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UNITED STATES EX REL. CAMEZON v. DISTRICT DIR. OF

April 22, 1952

UNITED STATES ex rel. CAMEZON (CAMAZON)
v.
DISTRICT DIRECTOR OF IMMIGRATION & NATURALIZATION AT PORT OF NEW YORK



The opinion of the court was delivered by: SUGARMAN

On March 4, 1952, while relator Camazon was one of a party, destined for Idlewild Airport for transportation out of this country, a writ of habeas corpus was sued out on the petition of his attorney, whereupon Camazon was removed from the party and brought to Ellis Island to await disposition of the writ. The writ was argued, at which time the respondent made return thereto and relator was permitted to file a traverse to the return.

Appended to the respondent's return was the record of a hearing accorded relator by a Board of Special Inquiry of the Immigration and Naturalization Service at Baltimore, Maryland, on March 8, 1951. That record disclosed the following facts, reassembled in chronological order.

 The relator, Felipe Camazon, was born at Brandio, Bilbao, Province of Biscay, Spain, on June 17, 1911. He resided continuously in Spain until about 1935.

 From 1929 until 1931 he belonged to the Spanish Communist Party. He joined the Party at Bilbao when he was eighteen years old and remained a member for about two years when he quit. During his two years' membership, he was active, but not an officer. His activity consisted of distributing Communist pamphlets and circulars and trying to persuade workers to strike and to join the Party. He understood the contents of the material which he distributed and knew that it advocated the overthrow of the Government of Spain and the establishment there of a Communist form of government. He quit the Party because his fellow-Communists, although they talked a lot, at the time of action hid themselves, and also because his family was Catholic and he saw nothing in the Party that he liked.

 From 1932 to 1933 the relator served in the Spanish Army. In 1935 he left Spain for the first time and went to Bayonne, France. Later he returned to Spain and served in the Spanish Loyalist Forces during the Revolution. While thus serving in the Loyalist Forces, relator was not a member of the Communist Party and fought only for the Republic. He fought for about a year, was taken prisoner by the Italians, held by them for two months and then turned over to Franco's Army as a prisoner. In 1943 he was released and instructed to report weekly to the District Police. Shortly thereafter he again crossed the border into France and continued to live there on and off, claiming his last residence in France to have been at Rouen (papers, on his person at the hearing, indicating that in October of 1949 he had been permitted residence in Rouen, France, temporarily for one month to seek a ship). Apparently, during his sojourn in France, he went to sea, on and off.

 On August 18, 1947 Camazon arrived in the United States for the first time, as a stowaway on the Panamanian vessel 'Global Shipper'. The next day he was excluded from the United States by a Board of Special Inquiry as a stowaway not in possession of an unexpired immigration visa, valid passport or official document and forbidden to return to the United States for a year. A few days later he left these shores for France on the same ship on which he had arrived.

 In April of 1950 Camazon arrived in the United States as a seaman on the Danish ship 'Korea'. He was paid off in Baltimore and then signed on the 'Nora' which left Baltimore on April 26, 1950. When the 'Nora' reached Spanish Morocco on August 16, 1950, petitioner was paid off and immediately arrested by the Spanish police, who held him for six or seven months without a charge and then released him, after destroying his passport and documents.

 On February 16, 1951 Camazon stowed away on the Norwegian vessel 'Bluemaster' in Barcelona, Spain. When he boarded the vessel he did not know its destination. He wanted to go to any place where he could work and live. Relator, when he boarded the 'Bluemaster', no matter where he ultimately landed, was in quest of either employment at sea or work ashore. On March 7, 1951 the 'Bluemaster' arrived at Baltimore, Maryland. Camazon was interrogated by an Immigration officer on board and stated that he had a friend in Baltimore who could procure employment for him.

 The next day Camazon was accorded the hearing, (the minutes of which are summarized above and below) by a Board of Special Inquiry at Baltimore, Maryland, on charges that he was (a) a stowaway, (b) an alien having no unexpired passport, (c) an immigrant having no valid visa, (d) an alien whose admission to the United States would be prejudicial to the public interest, safety or security, and (e) an alien who was, at that time, and had been p previously, a member of the Communist Party of a foreign state.

 The minutes of that hearing of March 8, 1951 recited, at the outset thereof,

 'NOTE: Interpreter and alien sworn; applicant warned re perjury, and informed as to constitutional rights and representation by counsel, applicant did not request counsel' and at the conclusion thereof,

 'Chairman to Applicant through Interpreter:

 'Q. Do you wish to appeal? A. No.

 'Q. If you desire later to appeal, a notice in writing to that effect, addressed to the District Director, Immigration and Naturalization Service, Room 341, Post Office Building, Baltimore 2, Maryland, will be sufficient. Do you understand? A. (Complete address furnished to applicant).'

 In addition to his history, relator testified at the hearing that he did not believe in democracy; that he was opposed to the French government then existing; that, now knowing the forms of governments in Russia and the United States, he could not say whether he liked them or not; that he believed in a form of government that did not let the workers starve; that he would fight any government that made him work and did not pay him for it or that did him harm; and that he would fight the then Spanish government until death.

 The hearing was concluded on motion of one of the members of the Board of Special Inquiry as follows:

 'I move that the applicant be excluded from admission to the United States under Section 3 of the Immigration Act of February 5, 1917, as a stowaway; *fn1" under Section 13(a)(1) of the Immigration Act of May 26, 1924, as an immigrant who is not in possession of a valid immigration visa; *fn2" and under Section 3 of the Immigration Act of February 5, 1917, and the Act approved May 22, 1918, as amended, as an alien who is not in possession of an unexpired passport or other document in lieu thereof as required by the Executive Order now in effect. *fn3"

 'I also move that the alien be excluded under the Act of October 6, 1918, *fn4" as amended, on the ground that he is an alien who is or has been a member of the Communist Party of a foreign state, and that he is an alien whose admission into the United States would be prejudicial to the public interest, safety, or security.' *fn5"

 The respondent's return shows that the relator was not placed upon a ship, but instead was brought before the United States District Court at Baltimore, Maryland, and on March 16, 1951 (it not appearing whether he was tried and found guilty or pled guilty) sentenced to one year imprisonment for violation of Title 18 U.S.C.A. § 2199, the Stowaway Act. While relator was in the City Jail at Baltimore under said sentence and on March 21, 1951, the Immigration and Naturalization Service lodged a detainer with the United States Marshal. On February 26, 1952, while relator was ...


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