228 U.S. 585 (1913), 239, Bugajewitz v. Adams

Docket Nº:No. 239
Citation:228 U.S. 585, 33 S.Ct. 607, 57 L.Ed. 978
Party Name:Bugajewitz v. Adams
Case Date:May 12, 1913
Court:United States Supreme Court

Page 585

228 U.S. 585 (1913)

33 S.Ct. 607, 57 L.Ed. 978




No. 239

United States Supreme Court

May 12, 1913

Submitted April 21, 1913




Congress has power to order the deportation of aliens whose presence in the country it deems hurtful, and this applies to prostitutes regardless of the time they have been here.

The determination of whether an alien falls within the class that Congress had declared to be undesirable, by facts which might constitute a crime under local law, is not a conviction of crime, nor is deportation a punishment.

Page 586

The prohibition of ex post facto laws in Art. I, § 9 of the federal Constitution has no application to the deportation of aliens.

There is a distinction between the words "as provided" and "in the manner provided;" the former may be controlled by an express limitation in the statute, while the latter must not be so controlled, and so held that the limitation in § 3 of the Act of February 20, 1907, was stricken out by the Act of February 26, 1910, notwithstanding a reference in the latter act to a section in the former act in which the limitation was referred to.

The facts, which involve the power of Congress to deport aliens and the construction of the Acts of Congress relating to deportation of alien prostitutes, are stated in the opinion.

Page 590

HOLMES, J., lead opinion

MR. JUSTICE HOLMES delivered the opinion of the Court.

This is an appeal from an order discharging a writ of habeas corpus and remanding the petitioner to custody. The ground of the appeal is that the Act of March 26, 1910, c. 128, § 2, 36 Stat. 263, 265, relied on as authority for the arrest, impairs the petitioner's constitutional rights. It appears from the petition and the return to the writ that the petitioner is an alien; that she entered the United States not later than January 4, 1905, and that she was arrested on August 3, 1910, on an order of the Acting Secretary of Commerce and Labor, directing the Immigrant Inspector to take her into custody, and to grant her a hearing to show cause why she should not be deported. The order recited that she was then a prostitute and inmate of a house of prostitution, and that she was a prostitute at the time of entry, and entered the United States for the purpose of prostitution or for an immoral purpose. The answer to the return...

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