218 F.2d 316 (2nd Cir. 1954), 121, United States v. Shaughnessy

Docket Nº:121, 23298.
Citation:218 F.2d 316
Party Name:UNITED STATES of America ex rel. LEONG CHOY MOON, Relator-Appellant, v. Edward J. SHAUGHNESSY, District Director of the Immigration and Naturalization Service for the District of New York, Respondent-Appellee.
Case Date:December 23, 1954
Court:United States Courts of Appeals, Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit
 
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Page 316

218 F.2d 316 (2nd Cir. 1954)

UNITED STATES of America ex rel. LEONG CHOY MOON, Relator-Appellant,

v.

Edward J. SHAUGHNESSY, District Director of the Immigration and Naturalization Service for the District of New York, Respondent-Appellee.

Nos. 121, 23298.

United States Court of Appeals, Second Circuit.

December 23, 1954

Argued Nov. 12, 1954.

Page 317

Spar, Schlem & Burroughs, New York City (Charles Spar, New York City, of counsel), for relator-appellant.

J. Edward Lumbard, U.S. Atty. for Southern Dist. of N.Y., New York City (Matthew A. Campbell, Asst. U.S. Atty., New York City, and Lester Friedman, Attorney, Immigration and Naturalization Service, United States Department of Justice, of counsel), for respondent-appellee.

Before CLARK, Chief Judge, and FRANK and HARLAN, Circuit Judges.

HARLAN, Circuit Judge.

The appellant is an admittedly deportable alien. 1 After a warrant of deportation had been issued directing his deportation to the mainland of China, which is under the control of the Chinese Communist Government, the appellant applied to the Attorney General for a stay of deportation on the ground that if deported to that country he would be subjected to physical persecution. That application was made under § 243(h) of the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1952, 8 U.S.C.A. § 1253(h), which provides: 'The Attorney General is authorized to withhold deportation of any alien within the United States to any country in which in his opinion the alien would be subject to physical persecution and for such period of time as he deems to be necessary for such reason.' The application was heard by an Immigration hearing officer, the record then being sent to the Acting Assistant Commissioner, Border Patrol, Detention and Deportation Division, the official duly delegated by the Attorney General to act upon such matters. The application was denied. There followed the issuance of a writ of habeas corpus which was argued before the District Court upon the administrative record, no other evidence being presented on behalf of the deportee. The District Court dismissed the writ without opinion, giving rise to this appeal.

The appellant's principal contention is that the administrative determination that he would not be subject to physical persecution if deported to Communist China was arbitrary and capricious, in that it ignored the evidence of appellant's

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anti-Communism, had no factual support in the record, and was contrary to the announced views of the Immigration authorities in their administration of the Displaced Persons Act of 1948. 2

In the field of immigration and nationality Congress has vested the executive branch of the Government with wide discretionary powers, and the scope of judicial review is closely circumscribed. In particular, we have held that under § 243(h) the question of whether deportation should be withheld because an alien fears persecution rests solely with the Attorney General or his delegate. United States ex rel. Dolenz v. Shaughnessy, 2 Cir., 1953, 206 F.2d 392. We there pointed out that whereas the comparable section in the predecessor statute, § 23, Internal Security Act of 1950, 64 Stat. 1010, required withholding the deportation of any alien to any country in which the Attorney General 'shall find' that such alien would be subjected to physical persecution, present § 243(h) modified that provision so as simply to authorize the Attorney General to withhold deportation to any country in which 'in his opinion' the alien would be subjected to such persecution. We found in this change of language a clear indication that Congress intended the withholding of deportation in such circumstances United States ex rel. Dolenz v. Shaughnessy, judgment and 'opinion' of the Attorney General or his delegate.' United States ex rel. Dolenz v. Shaughnexxy, supra, 206 F.2d at page 394. This is not to say that the courts may not intervene when an alien has been denied appropriate procedural due process or a fair consideration of his application. But we are presented with nothing of that kind...

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