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Wong Yang Sung v. McGrath

    Brief Fact Summary. An illegal immigrant sought a review of his deportation because it did not conform to the APA.

    Synopsis of Rule of Law. “[D]eportation proceedings must conform to the requirements of the Administrative Procedure Act if resulting orders are to have validity.”

    Facts. Wong Yang Sung was a Chinese nationalist inside the US illegally. He was ordered deported. He appealed on the grounds that his hearing did not conform to the APA. The APA had been enacted recently.

    Issue. “[W]hether administrative hearings in deportation cases must conform to requirements of the Administrative Procedure Act.”

    Held. Yes. The Supreme Court of the United States (the Supreme Court) began its analysis with an examination of the APA, which had recently been enacted. The Court noted its history and purposes. The most important purpose in the Court’s view, was the ” purpose to curtail and change the practice of embodying in one person or agency the duties of prosecutor and judge.” The Court concluded that the hearing in this case, was an example of this problem. The Court then examined the Government’s arguments. It held “Administrative Procedure Act, 5, does cover deportation proceedings conducted by the Immigration Service.” It also found that there was no exception under section 7 in that same act.

    Discussion. “When the Constitution requires a hearing, it requires a fair one, one before a tribunal which meets at least currently prevailing standards of impartiality. A deportation hearing involves issues basic to human liberty and happiness and, in the present upheavals in lands to which aliens may be returned, perhaps to life itself.”


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