B-115881, JULY 21, 1953, 33 COMP. GEN. 47

B-115881: Jul 21, 1953

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ADMINISTRATIVE PAYMENT OF CLAIMS - REFUND OF COST OF DEPORTING ALIEN SEAMEN TO VESSEL OWNERS THE JUSTICE DEPARTMENT MAY ADMINISTRATIVELY APPROVE CLAIMS OF VESSEL OWNERS FOR REFUND OF COSTS ASSESSED AGAINST THEM FOR EXPENSE OF DEPORTING ALIEN SEAMEN WHO WERE GRANTED SHORE LEAVE BY IMMIGRATION INSPECTORS AND THEN DESERTED SHIP WHEN SUCH CLAIMS ARE DETERMINED TO BE WITHIN PURVIEW OF THE PRINCE LINE CASE WHEREIN IT WAS HELD THAT DEPORTATION OF AN ALIEN SEAMAN WHO OVERSTAYED TEMPORARY ENTRY PRIVILEGE SHOULD BE AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE. HOWEVER THE HOLDING IN THAT CASE IS NOT APPLICABLE AFTER THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF THE IMMIGRATION AND NATIONALITY ACT OF 1952. 1953: REFERENCE IS MADE TO LETTER OF JUNE 22.

B-115881, JULY 21, 1953, 33 COMP. GEN. 47

ADMINISTRATIVE PAYMENT OF CLAIMS - REFUND OF COST OF DEPORTING ALIEN SEAMEN TO VESSEL OWNERS THE JUSTICE DEPARTMENT MAY ADMINISTRATIVELY APPROVE CLAIMS OF VESSEL OWNERS FOR REFUND OF COSTS ASSESSED AGAINST THEM FOR EXPENSE OF DEPORTING ALIEN SEAMEN WHO WERE GRANTED SHORE LEAVE BY IMMIGRATION INSPECTORS AND THEN DESERTED SHIP WHEN SUCH CLAIMS ARE DETERMINED TO BE WITHIN PURVIEW OF THE PRINCE LINE CASE WHEREIN IT WAS HELD THAT DEPORTATION OF AN ALIEN SEAMAN WHO OVERSTAYED TEMPORARY ENTRY PRIVILEGE SHOULD BE AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE, HOWEVER THE HOLDING IN THAT CASE IS NOT APPLICABLE AFTER THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF THE IMMIGRATION AND NATIONALITY ACT OF 1952, WHICH MAKES DEPORTATION CHARGES THE OBLIGATION OF THE VESSEL OWNER.

ACTING COMPTROLLER GENERAL FISHER TO THE ATTORNEY GENERAL, JULY 21, 1953:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO LETTER OF JUNE 22, 1953, FROM THE ADMINISTRATIVE ASSISTANT ATTORNEY GENERAL RELATIVE TO CLAIM OF THE OWNERS OF THE SS. ARGYLL, FOR REFUND OF $592.97 PAID THE IMMIGRATION AND NATURALIZATION SERVICE IN CONNECTION WITH THE DEPORTATION OF AN ALIEN SEAMAN.

IT IS STATED IN THE LETTER THAT THE ALIEN WAS A MEMBER OF THE CREW OF THE SS. ARGYLL UPON ITS ARRIVAL AT THE PORT OF NEW ORLEANS ON OR ABOUT OCTOBER 14, 1948, AND THAT HE WAS GRANTED SHORE LEAVE BY AN OFFICIAL OF THE IMMIGRATION AND NATURALIZATION SERVICE BUT FAILED TO RETURN UPON THE DEPARTURE OF THE VESSEL. IT IS FURTHER STATED THAT THE ALIEN WAS LATER APPREHENDED AND SUBSEQUENTLY DEPORTED AND THAT THE COST OF DEPORTATION, $592.97, WAS ASSESSED AGAINST THE OWNERS OF THE VESSEL, THE TEXAS TRANSPORT AND TERMINAL COMPANY, INC., WHITNEY BUILDING, NEW ORLEANS.

IT IS ALSO STATED THAT A CLAIM HAS BEEN PRESENTED TO YOUR DEPARTMENT BY THE LAW FIRM OF KIRLIN, CAMPBELL, AND KEATING, 120 BROADWAY, NEW YORK, N.Y., AS ATTORNEYS FOR THE OWNERS OF THE VESSEL FOR REFUND OF THE AMOUNT OF $592.97 PAID BY THE OWNERS TO THE IMMIGRATION AND NATURALIZATION SERVICE IN CONNECTION WITH THE DEPORTATION OF THE ALIEN. YOUR DEPARTMENT EXPRESSES THE VIEW, BASED ON THE CASE OF UNITED STATES V. PRINCE LINE, LTD., 189 F.2D 386, THAT THE OWNERS OF THE VESSEL WERE NOT LIABLE FOR PAYMENT OF THE DEPORTATION EXPENSES IN THE PRESENT CASE AND THAT REFUND OF THE AMOUNT COLLECTED IS IN ORDER. THE ADMINISTRATIVE ASSISTANT ATTORNEY GENERAL REQUESTS A DECISION AS TO WHETHER, IN VIEW OF THE FACTS AS STATED, YOUR DEPARTMENT MAY ADMINISTRATIVELY APPROVE THE PAYMENT OF THE PRESENT CLAIM AND OTHER SIMILAR CLAIMS FOR REFUND OF DEPORTATION EXPENSES WHEN SUCH CLAIMS ARE DETERMINED TO BE WITHIN THE PURVIEW OF THE COURT DECISION IN THE CITED PRINCE LINE CASE.

THE PRINCE LINE CASE WAS ONE IN WHICH AN ALIEN SEAMAN WHO ARRIVED AT THE PORT OF NEW YORK IN JANUARY 1941 AS A MEMBER OF THE CREW OF A VESSEL OWNED BY THAT LINE, WAS INSPECTED AND GRANTED SHORE LEAVE BY AN IMMIGRANT INSPECTOR AND THEREAFTER DESERTED HIS SHIP AND REMAINED IN THE UNITED STATES. IN MARCH 1942 DEPORTATION PROCEEDINGS WERE INSTITUTED, AS THE RESULT OF WHICH THE SEAMAN WAS DEPORTED IN MARCH 1947 AT A COST TO THE UNITED STATES OF $270.25. THE ISSUE IN THE CASE WAS WHETHER HE HAD REMAINED LONGER THAN HIS SHORE LEAVE PERMITTED--- A CAUSE ARISING SUBSEQUENT TO ENTRY, IN WHICH CASE DEPORTATION SHOULD, THE COURT HELD UNDER THE IMMIGRATION LAW THEN IN EFFECT, BE AT THE EXPENSE OF THE GOVERNMENT--- OR WHETHER HE WAS NOT ENTITLED TO ENTRY INTO THIS COUNTRY--- WHICH LATTER WAS A CAUSE ARISING PRIOR TO ENTRY AND IN WHICH CASE THE DEPORTATION SHOULD, THE COURT HELD UNDER THE IMMIGRATION LAW THEN IN EFFECT, BE AT THE EXPENSE OF THE OWNER OF THE VESSEL. IT WAS HELD THAT THE FORMER WAS THE CASE AND THAT THE GOVERNMENT COULD NOT RECOVER THE COST OF DEPORTATION.

THE PROVISIONS OF LAW UNDER WHICH THE PRINCE LINE CASE WAS DECIDED APPEAR TO HAVE BEEN REPEALED AND SUPERSEDED BY CERTAIN PROVISIONS OF THE IMMIGRATION AND NATIONALITY ACT OF 1953, 66 STAT. 163. SEE, IN THIS CONNECTION, ESPECIALLY SECTIONS 243 (C) AND 252, UNDER WHICH IT APPEARS THAT DEPORTATION CHARGES ARE THE OBLIGATION OF THE OWNER OR OWNERS OF THE VESSEL. HOWEVER, SECTION 405 (A) OF THE 1952 ACT PROVIDES, AMONG OTHER THINGS, THAT, UNLESS OTHERWISE SPECIFICALLY PROVIDED THEREIN, THE ACT SHALL NOT BE CONSTRUED TO AFFECT ANY LIABILITY OR OBLIGATION EXISTING AT THE TIME IT TAKES EFFECT AND THAT AS TO ALL LIABILITIES AND OBLIGATIONS THEN EXISTING THE STATUTES OR PARTS OF STATUTES REPEALED BY THE ACT ARE, UNLESS OTHERWISE SPECIFICALLY PROVIDED THEREIN, THEREBY CONTINUED IN FORCE AND EFFECT. HENCE, ALL RIGHTS AND LIABILITIES EXISTING AT THE TIME OF THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF THE 1952 ACT WERE PRESERVED, UNLESS OTHERWISE SPECIFICALLY PROVIDED IN THE ACT. THERE APPEARS NO SUCH EXCEPTION THEREIN WITH REFERENCE TO A MATTER SUCH AS HERE INVOLVED. THEREFORE, THE HOLDING IN THE PRINCE LINE CASE APPEARS NO LONGER APPLICABLE EXCEPT AS TO SUCH MATTERS ARISING PRIOR TO THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF THE 1952 ACT.

ACCORDINGLY, AND SINCE THE FACTS IN THE PRESENT CASE ARE SIMILAR TO THOSE IN THE PRINCE LINE CASE AND THE MATTER AROSE PRIOR TO THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF THE 1952 ACT, THE CLAIM MAY BE ADMINISTRATIVELY APPROVED FOR PAYMENT UNDER THE CURRENT APPROPRIATION FOR SALARIES AND EXPENSES OF THE IMMIGRATION AND NATURALIZATION SERVICE, WHICH CONTAINS A PROVISION FOR "REFUNDS OF * * * OTHER ITEMS PROPERLY RETURNABLE," AND LIKE ACTION MAY BE TAKEN BY YOUR DEPARTMENT WITH RESPECT TO SIMILAR CLAIMS ARISING PRIOR TO THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF THE 1952 ACT.