194 U.S. 279 (1904), 661, Turner v. Williams

Docket Nº:No. 661
Citation:194 U.S. 279, 24 S.Ct. 719, 48 L.Ed. 979
Party Name:Turner v. Williams
Case Date:May 16, 1904
Court:United States Supreme Court
 
FREE EXCERPT

Page 279

194 U.S. 279 (1904)

24 S.Ct. 719, 48 L.Ed. 979

Turner

v.

Williams

No. 661

United States Supreme Court

May 16, 1904

Argued April 6-7, 1904

APPEAL FROM THE CIRCUIT COURT OF THE UNITED

STATES FOR THE SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF NEW YORK

Syllabus

Congress has power to exclude aliens from, and to prescribe the conditions on which they may enter, the United States; to establish regulations for deporting aliens who have illegally entered, and to commit the enforcements of such conditions and regulations to executive officers. Deporting, pursuant to law, an alien who has illegally entered the United States does not deprive him of his liberty without due process of law.

The Alien Immigration Act of March, 1903, 32 Stat. 1213, does not violate the federal Constitution, nor are its provisions as to the exclusion of aliens who are anarchists, unconstitutional.

A board of inquiry and the Secretary of Commerce and Labor having found that an alien immigrant was an anarchist within the meaning of the Alien

Page 280

Immigration Act of March 3, 1903, and there being evidence on which to base this conclusion, his exclusion, or his deportation after having unlawfully entered the country within the period prescribed pursuant to the provisions of the act, will not be reviewed on the facts.

John Turner filed in the United States Circuit Court for the Southern District of New York, October 26, 1903, a petition alleging --

First. That, on October 23, in the City of New York, your relator was arrested by divers persons claiming to be acting by authority of the government of the United States, and was by said persons conveyed to the United States immigration station at Ellis Island, in the harbor of New York, and is now there imprisoned by the Commissioner of Immigration of the port of New York.

Second. Your relator is so imprisoned by virtue of a warrant sworn out by the Secretary of the Department of Commerce and Labor, which warrant charges your relator with being an anarchist, and being unlawfully within the United States, in violation of section 2 and section 20 of the immigration laws of the United States, as amended by Act of March 3, 1903.

[24 S.Ct. 720]

Third. Upon information and belief, that a special board of inquiry, consisting of Charles Semsey, Captain Weldon, supervising inspector, and L. C. Stewart, all of whom are executive officers of the United States, has inquired into your relator's case, and decided that your relator is an anarchist, and is in the United States in violation of law, within the meaning of the Act of March 3, 1903.

Fourth. Your relator denies that he is an anarchist within the meaning of the immigration laws of the United States, and states to the court that about six years ago, he took out his first papers of application for citizenship in this country, and that he has at no times been engaged as a propagandist of doctrines inciting to, or advising, violent overthrow of government, but for about six years last past he has been the paid organizer of the retail clerks of Great Britain, and his business

Page 281

in this country is solely to promote the interests of organized labor, and that he has at all times conducted himself as a peaceful and law-abiding citizen.

By reason of all of which facts, your relator says that his imprisonment is illegal, in that he is being deprived of his liberty without due process of law and is being denied equal protection of the laws, contrary to the Constitution and laws of the United States.

And praying for a writ of habeas corpus to the Commissioner of Immigration of the port of New York, and also for a writ of certiorari to bring up the record of the board of inquiry which adjudged him to be an anarchist and in the United States in violation of the immigration laws. The commissioner made return under oath, and also certified the record of the board of inquiry.

The return stated --

That the above-named John Turner is an alien, a subject of the Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland; that said alien came to the United States from England on or about ten days prior to October 24, 1903, as deponent is informed and believes.

Said John Turner was arrested in the City of New York on or about October 23, 1903, under a warrant issued by the Secretary of the Department of Commerce and Labor of the United States, and was taken to the Ellis Island immigration station, where he was examined by a board of special inquiry, duly constituted according to law, upon his right to remain in this country, and that said alien was, by said board, found to be an alien anarchist, and was, by unanimous decision of said board, ordered to be deported to the country from whence he came, as a person within the United States in violation of law. That on October 26, 1903, said alien appealed from the said decision of the board of special inquiry to the Secretary of Commerce and Labor, who dismissed the appeal, and directed that said alien be deported to the country from whence he came, upon the ground that said alien is an anarchist

Page 282

and a person who disbelieves in, and who is opposed to, all organized government, and was found to be in the United States in violation of law.

That annexed hereto is a copy of the above mentioned warrant for the arrest and deportation of said John Turner, and copies of the minutes of said hearing before the board of special inquiry, and a copy of the order or decision of the Secretary of Commerce and Labor dismissing said appeal, and again directing deportation. That said John Turner is now held in deponent's custody at the Ellis Island immigration station, pending deportation to the country from whence he came, in accordance with the above-mentioned decision or order of the Secretary of Commerce and Labor.

The warrant issued by the Secretary was addressed to certain United States immigrant inspectors, and recited that, from the proofs submitted, the Secretary was satisfied that Turner, an alien anarchist, came into this country contrary to the prohibition of the Act of Congress of March 3, 1903, and commanded them to take him into custody, and return him to the country from whence he came at the expense of the United States. On appeal to the Secretary, the record of proceedings before the board of inquiry was transmitted, and the Secretary held:

The evidence shows that the appellant declined to give exact information as to the manner in which he secured admission to this country, although he swears that he arrived here about ten days ago. He admits that he is an anarchist and an advocate of anarchistic principles, which brings him within the class defined by section 38 of the Act approved March 3, 1903. In view of these facts, the appeal is dismissed, and you are directed to deport the said John Turner, in conformity with warrant now in your hands for execution.

The hearing before the board of inquiry was had October 24, 1903, and it appeared...

To continue reading

FREE SIGN UP