declaration of Independence and
to read about the original signers of that document. It was interesting
to note that most of those who signed, or many of those who signed,
ultimately lost their status and wealth, their land, some of whom lost
their life or their freedom by being incarcerated in prison, some never
to see their family members again. So S.J. Resolution 13 is worthy of
the support of my colleagues in honor of the Marquis de Lafayette.
So I rise today to support this measure conferring honorary
citizenship of the United States on this important historic figure.
Known as Marquis de Lafayette or General Lafayette, he was a soldier
for America's freedom. He gave up a lot: his comfort in France, his
royal birthplace, to help young America battle for independence. He did
something he did not have to do as the original signers of the
Declaration of Independence did as well. So he made a great sacrifice
for this Nation.
In 1777, Lafayette, with a crew of adventurers, set sail for America
to fight in the revolution against the British. Lafayette joined the
ranks as a major general and was assigned to the staff of George
Washington. He served with distinction, leading American forces to
several victories. On a return visit to France in 1779, Lafayette
persuaded the French government to send aid to the Americans. After the
British surrender at Yorktown, Lafayette returned to his home in Paris.
He had become a hero to the new Nation. At home, he cooperated closely
with Ambassadors Benjamin Franklin and then Thomas Jefferson on behalf
of American interests.
The United States has conferred honorary citizenship on four other
occasions in more than 200 years of its independence, and honorary
citizenship is and should remain an extraordinary honor not lightly
conferred, not frequently granted. Whereas the Marquis de Lafayette
voluntarily put forth his own money, gave aid to the United States, and
risked his life for the freedom of Americans, I believe this
distinction is warranted. Particularly in this time, we all realize how
grateful we are for being born in a country that values freedom so
greatly, and for those who fought for that freedom, to make this Nation
an ongoing process in greater freedom for all of its diverse members is
The sentiment that Marquis de Lafayette had toward America is one
Americans should have. Humanity has won its battle. Liberty now has a
Mr. Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time.
Mr. SENSENBRENNER. Mr. Speaker, I yield 3 minutes to the gentleman
from Virginia (Mr. Goode).
Mr. GOODE. Mr. Speaker, I wish to thank the chairman and the ranking
member and all of the members of the Committee on the Judiciary for
their effort on behalf of S.J. Resolution 13.
Inspired by our cause for independence, the Marquis de Lafayette left
his aristocratic life in France to come to revolutionary America. He
landed in Charleston, South Carolina, and he was only 20 years old. One
month later in Philadelphia, he volunteered to serve in the continental
Army at his own expense. Congress gave him the rank of major general.
Two months after his commission, Lafayette was wounded at the Battle
of Brandywine. He spent the winter with George Washington at Valley
Forge. The following summer, he served with distinction at the Battle
of Monmouth, and then at the battle of Newport in Rhode Island.
After going to France for 2 years, he returned to America in 1780 and
was an invaluable aide-de-camp as General Washington and the French
Commander-in-Chief planned a joint campaign. In 1781, Lafayette served
in Virginia, concluding with our victory at Yorktown. He went back to
Then in 1824, Lafayette returned to America and received a hero's
welcome wherever he went. He spent over a year touring all 24 States of
Many of my colleagues have noticed the portrait on the wall here in
the House. It commemorates Lafayette's speech to an 1824 Joint Session
of Congress, the first such address by a foreigner. In November of that
year, Lafayette stayed with President Thomas Jefferson at Monticello in
the fifth district of Virginia. At a banquet at the University of
Virginia held in the Dome Room of UVA's Rotunda, the Marquis was seated
between former presidents Jefferson and James Madison. There proclaimed
Jefferson, referring to the American revolution, ``I merely held the
nail; Lafayette drove it.''
I take these comments to mean that while Jefferson was a crucial
figure in defining the ideals of representative democracy, Lafayette
was a crucial figure in making our democracy politically possible
through securing France's help and winning our independence from Great
Let us now return Lafayette's inestimable favor. Let us concur on the
Marquis de Lafayette honorary citizenship of the United States of
Mr. Speaker, I urge my colleagues to vote in favor of S.J. Resolution
Ms. JACKSON-LEE of Texas. Mr. Speaker, it gives me great pleasure to
yield such time as he might consume to the gentleman from American
Samoa (Mr. Faleomaveaga). We appreciate his friendship and that of the
independent islands which he is representing.
Mr. FALEOMAVAEGA. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentlewoman for yielding
me this time. I certainly want to commend our distinguished chairman of
the Committee on the Judiciary, as well as the gentlewoman from Texas,
for their management of this legislation. I support the proposed
How ironic, Mr. Speaker, that we find here in this hallowed Chamber
only two paintings of two distinguished individuals that have had some
bearing in terms of what we are discussing, the
revolution and the leadership of George Washington. If I am correct,
Mr. Speaker, I believe the other painting that we see here in the
gallery is the Marquis de Lafayette, and I think it bears an
understanding of how distinguished this Frenchman was by demonstrating
his leadership, his courage, and his commitment to our freedoms as a
former colony of the British empire.
I think we have to have a sense of perspective too in terms of the
fact that the French and the British were fighting over the colonial
abilities of themselves in terms of what we were to do, and I wonder,
sometimes, if maybe the French government really had a love or a
greater hatred for the British than they did for the colonialists.
But I do want to honor the Marquis de Lafayette and all that my good
friend, the gentleman from Virginia (Mr. Goode) had spoken about in
terms of his history and his commitment to democracy. I just wish that
perhaps in these days, the Marquis de Lafayette would come and help me
with the fact that the French government had conducted 200 nuclear
testings in the South Pacific that has drastically affected the
environment in this region of the world. I wonder that despite the fact
that 60 percent of the French people were even against nuclear testing,
for which President Chirac has simply broken the moratorium and given
greater pain and feelings of misunderstanding of the people of the
Yes, I do honor the Marquis de Lafayette for what he has done for our
Nation, and for that I want to again thank the gentlewoman from Texas
for giving me this opportunity to pay tribute to this gentleman, and I
support the resolution.
Ms. JACKSON-LEE of Texas. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I
Let me thank the distinguished gentleman from American Samoa. I think
his tribute to the Marquis de Lafayette is to be appreciated, as well
as his concerns that have been expressed.
Let me say to the distinguished chairman of the Committee on the
Judiciary, as I mentioned last week when we were on the floor together,
let me make it very clear that I support enthusiastically this
resolution, and distinguished gentleman from Virginia for putting it
forward. I think it is important that as this bill deals with
citizenship, just to indicate to this House as we begin to finish our
work before a work recess, that there is unfinished business, and I
hope that we can attend to it perspectively, without disrespect to the
present legislation as I rise to support it.
I believe it is important, however, that we find a way to move 245(i)
on, because we have come to this floor and we have modified the status
of children waiting to access citizenship through their parents. We
need to continue moving forward on family reunification and not use the
tragedies of September 11 and the terrorism that we have experienced to
deal with real immigration issues.
I would also hope that one of the groups that we have looked at and
maybe looked over that we can try to address their concerns, and that
is the Haitians, that we can provide legislation to address their
status. Also, I believe that if we did a cultural bill similar to that
done in Ireland, that it would be extremely helpful. We need peace in
Haiti, one of the countries that has the greatest turmoil that is right
outside of our border here in the Western Hemisphere.
So I hope that we will have the opportunity to do that as we move
forward on the Homeland Security Department. I also hope that we will
have an opportunity to focus on making sure that the resources of the
immigration services and enforcement are all kept intact so that we do
not lose sight of diminishing the role that they play in this country,
the good role that they play in this country.
With that, I would ask my colleagues to support S.J. Resolution 13.
Mr. Speaker, I yield back the balance of my time.
Mr. SENSENBRENNER. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself the balance of the
Mr. Speaker, I am really sorry that the gentlewoman from Texas and
the gentleman from American Samoa have brought extraneous issues into
the debate on whether or not we should give honorary citizenship to the
Marquis de Lafayette.
This is really something that is very unique. It probably came about
as a result of an anomaly in our citizenship laws that have been
overlooked for over 200 years, because both Virginia and Maryland,
prior to the adoption of the Constitution, granted the Marquis honorary
citizenship. I think many people had assumed that that grant before the
Constitution was adopted would have sufficed to make sure that his
honorary citizenship was valid in the newly United States of America.
Unfortunately, it was not, and that is why we are here today.
One of the reasons why we have 50 stars in the upper left-hand corner
of our flag rather than the union jack was because of the efforts that
the Marquis made not only militarily during the Revolutionary War, but
in securing the France of Louis the 16th to be on the side of the
American colonists in their fight against Great Britain. Without his
efforts, both on the ground on this side of the Atlantic and
diplomatically in Paris, the revolution may very well have not
So today should be the Marquis de Lafayette's day. I think that we
should have an overwhelming vote in favor of this resolution.
Mr. TOM DAVIS of Virginia. Mr. Speaker, I rise today in support of
S.J. Res. 13 conferring honorary U.S. citizenship on Paul Yves Roch
Gilbert du Motier.
Paul Yves Roch Gilbert du Motier, also known as the Marquis de
Lafayette, risked his life and financial security for the freedom of
Americans. By an Act of Congress, the Marquis de Lafayette was voted to
the rank of Major General, and during the Revolutionary War, General
Lafayette was wounded at the Battle of Brandywine, demonstrating
bravery that forever endeared him to American soldiers. General
Lafayette then provided his devotion to our country further by securing
the help of France in the United States' colonists' fight against Great
Britain, a turning point in the war of independence.
For his unmatched dedication, General Lafayette was the first foreign
dignitary to address Congress, an honor accorded to him upon his return
to the United States in 1824. A portrait of our honored friend hangs in
front of us today in the House Chamber--the only portrait of a non-
American citizen in the Capitol. Mr. Speaker, I rise today to ask my
colleagues to join me in supporting the Honorable Senator from
Virginia's effort to confer honorary citizenship on a great friend of
America, General Lafayette.
Mr. SENSENBRENNER. Mr. Speaker, I yield back the balance of my time.
The SPEAKER pro tempore (Mr. Stearns). The question is on the motion
offered by the gentleman from Wisconsin (Mr. Sensenbrenner) that the
House suspend the rules and pass the Senate joint resolution, S.J. Res.
13, as amended.
The question was taken; and (two-thirds having voted in favor
thereof) the rules were suspended and the Senate joint resolution, as
amended, was passed.
The title of the Senate joint resolution was amended so as to read:
``Joint Resolution conferring honorary citizenship of the United States
posthumously on Marie Joseph Paul Yves Roche Gilbert du Motier, the
Marquis de Lafayette.''.
A motion to reconsider was laid on the table.
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