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CHANG CHAN V. NAGLE, 268 U. S. 346 (1925)

U.S. Supreme Court

Chang Chan v. Nagle, 268 U.S. 346 (1925)

Chang Chan v. Nagle

No. 11

Argued October 5, 1923

Decided May 25, 1925

268 U.S. 346


1. Chinese women, being themselves ineligible to citizenship, do not become citizens of the United States by marrying American citizens. Rev.Stats. § 2169; Act of Sept. 22, 1922, c. 411, 42 Stat. 1022. P. 268 U. S. 351.

2. Chinese women who, before the date of the Immigration Act of 1924, married American citizens of the Chinese race permanently domiciled in this country were debarred by the Act from coming here to join their husbands (no treaty right being involved), since §13(c) forbids admission of aliens ineligible to citizenship, with certain exceptions which do not include such wives. P. 268 U. S. 352.

Page 268 U. S. 347

3. Such Chinese wives, coming here to join their husbands, are immigrants as defined by § 3 of the Act. P. 268 U. S. 352.

4. That consular officers must issue them visas does not signify that such wives must be admitted in view of § 2(g) of the Act, expressly declaring that an immigration visa shall not entitle an immigrant to enter if, upon arrival, he is found inadmissible under the immigration laws. Id.

5. The provision of § 4 of the Immigration Act, 1924, classifying wives and minor children of citizens of the United States residing here, etc., as nonquota immigrants cannot be incorporated among the exceptions of § 13(c) upon the theory that it was omitted by oversight. Id.

6. The hardships of a case, and suppositions of what is rational and consistent in immigration policy, cannot justify a court in departing from the plain terms of an immigration act. P. 268 U. S. 353.

Question certified by the circuit court of appeals arising upon appeal of a decision of the district court (see Ex parte Chan Shee, 2 F.2d 998) refusing relief by habeas corpus to the appellants, who were the husbands of four Chinese women detained by the immigration authorities, and the wives themselves.

Page 268 U. S. 350

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