CERTIORARI TO THE UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE NINTH CIRCUIT.
Warren, Black, Frankfurter, Douglas, Clark, Harlan, Brennan, Whittaker, Stewart
Petitioner applied for suspension of an order directing his deportation to Korea or permitting his voluntary departure. He does not question the validity of the deportation order, but contends that he is within the eligible statutory class whose deportation may be suspended at the discretion of the Attorney General. § 19 (c) of the Immigration Act of 1917, as amended. Relief on this score was denied on the basis that the Attorney General has no power to exercise his discretion in
that regard since petitioner failed to prove his eligibility under that section and the Internal Security Act of 1950.
Before the hearing officer, petitioner was asked if he was a member of the Communist Party. He refused to answer, claiming the Fifth Amendment privilege against self-incrimination. The officer refused the suspension on the grounds that petitioner had failed to prove that he was a person of good moral character and that he had not met the statutory requirement of showing that he was not a member of or affiliated with the Communist Party. The Board of Immigration Appeals affirmed on the latter ground, as did the Court of Appeals. 263 F.2d 773.
Petitioner contends that he presented "clear affirmative evidence" as to eligibility which stands uncontradicted and that the burden was on the Government to show his affiliations, if any, with the Party. He contends that the disqualifying factor of Communist Party membership is an exception to § 19 (c) which the Government must prove. We think not. Rather than a proviso, it is an absolute disqualification, since that class of aliens is carved out of the section at its very beginning by the words "other than one to whom subsection (d) of this section is applicable."*fn1 Subsection (d)*fn2 referred to aliens
deportable under the Act of October 16, 1918. Section 22 of the Internal Security Act of 1950 amended the 1918 Act to include Communists,*fn3 and thus terminated the discretionary authority under § 19 (c) as to any alien who was deportable because of membership in the Communist Party. Petitioner offered no evidence on this point, although the regulations place on him the burden of proof as to "the statutory requirements precedent to the exercise of discretionary relief." 8 CFR, 1949 ed., § 151.3 (e), as amended, 15 Fed. Reg. 7638. This regulation is completely
consistent with § 19 (c). The language of that section, in contrast with the statutory provisions governing deportation, imposes the general burden of proof upon the applicant.
It follows that an applicant for suspension, "a matter of discretion and of administrative grace," Hintopoulos v. Shaughnessy, 353 U.S. 72, 77 (1957), must, upon the request of the Attorney General, supply such information that is within his knowledge and has a direct bearing on his eligibility under the statute. The Attorney General may, of course, exercise his authority of grace through duly delegated agents. Jay v. Boyd, 351 U.S. 345 (1956). Perhaps the petitioner was justified in his personal refusal to answer -- a question we do not pass upon -- but this did not ...