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[Congressional Record: July 22, 2002 (House)]
[Page H4992-H4994]
From the Congressional Record Online via GPO Access []


  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. 

                             General Leave

  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?

[[Page H4993]]

  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 
national family.

                              {time}  1430

  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 
may consume.
  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 
a tribute.
  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 
the Union.
  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

[[Page H4994]]

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 
may consume.
  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.