This article examines the Philippine Commonwealth Government’s role in the success of the 1946 Luce-Celler Act’s provisions making Filipina/os eligible for US citizenship. It argues that Philippine officials at Manila adopted the legislative cause as part of their broader preparations for Philippine independence. They recognized that Filipina/o American communities would be vital to the state-building projects that followed independence, particularly through the remittances they sent back to the islands. Through this support of naturalization rights, Manila officials sought to inculcate in Filipina/o Americans a sense of responsibility to the islands that transcended formal citizenship. A centering of Manila’s role in the Washington-based naturalization campaign reveals Philippine officials’ instrumental understanding of the US citizenship bill as a means to achieve their own national goals. More broadly, it foregrounds decolonization and the dismantling of formal empire as important levers of US exclusion repeal toward Asian peoples.

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