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U.S. Supreme Court

Okasa Shosen Kaisha Line v. United States, 300 U.S. 98 (1937)

Okasa Shosen Kaisha Line v. United States

No. 224

Argued January 4, 1937

Decided February 1, 1937

300 U.S. 98


1. In penal statutes, no less than in others, the language, if clear, is conclusive. P. 300 U. S. 101.

2. General expressions in an opinion which go beyond the case in which they were used may be respected, but ought not to control the judgment in a subsequent suit presenting the very point for decision. P. 300 U. S. 103.

3. Section 10(a) of the Immigration Act of 1917, as amended, makes it the duty of every person, including owners, masters, officers, and agents of vessels or transportation lines,

"bringing an alien to, or providing a means for an alien to come to, the United States, to prevent the landing of such alien in the United States at any time or place other than as designated by the immigration officers."

Penalties were prescribed for failure to comply.


(1) The word "alien," as used in the section, was not intended to include an alien sailor. P. 300 U. S. 103.

(2) To constitute the act of "bringing an alien to the United States," it is not essential that there be an intent to leave him here. Decided thus in a case involving an alien passenger, en route from Brazil to Japan, who debarked at a port of call in the United States. Taylor v. United States, 207 U. S. 120, limited. P. 300 U. S. 104.

(3) Under § 10, it is not necessary that a detention order be issued by the immigration officials; the landing of an alien is forbidden unless permitted. P. 300 U. S. 101.

(4) The meaning of § 10(a) is not restricted by subdivision (b) of § 10, which simply provides a rule of evidence affecting the burden of proof. P. 300 U. S. 104.

84 F.2d 482 affirmed.

Certiorari, 299 U.S. 526, to review a decree reversing a decree of the District Court, which dismissed with prejudice a libel by the United States to recover a penalty under the Immigration Act.

Page 300 U. S. 99

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