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U.S. Supreme Court

Commissioner of Immigration v. Gottlieb, 265 U.S. 310 (1924)

Commissioner of Immigration v. Gottlieb

No. 221

Argued April 15, 16, 1924

Decided May 26, 1924

265 U.S. 310


1. When the plain words of a statute leave no room for construction, the courts must follow it, however harsh the consequences. P. 265 U. S. 313.

2. Section 3 of the Immigration Act of 1917 and § 2(d) of the Quota Law of 1921, as amended May 11, 1922, are both operative, and should be construed as acts in pari materia. P. 265 U. S. 312.

3. Section 3 of the Immigration Act of 1917, after an enumeration of excluded classes ending with the natives of a designated part of Asia and those of certain islands adjacent to that continent, declares that "the provision next foregoing" shall not apply to persons of various named occupations, including ministers of religion, or their legal wives or their children under 18 years, etc., held, that the exception applies only to aliens coming from the regions referred to. P. 265 U. S. 313.

4. Section 2(d) of the Quota Act provides that, when the maximum number of aliens of any nationality shall have been admitted, chanroblesvirtualawlibrary

Page 265 U. S. 311

all others of such nationality applying during the same year shall be excluded, except (inter alios) ministers of religion, and gives preference, so far as possible, in the enforcement of the act to the wives, children, etc., of citizens of the United States, of aliens here who have applied for citizenship, or of persons eligible to citizenship who have served in our military or naval forces. Held, that the wife and child of a minister have no right to admission when the quota allowed their nationality is exhausted. P. 265 U. S. 313.

285 F.2d 5 reversed.

Certiorari to a judgment of the circuit court of appeals affirming a judgment of the district court discharging two aliens by habeas corpus.

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