Chang Chan v. Nagle Summary

  • Last updated on November 10, 2022

The Chang Chan ruling upheld the application of a law disallowing the entrance of some foreign wives of U.S. citizens.

The [a]Immigration Act of 1924;foreign wivesImmigration Act of 1924 contained a provision that excluded foreign wives of U.S. citizens from entering the country if they were members of a race ineligible for naturalization. Chang Chan, as well as three other native-born U.S. citizens, had married Chinese women in China prior to the law’s enactment. When the four young women arrived in San Francisco on July 24, 1924, they were denied permanent admission. The Supreme Court unanimously held that the women did not have the right to enter the country. In the majority opinion, Justice McReynolds, James ClarkJames Clark McReynolds examined the few exceptions in the law and concluded that none of them applied to this particular case. He wrote that the “hardships of a case, and suppositions of what is rational and consistent in immigration policy, cannot justify a court in departing from the plain terms of an immigration act.”[c]Chang Chan v. Nagle[c]Chang Chan v. Nagle[cat]COURT CASES;Chang Chan v.Nagle[00870][cat]EAST ASIAN IMMIGRANTS;Chang Chan v. Nagle[00870][cat]FAMILY ISSUES;Chang Chan v. Nagle[00870][cat]WOMEN;Chang Chan v. Nagle[00870][c]Chang Chan v. Nagle

Further Reading
  • Hyung-chan, Kim, ed. Asian Americans and the Supreme Court: A Documentary History. Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Press, 1992.
  • LeMay, Michael, and Elliott Robert Barkan, eds. U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Laws and Issues: A Documentary History. Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Press, 1999.

Asian Indian immigrants

Cheung Sum Shee v. Nagle

Chinese immigrants

Congress, U.S.

Immigration Act of 1924

San Francisco

Supreme Court, U.S.

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