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Cheng v. Immigration and Naturalization Service


decided: April 5, 1976.


Petition for review of decision of Board of Immigration Appeals that petitioners had made entry into the United States as defined in 8 U.S.C. § 1101(a)(13), were subject to deportation proceedings, and had properly been ordered deported.

Moore and Feinberg, Circuit Judges, and Wyzanski, District Judge.*fn*

Author: Per Curiam

The narrow issue on this petition for review of an order of the Board of Immigration Appeals is whether there is substantial evidence to support the finding of the Immigration Judge, affirmed by the Board, that petitioners, all natives and citizens of China, made an "entry" into the United States within the meaning of 8 U.S.C. § 1101(a)(13).*fn1 If they did so "enter," petitioners agree that they were subject to deportation proceedings. But petitioners urge that they were caught at the border and could therefore only be excluded, not deported. Exclusion and deportation proceedings are legally distinct and have different procedural and substantive consequences. Petitioners obviously believe that it is in their interest to subject themselves to exclusion rather than to deportation.

In September 1973, petitioners crossed the Canadian border at 3:00 A.M. into Vermont, hidden in a van. All five had previously been arrested in this country and deported.*fn2 The van did not use U.S. Route 7, the ordinary route to the inspection station, but travelled without lights on another road. Within the van was a mechanical means to deactivate vehicle detection apparatus at the border. The driver of the van had, one week earlier, escaped after apprehension by the Vermont State Police when he had surreptitiously entered the United States in the same way. A border patrol agent heard the van after it had proceeded four-tenths of a mile into the United States. He followed the van for about a mile, until it turned in a direction away from the border inspection checkpoint. At that point, he stopped the van and arrested petitioners.

The parties agree that the Immigration Judge and the Board correctly defined entry as (1) a crossing into the territorial limits of the United States; and either (2) inspection and admission by an immigration officer; or (3) actual and intentional evasion of inspection coupled with freedom from official restraint. See Matter of Pierre, BIA Interim Decision #2238 (Oct. 5, 1973). But petitioners, relying on Ex parte Chow Chok, 161 F. 627 (N.D.N.Y. 1908), aff'd, 163 F. 1021 (2d Cir. 1908), argue that neither (2) nor (3) above was satisfied. Assuming arguendo that the definition of "entry" given above is correct, petitioners' argument is nonetheless without merit. There was ample, indeed overwhelming, evidence of actual and intentional evasion of inspection. Moreover, there was no restraint upon petitioners for at least four-tenths of a mile after they crossed the border. This is sufficient to distinguish Ex parte Chow Chok, supra, where the aliens were under constant surveillance immediately before, during and after crossing the border. Moreover, since that case interpreted a different statute, it does not govern our interpretation of the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1952.

Accordingly, we deny the petition for review.


Petition denied.

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