100 years later, Minnesota woman's citizenship restored - KMSP-TV

100 years later, Minnesota woman's citizenship restored

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ST. PAUL, Minn. (KMSP) -

Elsie Knutson Moren was born on Minnesota’s Iron Range in Skibo Township, but after marrying a legal Swedish immigrant, she had her U.S. citizenship taken away due to the Expatriation Act of 1907.

When women gained the right to vote in 1920, she did not get to participate in the election.

Congress repealed the act in 1940, but did not reinstate the rights of women affected by the law. Her grandson, Daniel Swalm of Minneapolis, worked to bring attention to the issue.

Sen. Al Franken and Sen. Ron Johnson worked together to introduce a bipartisan resolution honoring women harmed by the Expatriation Act of 1907 and express the regret for the injustice they faced. Though Moren died in 1926 due to childbirth complications, she has now regained her rights.

"On behalf of all those who have their own Grandma Elsie story in their family history, I want to extend a heartfelt thank you to Senator Franken, Senator Johnson and all of the members of the Senate who joined in passing this resolution by unanimous consent," said Swalm in a press release in early May when the resolution passed.

"When I started this quest a year and half ago, I never dreamed we would be here today. Shepherding this resolution through the Senate and achieving justice for Elsie and her forgotten sisters is the most important thing I have ever done in my life. It was truly a calling from a power greater than myself to serve as the catalyst for the making of these historical amends. I am honored and humbled by the Senate's action. Thank you,” Swalm added.

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