Deportation is the removal of an ALIEN out of the country. Congress has plenary power to deport aliens, even of long residence; its power rests upon the same grounds and is as unqualified as its power to exclude aliens from entering the country. Aliens permitted to enter and reside in the United States remain subject to the power of Congress to order them deported. Congress may direct that all aliens leave the country, or that some leave and others stay, distinguishing between the two by such tests as it thinks appropriate. While aliens cannot be deported without DUE PROCESS OF LAW, guaranteed to them by the Fifth Amendment, they are entitled only to PROCEDURAL DUE PROCESS : NOTICE and a HEARING at which they may seek to show that they do not come within the classification of aliens whose deportation Congress has directed. (A resident of the United States who claims to be a citizen cannot be deported without a judicial trial.)
Initially, deportation was conceived of only as a method for expelling aliens who had entered the country illegally. Soon, however, Congress employed it to remove aliens who had entered legally but had violated conditions attached to continued residence. Thus, for example, the Immigration Act of 1917 provided for the deportation of aliens convicted of crimes involving moral turpitude. Other statutory grounds for deportation, now codified in the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1952, include violation of alien registration requirements, drug trafficking, addiction to narcotics, becoming a public charge within five years after entry, or membership in the Communist party or other subversive organizations.
By its express terms, the Immigration and Nationality
Act applies retroactively to any alien belonging to any class enumerated in the statute, notwithstanding that the alien entered the United States prior to the date of the statute or that the facts alleged to justify deportation occurred prior to that date. Because deportation is not considered a punishment, the prohibition of the EX POST FACTO clause of the Constitution does not apply, and retroactive application of provisions specifying grounds for deportation was upheld in Lehmann v. Carson (1957).
In Harisiades v. Shaughnessy (1952) Justice...