ROSENBERG V. FLEUTI, 374 U. S. 449 (1963)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Rosenberg v. Fleuti, 374 U.S. 449 (1963)

Rosenberg v. Fleuti

No. 248

Argued March 26, 1963

Decided June 17, 1963

374 U.S. 449


Respondent is an alien who was admitted to this country for permanent residence in 1952 and has been here continuously since, except for a visit of "about a couple hours" duration to Ensenada, Mexico, in 1956. After administrative proceedings, he was ordered deported on the ground that, at the time of his return in 1956, he was "afflicted with psychopathic personality" within the meaning of § 212(a)(4) of the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1952, and, therefore, was excludable under 241(a)(1). The District Court sustained the deportation order, but the Court of Appeals set it aside on the ground that, as applied to respondent, § 212(a)(4) was unconstitutionally vague.


1. This Court ought not to pass on the constitutionality of § 212(a)(4), as applied to respondent, unless such adjudication is unavoidable, and there is a threshold question as to whether respondent's return to this country from his afternoon trip to Mexico in 1956 constituted an "entry" within the meaning of § 101(a)(13) of the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1952, so as to subject him to deportation for a condition existing at that time, but not at the time of his original admission before the 1952 Act became effective. Pp. 374 U. S. 451-452.

2. It would be inconsistent with the general ameliorative purpose of Congress in enacting § 101(a)(13) to hold that an innocent, casual and brief excursion by a resident alien outside this country's borders was "intended" as a departure disruptive of his resident alien status, so as to subject him to the consequences of an "entry" into the country on his return. Pp. 374 U. S. 452-462.

3. Because attention was not previously focused upon the application of §101(a)(13) to this case, and the record contains no detailed description or characterization of respondent's trip to

Page 374 U. S. 450

Mexico in 1956, the judgment below is vacated, and the case is remanded for further consideration of the application of that section in the light of this opinion. Pp. 374 U. S. 462-463.

302 F.2d 652, judgment vacated and case remanded.

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