U.S. Supreme Court
United States v. Minker, 350 U.S. 179 (1956)
United States v. Minker
Argued November 14, 1955
Decided January 16, 1956
350 U.S. 179
Section 235 (a) of the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1952 provides that
"any immigration officer . . . shall have power to require by subpoena the attendance and testimony of witnesses before immigration officers . . . relating to the privilege of any person to enter, reenter, reside in, or pass through the United States or concerning any matter which is material and relevant to the enforcement of the Act and the administration of the Service. . . ."
Held: this section does not empower an immigration officer to subpoena a naturalized citizen who is the subject of an investigation by the Service to testify in an administrative proceeding before such officer where the purpose of the investigation is to determine whether good cause exists for the institution of denaturalization proceedings against such citizen under § 340(a) of the Act. Pp. 350 U. S. 180-190.
(a) In the clause, "concerning any matter which is material and relevant to the enforcement of this Act," the word "Act" embraces the entire statute, and may not be construed as referring only to a particular title or section thereof. Pp. 350 U. S. 184-186.
(b) In this context, the word "witnesses" is ambiguous, and it must be construed as not including a citizen who is himself the subject of a denaturalization investigation. Pp. 350 U. S. 186-190.