Wong Wing v. United States Summary

  • Last updated on November 10, 2022

The Wong Wing ruling prohibited Congress from imposing criminal punishments on noncitizens without permitting them jury trials and other constitutional rights. At the same time, however, the decision reaffirmed Congress’s unfettered authority to mandate the deportation of aliens without jury trials.

The [a]Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882;provisions ofChinese Exclusion Act of 1882 imposed deportation and imprisonment for a maximum of one year at hard labor for Chinese persons found guilty of illegally entering or residing in the United States. The law specified that a hearing was sufficient for sentencing, and either a judge or a U.S. commissioner was authorized to render the sentence. Soon after the law went into effect, a commissioner for the Circuit Court of eastern Michigan determined that Wong Wing and three other Chinese men were illegal immigrants, and he sentenced them to sixty days at hard labor to be followed by deportation to China.[c]Wong Wing v. United StatesDeportation;Wong Wing v. United States[a]Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882;and U.S. Supreme Court[US Supreme Court]Due process protections;and Chinese exclusion[Chinese exclusion]Noncitizens;deportation ofCongress, U.S.;powers of[c]Wong Wingv. United StatesDeportation;Wong Wing v. United States[a]Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882;and U.S. Supreme Court[US Supreme Court]Due process protections;and Chinese exclusion[Chinese exclusion]Noncitizens;deportation ofCongress, U.S.;powers of[cat]EAST ASIAN IMMIGRANTS;Wong Wing v. United States[cat]COURT CASES;Wong Wing v. United States[cat]DEPORTATION;Wong Wing v. United States

The Supreme Court unanimously held that the imprisonment provisions of the legislation were void because they violated constitutional guarantees. Speaking for the Court, Justice Shiras, George, Jr.George Shiras, Jr., emphasized that the necessity for due process applied to “persons,” not simply citizens. Although Congress had the authority to legislate the deportations of aliens without jury trials, when the issue was punishment for an infamous crime, principles of due process required a grand jury indictment and a jury trial, as well as the other provisions in the [a]Fifth AmendmentFifth and [a]Sixth AmendmentSixth Amendments. Justice Field, Stephen J.Stephen J. Field wrote a concurring opinion. The four Chinese petitioners, therefore, were deported without first having to serve a prison term.[c]Wong Wing v. United StatesDeportation;Wong Wing v. United States[a]Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882;and U.S. Supreme Court[US SupremeCourt]Due process protections;and Chinese exclusion[Chinese exclusion]Noncitizens;deportation ofCongress, U.S.;powers of

Further Reading
  • Hyung-chan, Kim, ed. Asian Americans and the Supreme Court: A Documentary History. Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Press, 1992.
  • McClain, Charles J. In Search of Equality: The Chinese Struggle Against Discrimination in Nineteenth-Century America. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1994.

Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882

Congress, U.S.

Constitution, U.S.

Deportation

History of immigration after 1891

Immigration law

Supreme Court, U.S.

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