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United States v. Watkins.

March 11, 1949

UNITED STATES EX REL. KNAUFF
v.
WATKINS.



Author: Chase

Before AUGUSTUS N. HAND, CHASE and FRANK, Circuit Judges.

CHASE, Circuit Judge.

The question which must be answered on this appeal is whether the wife of an American soldier who is a war bride within the purview of Public Law 271 of 1945, 59 Stat. 659, 8 U.S.C.A. § 232, may be denied admission to the United States without a hearing before a Board of Special Inquiry.

The relator-appellant is the lawful wife of Kurt W. Knauff who is a naturalized American citizen now employed in a civilian capacity by the American Army of Occupation in Germany. Mr. Knauff served as a soldier in the armed forces of the United States from November 21, 1942 until he was honorably discharged on January 17, 1946. He married the appellant in Germany on February 28, 1948 after having obtained consent so to do from the Office of the Advocate General of the United States Army at Frankfort-on-the-Main. The appellant, born on January 1, 1915, is a native of Germany who is now stateless and who served in England in the Royal Air Force as a flight sergeant from January 1, 1943 to May 30, 1946 and later was employed in Germany in the Civil Censorship Division and the Signal Division of the United States Army. Her official record in so far as appears is excellent.

She obtained temporary leave from her employment in Germany in June 1948 to enter the United States to apply for naturalization as an American citizen under the provisions of Sec. 312 of the Nationality Act of 1940, 8 U.S.C.A. § 712, and arrived at the Port of New York on an American Army transport on August 14, 1948. After examination she was temporarily excluded by an immigration inspector. Thereafter she was denied further hearing and the exclusion order was made permanent by action of the Attorney General pursuant to the provisions of Sec. 175.57(a) of Title 8 of the Code of Federal Regulations. She has since been detained at Ellis Island for return to Germany. The writ was issued on the application of her husband who came here for that purpose and who has since returned to Germany. It was dismissed after hearing and upon a rehearing the order of dismissal was left unchanged.

Sec. 223 of Title 22 U.S.C.A., 40 Stat. 559, as amended, 55 Stat. 252, provides that: "When the United States is at war or during the existence of the national emergency proclaimed by the President on May 27, 1941 [No. 2487, 50 U.S.C.A.Appendix, note preceding § 1], or as to aliens whenever there exists a state of war between, or among, two or more states, and the President shall find that the interests of the United States require that restricttions and prohibitions in addition to those provided otherwise than by sections 223-226(b) of this title be imposed upon the departure of persons from and their entry into the United States, and shall make public proclamation thereof, it shall, until otherwise ordered by the President or Congress, be unlawful -

"(a) For any alien to depart from or enter or attempt to depart from or enter the United States except under such reasonable rules, regulations, and orders, and subject to such limitations and exceptions as the President shall prescribe; * * *."

On November 14, 1941 the President did, by Proclamation No. 2523, 55 Stat. 1696, impose restrictions and prohibitions in addition to those otherwise provided by law upon the departure of persons from and their entry into the United States which were to remain in force and effect until he otherwise ordered. This proclamation, insofar as now pertinent, provided that, "No alien shall be permitted to enter the United States if it appears to the satisfaction of the Secretary of State that such entry would be prejudicial to the interests of the United States as provided in the rules and regulations hereinbefore authorized to be prescribed by the Secretary of State, with the concurrence of the Attorney General."

Pursuant to the authority thus given them the officials just named did prescribe the rules and regulations which apply to the entry of the appellant and which are to be found in Title 8 of the Code of Federal Regulations Secs. 173.53 and 175.57. In Sec. 175.53 aliens who are excludable are classified in some detail and in Sec. 175.57 it is provided that, "(a) Any alien, even though in possession of a permit to enter, or exempted under §§ 175.41 to 175.63, inclusive, from obtaining a permit to enter, may be excluded temporarily if at the time he applies for admission at a port of entry it appears that he is or may be excludable under one of the categories set forth in § 173.53. The official excluding the alien shall immediately report the facts to the head of his department, who will communicate such report to the Secretary of State. Any alien so temporarily excluded by an official of the Department of Justice shall not be admitted and shall be excluded and deported unless the Attorney General, after consultation with the Secretary of State, is satisfied that the admission of the alien would not be prejudicial to the interests of the United States. Any alien so temporarily excluded by any other official shall not be admitted and shall be excluded and deported unless the Secretary of State is satisfied that the admission of the alien would not be prejudicial to the interests of the United States.

(b) In the case of an alien temporarily excluded by an official of the Department of Justice on the ground that he is, or may be excludable under one or more of the categories set forth in § 175.53, no hearing by a board of special inquiry shall be held until after the case is reported to the Attorney General and such a hearing is directed by the Attorney General or his representative. In any special case the alien may be denied a hearing before a board of special inquiry and an appeal from the decision of that board if the Attorney General determines that he is excludable under one of the categories set forth in § 173.53 on the basis of information of a confidential nature, the disclosure of which would be prejudicial to the public interest."

It was as a result of following the procedure thus provided and the exercise of the authority thus given to the Attorney General that the appellant was excluded and ordered deported to Germany.

Passing for the moment any rights she or her husband may have under the socalled War Brides Act, supra, we hold that the action taken in respect to her was lawful. Sec. 223 of Title 22 U.S.C.A. together with the President's Proclamation pursuant thereto and the rules and regulations promulgated thereunder set up a basis, and the applicable procedure, for the exclusion of aliens in addition to that found in Secs. 136 and 137 of Title 8 U.S.C.A. and the procedure prescribed in Sec. 152 of that Title. It is not claimed, and the claim would clearly be untenable if made, that either Sec. 136 or 137 applies and neither does Sec. 152, either by statute or by the President's Proclamation, where, as here, the exclusion is "on the basis of information of a confidential nature, the disclosure of which would be prejudicial to the public interest."

Thus it was provided that, as was done in this instance, an alien who sought entry to the United States could be temporarily excluded by any official of the Department of Justice and could not be admitted but must be excluded permanently and deported unless after the temporary action had been reported to the Secretary of State the Attorney General was satisfied that the admission of the alien would not be prejudicial to the interests of the United States. And the Attorney General could reach the conclusion that he was satisfied that the alien should be admitted only after he had consulted the Secretary of State. There is no requirement, however, that the Attorney General need consult the Secretary of State in the event that he is not satisfied that the alien may be admitted without prejudice to the public interest. In this instance it does not appear whether the Attorney General did consult the Secretary of State and though the appellant raises that point it is of no consequence for the reasons just stated.

The appellant's other contentions to the effect that the basis of her exclusion and the procedure followed were unlawful are that Sec. 223 of Title 22 U.S.C.A. is too vague in its attempted delegation of legislative power; that the regulations do not conform to the President's Proclamation and that the ...


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