409 U.S. 1086 (1972)

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U.S. Supreme Court


409 U.S. 1086

No. 72-5405.

Supreme Court of the United States

December 18, 1972

On petition for writ of certiorari to the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. The petition for a writ of certiorari is denied.

Mr. Justice DOUGLAS, dissenting.

Petioner, a nonimmigrant student, was admitted to the United States in January 1962, pursuant to 8 U.S.C. 1101(a)(15), with authorization to remain in the country in that status until January 28, 1968. In June 1967, deportation proceedings were initiated against petitioner on the grounds that he had failed to maintain his student status; these proceedings were apparently dropped. [Footnote 1] On This application was denied by the Special Inquiry Officer on the grounds that the petitioner's primary interest in remaining in the United States was to work as a street vendor and not to pursue his educational interests. Petitioner was granted until May 21, 1969, to leave the country. On May 13, 1969, his application for reconsideration, wherein he verified his admission to the Washington Technical Institute, was denied. On March 4, 1970, a deportation hearing was held at which time petitioner was represented by counsel. The Special Inquiry Officer found petitioner deportable. On appeal, the Board of Immigration Appeals observed that the principal basis for petitioner's appeal-the denial of his request for an extension of his student visa-was not appealable or subject to review. 8 Code of Federal Regulations 214.2(f)(4), a rule promulgated by the Immigration and Naturalization Service, indicates that there is no review available of the decisions on applications for extensions of student visas. 'The applicant shall be notified of the decision and, if the application is denied, of the reason therefor. No appeal shall lie from the decision.' In light of this Court's decisions,

Page 409 U.S. 1086 , 1087

recognizing the fundamental rights involved in deportation, this regulation denies applicants due process of law.

As early as 1921 this Court recognized that fundamental rights were involved in observing that not only does deportation2 deprive a person of his liberty, but, '[i]t may result also in loss of both property and life; or of all that makes life worth living.' (Ng Fung Ho v. White, 259 U.S. 276, 282) Because of the nature of the deprivation, although deportation is not technically a criminal penalty, this Court has concluded that '. . . deportation is a penalty-at times a most serious one-. . .. Meticulous care must be exercised lest the procedure by which he [the alien] is deprived of that liberty not meet the essential standards of fairness.' (Bridges v. Wixon, 326 U.S. 135, 154, 89 L.ed. 2103.)

This Court has held that the denial of a motion to reopen by the Special Inquiry Officer is reviewable as a 'final order of deportation.' ( Giova v. Rosenberg, 379 U.S. 18; Foti v. Immigration and Naturalization Service, 375 U.S. 217, 11 L. Ed.2d 281.) At least one federal district court has interpreted these cases to authorize judicial review of a decision on an issue stemming from a deportation proceeding. (Rose v. Woolwine, 344 F.2d 993 (CA4).)

Contrary to regulation 214.2(f)(4), an order of the Special Inquiry Officer denying an application for an extension of time under a currently valid visa does operate as a final order and must be subject to judicial review. [409 U.S. 1086 , 1088]

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