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LAPINA v. WILLIAMS

January 5, 1914

LAPINA
v.
WILLIAMS, COMMISSIONER OF IMMIGRATION



CERTIORARI TO THE CIRCUIT COURT IF APPEALS FOR THE SECOND CIRCUIT

White, McKenna, Holmes, Day, Hughes, Van Devanter, Lamar, Pitney

Author: Pitney

[ 232 U.S. Page 82]

 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

[ 232 U.S. Page 83]

     a man who had promised to marry her, and during the four years immediately following she practiced 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 practiced 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 reentered 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, c. 1134, 34 Stat. 898. 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 practicing 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, 179 Fed.Rep.839). The present writ of certiorari

[ 232 U.S. Page 84]

     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.*fn1 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. 1213, c. 1012). The Circuit Court of Appeals in the present case followed its own decision in Taylor v. United States, 152 Fed. Rep. 1, which was based upon the act of

[ 232 U.S. Page 851903]

     , and in which it was held that while the provisions of the act of March 3, 1891 (26 Stat. 1084, c. 551) 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, ...


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