Anna Lapina v. William Williams

Decision Date05 January 1914
Docket NumberNo. 7,7
Citation232 U.S. 78,34 S.Ct. 196,58 L.Ed. 515
PartiesANNA LAPINA, Petitioner, v. WILLIAM WILLIAMS, Commissioner of Immigration
CourtU.S. Supreme Court

Mr. William Hawkins for petitioner.

Assistant Attorney General Denison and Mr. Francis H. McAdoo for respondent

[Argument of Counsel from pages 79-82 intentionally omitted] Mr. Justice Pitney delivered the opinion of the court:

The petitioner, an unmarried woman and a native of Russia, came to the United States in the year 1897 or 1898, at the age of about twelve years, accompanied by a man who had promised to marry her, and during the four years immediately following she practised prostitution in the city of New York, and supported her companion with the proceeds of her prostitution; she then left that city, and thereafter continuously practised prostitution in various parts of the United States, including different towns and cities in the states of Washington, Arizona, and Texas. In the month of March, 1908, she returned to Russia for the purpose of visiting her mother, intending at the same time to return to this country; she re-entered the United States at the port of New York in June, 1908, accompanied by her mother, at which time petitioner falsely represented, for the purpose of facilitating her landing, that she was Mrs. Joseph Fiore, and the wife of an American citizen; at the time of this, her second entry, she intended to continue the practice of prostitution in the United States, and almost immediately upon being admitted she engaged in that practice, and was continually engaged in it until September 21, 1909, on which date she was arrested in a house of prostitution in Phoenix, Arizona, upon a warrant of arrest duly issued by the Acting Secretary of Commerce and Labor under the provisions of the immigration act of February 20, 1907 (34 Stat. at L. 898, chap. 1134, U. S. Comp. Stat. Supp. 1911, p. 499). Upon a hearing properly accorded to her, the foregoing facts were established, and an order of deportation was made upon the ground that she was a prostitute, and was such at the time of her entry into the United States; that she entered the United States for the purpose of prostitution; and that she had been found an inmate of a house of prostitution and practising the same within three years after her entry. She obtained a writ of habeas corpus, which, after a hearing, was dismissed by the district court for the southern district of New York. Upon appeal, the circuit court of appeals affirmed the order of dismissal (sub nom. Ex parte Hoffman, 103 C. C. A. 327, 179 Fed. 839). The present writ of cer- tiorari was then allowed because of the division of judicial opinion upon the question presented, which is whether the provisions of the immigration act of 1907 respecting admission and deportation apply to an alien such as the petitioner, who, having remained in this country for more than three years (in this instance for more than ten years), after first entry, and having gone abroad for a temporary purpose and with the intention of returning, again seeks and gains admittance into the United States.

The pertinent provisions of the act of 1907 are set forth in the margin. So far as the present question is concerned, the act is not materially different from—certainly not less stringent than the act of March 3, 1903 (32 Stat. at L. 1213, chap. 1012). The circuit court of appeals in the present case followed its own decision in Taylor v. United States, 81 C. C. A. 197, 152 Fed. 1, which was based upon the act of

Sec. 2. That the following classes of aliens shall be excluded from admission into the United States: . . . prostitutes, or women or girls coming into the United States for the purpose of prostitution, or for any other immoral purpose; . . .

Sec. 3. . . . any alien woman or girl who shall be found an inmate of a house of prostitution or practising prostitution, at any time within three years after she shall have entered the United States, shall be deemed to be unlawfully within the United States, and shall be deported as provided by sections twenty and twenty-one of this act.

Sec. 20. That any alien who shall enter the United States in violation of law, . . . shall, upon the warrant of the Secretary of Commerce and Labor, be taken into custody and deported to the country whence he came at any time within three years after the date of his entry into the United States.

Sec. 21. That in case the Secretary of Commerce and Labor shall be satisfied that an alien has been found in the United States in violation of this act, or that an alien is subject to deportation under the provisions of this act or of any law of the United States, he shall cause such alien, within the period of three years after landing or entry therein, to be taken into custody and returned to the country whence he came, as provided by section twenty of this act 1903, and in which it was held that while the provisions of the act of March 3, 1891 (26 Stat. at L. 1084, chap. 551, U. S. Comp. Stat. 1901, p. 1294), had been construed as restricted to 'alien immigrants,' the act of 1903 had been so framed as to cover aliens, whether immigrants or not. In behalf of the petitioner it is contended that the court erred in its judgment as to the purpose of Congress in modifying the language of previous acts on adopting the revision of 1903, and that this act and the act of 1907, as well as those that preceded them, when properly construed, refer to 'alien immigrants' exclusively.

The Acts of 1903 and 1907 being revisions or compilations (with some modifications) of previous acts pertaining to the same general subject-matter, a reference list, in chronological order, is for convenience set forth in the margin.

Immigration Acts.

Rev. Stat. title, 'Immigration,' §§ 2158-2164, U. S. Comp. Stat. 1901, pp. 1280-1286.

'An Act Supplementary to the Acts in Relation to Lmmigration,' approved March 3, 1875 (18 Stat. at L. 477, chap. 141, U. S. Comp. Stat. 1901, p. 1285).

'An Act to Regulate Immigration,' approved August 3, 1882 (22 Stat. at L. 214, chap. 376, U. S. Comp. Stat. 1901, p. 1288).

'An Act to Prohibit the Importation and Migration of Foreigners and Aliens under Contract or Agreement to Perform Labor in the United States, its Territories, and the District of Columbia,' approved February 26, 1885 (23 Stat. at L. 332, chap. 164, U. S. Comp. Stat. 1901, p. 1290).

'An Act to Amend an Act to Prohibit the Importation and Immigration of Foreigners and Aliens under Contract or Agreement to Perform Labor in the United States, its Territories, and the District of Columbia,' approved February 23, 1887 (24 Stat. at L. 414, chap. 220).

'An Act Making Appropriations to Supply Deficiencies,' etc., approved October 19, 1888, containing clauses amending acts of February 26, 1885, and of February 23, 1887 (25 Stat. at L. 566, 567, chap. 1210, U. S. Comp. Stat. 1901, p. 1294).

'An Act in Amendment to the Various Acts Relative to Immigration and the Importation of Aliens under Contract or Agreement to Perform Labor,' approved March 3, 1891 (26 Stat. at L. 1084, chap. 551, U. S. Comp. Stat. 1901, p. 1294).

'An Act to Facilitate the Enforcement of the Immigration and Contract-Labor Laws of the United States,' approved March 3, 1893 (27 Stat. at L. 569, chap. 206, U. S. Comp. Stat. 1901, p. 1300).

'An Act Making Appropriations for Sundry Civil Expenses,' etc., approved August 18, 1894, containing clauses amending immigration laws (28 Stat. at L. 390, 391, chap. 301, U. S. Comp. Stat. 1901, pp. 1303, 2459).

'An Act to Regulate the Immigration of Aliens into the United States,' approved March 3, 1903 (32 Stat. at L. 1213, chap. 1012).

'An Act to Regulate the Immigration of Aliens into the United States,' approved February 20, 1907 (34 Stat. at L. 898, chap. 1134, U. S. Comp. Stat. Supp. 1911, p. 499).

'An Act to Amend an Act Entitled, 'An Act to Regulate the Immigration of Aliens into the United States,' Approved February Twentieth, Nineteen Hundred and Seven,' approved March 26, 1910 (36 Stat. at L. 263, chap. 128, U. S. Comp. Stat. Supp. 1911, p. 501).

In a number of cases in the Federal district and circuit cours, it was held that the provisions of the act of March 3, 1891, and the acts that preceded it, relating to the exclusion and deportation of persons arriving in the United States from foreign countries, were confined in their operation to 'alien immigrants;' and that this term did not include aliens previously resident in this country, who had temporarily departed with the intention of returning. Re Panzara (1892) 51 Fed. 275; Re Martorelli (1894) 63 Fed. 437; Re Maiola (1895) 67 Fed. 114; Re Ota (1899) 96 Fed. 487. The same view was expressed by the circuit court of appeals for the ninth circuit in Moffit v. United States (1904) 63 C. C. A. 117, 128 Fed. 375.

Upon the reasoning and authority of these cases, a similar construction was given to the act of 1903 in United States v. Aultman Co. (1906) 143 Fed. 922 (affirmed by the circuit court of appeals, 79 C. C. A. 457, 148 Fed. 1022), the attention of the court apparently not having been directed to the question whether any significant change had been made in the law by the revision of 1903.

But in Taylor v. United States (1907) 81 C. C. A. 197, 152 Fed. 1, which was a review by the circuit court of appeals for the second circuit of a judgment of conviction upon an indictment for a misdemeanor for permitting an alien sailor to land in New York, contrary to § 18 of the act of 1903, which made it the duty of the owners, officers, and agents of any vessel bringing an alien to the United States to adopt due precautions to prevent the landing of any such alien, etc., the court reviewed the changes made by Congress in the revision of 1903, 'following decisions of the courts which tended to relax the provisions of earlier acts,' and, finding that § 18 of the act of 1903 substantially re-enacted a part of §...

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