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KWONG HAI CHEW v. COLDING ET AL.

decided: February 9, 1953.

KWONG HAI CHEW
v.
COLDING ET AL.



CERTIORARI TO THE UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE SECOND CIRCUIT.

Vinson, Black, Reed, Frankfurter, Douglas, Jackson, Burton, Clark, Minton

Author: Burton

[ 344 U.S. Page 591]

 MR. JUSTICE BURTON delivered the opinion of the Court.

A preliminary consideration that is helpful to the solution of this litigation is whether, under 8 CFR § 175.57 (b),*fn1 the Attorney General has authority to deny to a lawful permanent resident of the United States,

[ 344 U.S. Page 592]

     who is an alien continuously residing and physically present therein, the opportunity to be heard in opposition to an order for his "permanent exclusion" and consequent deportation, provided the Attorney General determines that the order is based on information of a confidential nature, the disclosure of which would be prejudicial to the public interest. Assuming, as seems to be clear, that the Attorney General does not have such authority, the critical issue then presented is whether he has that authority under the following additional circumstances: the resident alien is a seaman, he currently maintains his residence in the United States and usually is physically present there, however, he is returning from a voyage as a seaman on a vessel of American registry with its home port in the United States, that voyage has included scheduled calls at foreign ports in the Far East, and he is detained on board by order of the Attorney General. For the reasons hereafter stated, we hold that these additional circumstances do not change the result and that the Attorney General does not have the authority suggested.

Petitioner, Kwong Hai Chew, is a Chinese seaman last admitted to the United States in 1945. Thereafter, he married a native American and bought the home in which they reside in New York. Having proved his good moral character for the preceding five years, petitioner secured suspension of his deportation. In 1949, he was admitted to permanent residence in the United

[ 344 U.S. Page 593]

     States as of January 10, 1945.*fn2 In World War II, he served with credit in the United States Merchant Marine. He never has had any difficulty with governmental authorities. In April, 1950, he filed a petition for naturalization

[ 344 U.S. Page 594]

     which is still pending. In November, 1950, he was screened and passed by the Coast Guard for employment as a seaman on a merchant vessel.*fn3 In the same month he signed articles of employment as chief steward on the S. S. Sir John Franklin, a vessel of American registry with its home port in New York City. The voyage was to include calls at several foreign ports in the Far East. He remained aboard the vessel on this voyage but, at San Francisco, in March, 1951, the immigration

[ 344 U.S. Page 595]

     inspector ordered him "temporarily excluded," under 8 CFR § 175.57, as an alien whose entry was deemed ...


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