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Annulment of Citizenship: Lem Moon Sing v. United States

Facts

Lem Moon Sing was a Chinese merchant with a permanent domicile in the United States before the Act of Congress passed in 1894. This particular act, also known as the General Appropriation Act of Congress, sought to exclude or establish conditions that checked the entry and operation of aliens in the US. This would be established through the power vested upon executive officials as opposed to judicial processes. Having operated as a pharmacist for two years in San Francisco, Moon decided to temporarily visit China. Upon his return, he was denied entry and was detained by officials at the port. This detention stemmed from claims that the legality of his citizenship had been nullified in the recently approved act of 1894. Through Lim Lung, the appellant applied for a writ of Habeas corpus that targeted both the port collector and D.D. Lim required the two officials to produce the appellant’s body and to also comply with the court’s order in the probable event of a similar directive.

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Issue

Does the General Appropriation Act of August 1894, passed by congress, disqualify from legal eligibility those Chinese residents, now barred by this particular act, from re-entering the United States of America and assuming their previous lawful citizenship?

Holdings

The appellant’s application for the writ of habeas corpus was declined by the court on the ground that, he was legally detained by the port officials as a result of the General Appropriation Act of 1894.

Opinion

The judges probably based it on the fact that the US had all the rights to exclude aliens from its territory through legislative action. It also follows that such decisions should be devoid of controversies since their consequences prove that the US is not answerable to any other power in the world. Additionally, the powers of the legislative act, and the subsequent canceling of all certificates issued to aliens at this particular time, simply override the said issue. The appellant is, therefore, subject to the decision of immigration officers which is considered to be final. In a similar case, Ju Toy was denied entry into the United States after visiting China in the year 1905. Having proved to be a citizen, the federal District Court favored him in its ruling, but the government appealed. The Supreme Court eventually ruled against him after declaring that a writ of Habeas corpus could not be given. The appellant had been legally detained by immigration officers.

Comments

The case highlights important considerations in law that can be easily overlooked. This concerns the sources and purposes of the law, especially in the face of seemingly controversial engagements like the ones evidenced by the above case. Laws emanate from the law-making arm of the government amidst political, social, and ideological concerns. The purpose of the law is to enforce order and punishment, but it should be understood as determined by the practices of the courts, law offices, and police stations among other entities. Laws do not stem from doctrines that are established by certain socially acclaimed or learned treaties and/or statutes. The General Appropriation Act of 1984 emanated from political considerations that sought to protect the country’s sovereignty and power over its territory. Consequently, the purpose was materialized through the actions of immigration officers and the courts regardless of the treaties that were previously signed.

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StudyCorgi. (2022, May 1). Annulment of Citizenship: Lem Moon Sing v. United States. Retrieved from https://studycorgi.com/annulment-of-citizenship-lem-moon-sing-v-united-states/

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StudyCorgi. "Annulment of Citizenship: Lem Moon Sing v. United States." May 1, 2022. https://studycorgi.com/annulment-of-citizenship-lem-moon-sing-v-united-states/.

References

StudyCorgi. 2022. "Annulment of Citizenship: Lem Moon Sing v. United States." May 1, 2022. https://studycorgi.com/annulment-of-citizenship-lem-moon-sing-v-united-states/.

References

StudyCorgi. (2022) 'Annulment of Citizenship: Lem Moon Sing v. United States'. 1 May.

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