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Legal Brief of Immigration and Naturalization Service v. Chadha (1983) by: David A.W. Hittle

Immigration and Naturalization Service v. Chadha Vote: 7-2 462 U.S. 919; 103 S. Ct. 2764; 77 L.Ed. 2d. 317 (1983)


The Facts of the case are these: Chadha is an East Indian who was born in Kenya and holds a British passport. He was lawfully admitted to the United States in 1966 on a non-immigrant student visa. His visa expired on June 30, 1972 and on October 11, 1973 the District Director of the INS ordered Chadha to show cause on why he should not be deported for having “remained in the U.S. for a longer time than permitted.” Chadha filed proper papers allowing for a suspension of deportation to the Attorney General. The Attorney General conveyed his recommendation for suspension to Congress, with them having the right to veto it if they wished. On December 12, 1975, Rep. Eilberg, Chairman of the Judiciary Subcommittee on Immigration, Citizenship and International Law, introduced a resolution opposing “the granting of permanent residence in the U.S. to (6) aliens, “including Chadha. The resolution was referred to the House Committee on the Judiciary. On December 16, 1975, the resolution was discharged from the committee and submitted to the House of Representatives for a vote. The resolution had not been printed and was not made available to other members of the house prior to or at the time it was voted on… The resolution was passed without debate or recorded vote. After the House veto, the deportation case we reopened. Chadha moved to terminate the proceedings as unconstitutional but on November 8, 1976 Chadha was ordered deported. Chadha appealed the deportation order to the Board of Immigration appeals contending unconstitutionality of the order, the appeal was dismissed. Chadha filed a petition for review of the deportation order in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. This Court grants Certiorari and is now affirmed.


The Issues in this case are these: 1. Is an action of one House of Congress under §244(c)(2) Constitutional?


By a vote of 7-2 the Court found that the Congressional veto provision in §244(c)(2) is severable from the Act and that it is constitutional.


Chief Justice Burger gives the majority opinion, he opine: “the fact that a given law or procedure is efficient, convenient, and useful in facilitating functions of government, standing alone, will not save it if it is contrary to the constitution.” He provided the following evidence for the decision: “Since 1932, when the first veto provision was enacted into law, 295 congressional veto-type procedures have been inserted in 196 different statutes as follows: 1932-35 (5) statutes were affected; from 1940-49 (19), 1950-59 (34) and from 60-69 (49), from 1970-75 (163+) such provisions were included in 89 laws… He opines that the terms and provisions are clearly in the constitution: “All legislative powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress of the United States, which shall consist of a Senate and a House of Representatives. Every Bill, which shall have been passed in the House of Representatives and the Senate shall before it becomes a law, be presented to the President of the United States.” “Every resolution or veto to which the concurrence of the Senate and House of Representatives may be necessary (except questions of adjournment) shall be presented to the President of the United States….


Justice White in his dissenting opinion states that the Court has just performed a “legislative veto” and states that they had death nailed 200 other provisions.


Justice Rehnquist also dissents…


The Court with this decision forced the Congress to follow the Constitution, everything must go through the House, Senate and President to become law…