Yamataya v. Fisher

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Court Documents

United States Supreme Court

189 U.S. 86

Yamataya  v.  Fisher

 Argued: February 24, 1903. --- Decided: April 6, 1903

This case presents some questions arising under the act of Congress relating to the exclusion of certain classes of alien immigrants.

On the 11th day of July, 1901, appellant, a subject of Japan, landed at the port of Seattle, Washington; and on or about July 15th, 1901, the appellee, an immigrant inspector of the United States, having instituted an investigation into the circumstances of her entering the United States, decided that she came here in violation of law, in that she was a pauper and a person likely to become a public charge,-aliens of that class being excluded altogether from this country by the act of March 3d, 1891 (26 Stat. at L. 1085, chap. 551, U.S.C.omp. Stat. 1901, p. 1294).

The evidence obtained by the inspector was transmitted to the Secretary of the Treasury, who, under date of July 23d, 1901, issued a warrant addressed to the immigrant inspector at Seattle, reciting that the appellant had come into the United States contrary to the provisions of the above act of 1891, and ordering that she be taken into custody and returned to Japan at the expense of the vessel importing her.

The inspector being about to execute this warrant, an application was presented in behalf of the appellant to the district court of the United States for the district of Washington, northern division, for a writ of habeas corpus. The application alleged that the imprisonment of the petitioner was unlawful, and that she did not come here in violation of the act of 1891, or of any other law of the United States relating to the exclusion of aliens.

The writ having been issued, a return was made by the inspector, stating that he had found upon due investigation and the admissions of the appellant that she was a pauper and a person likely to become a public charge, and had 'surreptitiously, clandestinely, unlawfully, and without any authority come into the United States;' that, 'in pursuance of said testimony, admissions of the petitioner, Kaoru Yamataya, evidence, facts, and circumstances,' he had decided that she had no right to be within the territory of the United States, and was a proper person for deportation; all which he reported to the proper officers of the government, who confirmed his decision, and thereupon the Secretary of the Treasury issued his warrant, requiring the deportation of the appellant. That warrant was produced and made part of the return.

The return of the inspector was traversed, the traverse admitting that the inspector had investigated the case of the petitioner, and had made a finding that she had illegally come into this country, but alleging that the investigation was a 'pretended' and an inadequate one; that she did not understand the English language, and did not know at the time that such investigation was with a view to her deportation from the country; and that the investigation was carried on without her having the assistance of counsel or friends, or an opportunity to show that she was not a pauper or likely to become a public charge. The traverse alleged that the petitioner was not in the United States in violation of law.

A demurrer to the traverse was sustained, the writ of habeas corpus was dismissed, and the appellant was remanded to the custody of the inspector. From that order the present appeal was prosecuted.

Messrs. Vere Goldthwaite, Harold Preston, and Walter A. Keene for appellant.

[Argument of Counsel from pages 88-92 intentionally omitted]

Assistant Attorney General Hoyt for appellee.

[Argument of Counsel from pages 92-94 intentionally omitted]

Mr. Justice Harlan delivered the opinion of the court:

Notes[edit]

This work is in the public domain in the United States because it is a work of the United States federal government (see 17 U.S.C. 105).