Philippine Supreme Court Jurisprudence


Philippine Supreme Court Jurisprudence > Year 1921 > October 1921 Decisions > G.R. No. 16643 October 29, 1921 - DATARAM VALIRAM, ET AL. v. INSULAR COLLECTOR OF CUSTOMS

042 Phil 305:




PHILIPPINE SUPREME COURT DECISIONS

SECOND DIVISION

[G.R. No. 16643. October 29, 1921. ]

DATARAM VALIRAM, HASSOMAL GHANSWANDAS and RUPCHAND ASSANDAS, Petitioners-Appellees, v. THE INSULAR COLLECTOR OF CUSTOMS, Respondent-Appellant.

Acting Attorney-General Feria for Appellant.

M. G. Goyena for Appellees.

SYLLABUS


1. ALIENS; IMMIGRATION; IMMIGRANT MUST PRESENT PROOF OF HIS RIGHT TO ENTER THE TERRITORY OF THE UNITED STATES. — The applicants were British Indians and they came from that part of India the inhabitants of which are prohibited from entering the territory of the United States unless they belong to one of the exempted classes. They did not present any of the proofs required by the Act of Congress of February 6, 1917, to show that they belonged to one of the exempted classes. In the absence of such proof, the Collector of Customs was not only justified, but it was his duty under the law, to deny the right of the applicants to enter the territory of the United States.

2. ID.; ID.; EXEMPTION BASED UPON THE FACT OF BEING A MERCHANT. — The theory of the law (Act of Congress of Feb. 5, 1917) is, that aliens who desire to enter the territory of the United States shall enter because they are and have been merchants in the country whence they came, and not because they desire to enter the territory of the United States in order to become merchants.


D E C I S I O N


JOHNSON, J. :


It appears from the record that said appellees arrived at the port of Manila on the steamship Niko Maru on the 27th day of October, 1919, and asked permission to enter the Philippine Islands. Some question arose concerning their right to enter, and a board of special inquiry was appointed for the purpose of examining into that question The investigation commenced on the 4th day of November; 1919. The only witnesses presented were the applicants themselves.

After hearing the evidence, the board of special inquiry found that said applicants were not entitled to enter the Philippine Islands. From that decision an appeal was taken to the Collector of Customs, who affirmed the same. Later, the applicants presented a petition for the writ of habeas corpus in the Court of First Instance of the city of Manila. After a consideration of the record made in the department of customs, the Hon. George R. Harvey reached the conclusion that the petitioners were entitled to enter the Philippine Islands, granted the writ of habeas corpus, and ordered the petitioners discharged from the custody of the law. From that decision the Collector of Customs appealed to this court.

The appellees base their right to enter the Philippine Is- lands upon the claim that they are merchants. An examination of the record shows that they came from India, and from that part of India the inhabitants of which are prohibited from entering territory of the United States unless they belong to one of the exempted classes. They did not present any of the proofs required by the Act of Congress of February 5, 1917, to show that they belonged to one of the exempted classes. In the absence of such proof, the Collector of Customs was not only justified, but it was his duty under the law, to deny the right of the appellees to enter the territory of the United States.

The appellee, Dataram Valiram, attempted to show, by his own declaration, that he had been in the Philippine Islands before on several different occasions, covering a period of six or seven years, and that while here, on the former occasions, he was employed or engaged as a merchant; that when he left the Philippine Islands in 1917 or 1918, he severed his relations with the people with whom he had been engaged (if his statement is true) as a merchant; that he was returning at the present time for the purpose of engaging again in business as a merchant. In other words, he was returning to the Philippine Islands to become a merchant.

The theory of the law (Act of Congress of February 5, 1917) is, that aliens who desire to enter the territory of the United States shall enter because they are and have been merchants in the country whence they came, and not because they desire to enter the territory of the United States in order to become merchants. Upon the theory of the appellees, all aliens belonging to the prohibited classes — Chinamen and Indians — might enter the territory of the United States.

Aliens, even of the merchant class, who belong to the prohibited class, must furnish the evidence required by law before they can enter the territory of the United States. The appellees not having furnished the evidence required by law, the department of customs was justified in denying their right to enter.

There being no abuse of power or discretion shown on the part of the department of customs, the judgment appealed from is hereby revoked, and it is hereby ordered and decreed that the petitioners be returned to the custody of the Collector of Customs in order that the order of deportation heretofore made by him may be carried into effect, with costs against the appellees. So ordered.

Araullo, Street, Avanceña and Villamor, JJ., concur.




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