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Focusing on different documents regimes in U.S. citizenship history, Beatrice McKenzie in chapter 6 reveals that applicants’ race, gender, and social class have long affected their ability to be recognized as U.S. citizens. A belief in the fraudulence of Chinese Americans’ claims to citizenship, for example, led to a documents regime that lasted from 1881 to 1947. Applicants’ gender led to a regime based on marriage certificates for U.S.-born women who married foreign men between 1907 and 1922, and decades longer for wives of Chinese and Japanese nationals. In their implementation of documents regimes, U.S. officials believe in their abilities to recognize a citizen. A documents regime in existence at the start of the twenty-first century for citizen claims of children born abroad of unmarried mothers and fathers relies as much on what the consular officials “know” about the parents as on the documents required to prove citizenship.

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