WONG YANG SUNG V. MCGRATH, 339 U. S. 33 (1950)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Wong Yang Sung v. McGrath, 339 U.S. 33 (1950)

Wong Yang Sung v. McGrath

No. 154

Argued December 6, 1949

Decided February 20, 1950

339 U.S. 33


1. Administrative hearings in proceedings for the deportation of aliens must conform to the requirements of the Administrative Procedure Act, 5 U.S.C. §§ 1001 et seq. Pp. 339 U. S. 35-53.

2. The history of this Act discloses that it is remedial legislation which should be construed, so far as its text permits, to give effect to its remedial purposes where the evils it was aimed at appear. Pp. 339 U. S. 36-41.

3. One of the fundamental purposes of the Act was to ameliorate the evils resulting from the practice of commingling in one person the duties of prosecutor and judge. Pp. 339 U. S. 41-45, 339 U. S. 46.

4. A hearing in a proceeding for the deportation of an alien was presided over by a "presiding inspector" of the Immigration Service, who had not investigated that particular case but whose general duties included the investigation of similar cases. There being no "examining inspector" present to conduct the prosecution, it was the duty of the "presiding inspector" to conduct the interrogation of the alien and the Government's witnesses, cross-examine the alien's witnesses, and "present such evidence as is necessary to support the charges in the warrant of arrest." It might become his duty to lodge an additional charge against the alien and hear the evidence on that charge. After the hearing, he was required to prepare a summary of the evidence, proposed findings of fact, conclusions of law, and a proposed order, for the consideration of the Commissioner of Immigration.

Held: this was contrary to the purpose of the Administrative Procedure Act to ameliorate the evils resulting from a combination of the prosecuting and adjudicating functions in administrative proceedings. Pp. 339 U. S. 45-48.

5. Section 5 of the Administrative Procedure Act, which establishes certain formal requirements for every "adjudication required by statute to be determined on the record after opportunity for agency hearing," applies to deportation proceedings conducted by the Immigration

Page 339 U. S. 34

Service, although the Immigration Act contains no express requirement for hearings in deportation proceedings. Pp. 339 U. S. 48-51 .

(a) The limitation of § 5 of the Administrative Procedure Act to hearings "required by statute" does not exempt hearings held by compulsion, but only those which administrative agencies may hold by regulation, rule, custom, or special dispensation. P. 339 U. S. 50.

(b) They do not exempt hearings the requirement for which has been read into a statute by this Court in order to save the statute from constitutional invalidity. Pp. 339 U. S. 50-51.

6. The exception in § 7(a) of the Administrative Procedure Act of proceedings before "officers specially provided for by or designated pursuant to statute" does not exempt deportation hearings held before immigrant inspectors. Pp. 339 U. S. 51-53.

(a) Nothing in the Immigration Act specifically provides that immigrant inspectors shall conduct deportation hearings or be designated to do so. Pp. 339 U. S. 51-52.

84 U.S.App.D.C. 419, 174 F.2d 158, reversed.

In a habeas corpus proceeding, the District Court held that the Administrative Procedure Act of June 11, 1946, 60 Stat. 237, 5 U.S.C. §§ 1001 et seq., does not apply to deportation hearings. 80 F.Supp. 235. The Court of Appeals affirmed. 84 U.S.App.D.C. 419, 174 F.2d 158. This Court granted certiorari. 338 U.S. 812. Reversed, p. 339 U. S. 53.

Page 339 U. S. 35

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