United States ex rel. Hintopoulos v. Shaughnessy

PETITIONER: United States ex rel. Hintopoulos
RESPONDENT: Shaughnessy
LOCATION: Quality Photo Shop

DECIDED BY: Warren Court (1957-1958)
LOWER COURT: United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit

CITATION: 353 US 72 (1957)
ARGUED: Mar 04, 1957
DECIDED: Mar 25, 1957

Facts of the case


Media for United States ex rel. Hintopoulos v. Shaughnessy

Audio Transcription for Oral Argument - March 04, 1957 (Part 2) in United States ex rel. Hintopoulos v. Shaughnessy

Audio Transcription for Oral Argument - March 04, 1957 (Part 1) in United States ex rel. Hintopoulos v. Shaughnessy

Earl Warren:

Number 205, United States of America, on the relation of Anastasios Hintopoulos versus Edward J. Shaughnessy.

Jay Nicholas Long:

Mr. Chief --

Earl Warren:

Mr. Long.

Jay Nicholas Long:

-- Justice, may it please the Court.

This case it involves two Greek citizens.

Both of whom were regularly engaged in the seafaring occupations aboard the same vessel, following their marriage in the late 1950.

The petitioner wife about seven months after her marriage and after several arrivals in the United States found herself expecting their first child and came ashore for a medical checkup.

During which time the doctor has indicated to her that she should stop travelling because it would jeopardize the well-being of the unborn child.

The husband, nevertheless, continued sailing and only when the ship was again ashore did he stay ashore and for pleading of his wife until such time as the child should be born, going to the fact to the wife was completely alone here.

Now, the petitioner wife gave birth to their American citizen child in November 1951 and in January 1952, in accordance with the then prevailing law, both petitioners applied for privilege of suspension of deportation in order to prevent serious economic detriment of their American citizen child pursuant to the Immigration Act of 1917 as amended, which provision of law had been enacted by a modification law in 1940, not for the purpose of giving special benefits to illegal aliens but for the purpose of protecting the interests of American citizens or legal American residents who were dependent upon these illegal aliens.

I am anxious to make that distinction because of the subsequent events that come about with the new Act of 1952.

Now, following their application for this change of status in January of 1952, they were accorded a hearing in May 1952.

At which time, the Immigration Hearing Officer found both petitioners fully qualified for this relief they requested, that is suspension of deportation.

But he decided that he would not give them this privilege despite the fact they were fully eligible for him in his own words because of the fact that he felt there was too great a reward to accord them because of the accidental birth of their infant child in this country.

Despite the fact, as I pointed out before that the whole purpose of the Act of 1917 as amended, Section 19 (c) is to protect this very American citizen child.

The counsel at that time took a -- that appeal from the adverse decision of the Hearing Officer, and it is interesting to note that the Board of Immigration Appeals did not act on this appeal until March 1954.

Now, of course in the mean time, the Immigration Act of 1952 had been enacted on June 27th, 1952, it went into effect on December 24, 1952.

And in March 1954, when the Board handed down its decision on the appeal, it affirmed the decision of the Hearing Officer, it agreed that the aliens were qualified for suspension of deportation but again denied them that privilege without really indicating any proper reason for it.

Whereas I submit that under the Act of 1917 as amended and by a great number of decisions here in the Court handed down by the Board of Immigration Appeals itself, they are supposed to ascribe proper reasons for denying or granting this discretionary relief.

As a matter of fact, I have highlighted a case of Judge Bandy that came down on December 24th, 1952.

Specifically, because the fact that he went to great pains to show the exact procedure that was then applicable in a case such as the one that needs to be reported toward at this thing.

Following to this adverse decision of the Board, I came into the case in the spring of 1954 and I made a motion to reopen.

And at that time, for the first time, the Board in considering my motion to reopen indicated that it have also taken into consideration the restrictive evaluation for this privilege of suspension of deportation that had been formulated under the Act of 1952, which I respectfully submit was error on the part of the Board.

And I say that because the Act of 1952 has the saving clause in Section 405, which expressly states that the Act 1952 should not be applicable to any applications for the privilege of suspension of deportation that were pending prior to June 27th, 1952, when the Act of 1952 was enacted.

And it was on that basis that I was thereafter forced to seek a writ of habeas corpus in the District Court of New York.

Harold Burton:

Didn't you see --

Jay Nicholas Long:

And --

Harold Burton:

-- that the Board had turned down this suspension before the Act of 1952 and then turned down again after the Act of 1952?

Jay Nicholas Long:

No, sir.

They turned it down after the Act of 1952 was enacted.