Zachary New


This Article examines the effects of the good-moral-character requirement in naturalization proceedings. Specifically, it looks to such character requirements as a method by which a citizen polity screens out undesirable noncitizens from those who are deserving of inclusion in the "in"g roup of citizenship. The Article discusses historical methods of good-moral-character adjudication, and especially how such methods carried an undercurrent of forgiveness and redemption-an undercurrent lacking in the current method of statutory bars to showings of good moral character. By looking at specific examples of statutory bars to showings of good moral character, this Article argues that the overinclusive nature of these statutory bars, combined with the rigidity of the enumerated list of statutory bars, renders the current test ineffective at screening undesirable noncitizens from desirable noncitizens and precludes the naturalization of a vast population of otherwise deserving intending immigrants.