Before Mr. Justice REED, retired,* and BAZELON and WASHINGTON, Circuit Judges.
UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA CIRCUIT.
DECISION OF THE COURT DELIVERED BY THE HONORABLE JUDGE BAZELON
The Attorney General appeals from the District Court's entry of summary judgment, on cross-motions, enjoining the deportation of the alien appellees *fn1 to Formosa on the ground that "the place to which deportation may be ordered [under the Immigration and Nationality Act] is a country and not a particular location" and Formosa is neither a country itself nor part of any country, its status being in limbo. *fn2
Section 243(a) of the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1952 provides some nine places to which aliens may be deported. *fn3 In each case, with one possible exception not here relevant, *fn4 the place is described as a "country."
Although the term "country" is used in this and other sections of the Act; Congress has supplied no definition. It must therefore be given its ordinary meaning, consistent with the purposes of the legislation. Delaney v. Moraitis, 4 Cir., 1943, 136 F.2d 129; Burnet v. Chicago Portrait Co., 1932, 285 U.S. 1, 52 S. Ct. 275, 277, 76 L. Ed. 587; cf. United States ex rel. Mensevich v. Tod, 1924, 264 U.S. 134, 44 S. Ct. 282, 68 L. Ed. 591.
The Supreme Court has pointed out that "the word 'country' . . . is ambiguous. It may be taken to mean foreign territory or a foreign government. In the sense of territory, it may embrace all the territory subject to a foreign sovereign power. When referring more particularly to a foreign government, it may describe a foreign State in the international sense . . . or it may mean a foreign government which has authority over a particular area or subject matter, although not an international person . . .." Burnet v. Chicago Portrait Co. (supra).
Since Formosa is a well-defined geographical, social and political entity and since there is a government on Formosa which has undisputed control of the island, we think it is a "country" within the meaning and purposes of the statute. This construction comports with Congress' evident purpose to reduce the number of "undeportables" by increasing the number of places to which an alien under a final order of deportation may be sent. *fn5 To hold otherwise would open to doubt the Attorney General's power to deport aliens to areas of the world where diplomatic status is unsettled, such as various trusteeships, protectorates or colonies.
We attribute no significance to the fact that the 1917 predecessor to 243(a) permitted aliens to be deported to the "country whence they came or the foreign port at which such aliens embarked for the United States." *fn6 Under this provision, appellees would be deportable to their point of embarkation on Formosa.The corresponding section now reads "the country in which is located the foreign port at which such alien embarked for the United States . . .," § 1253(a) (2). Congress gave no reason for the change, and we are unable to find that it was intended to be one of substance running counter to the congressional purpose of tightening the deportation laws.
Since we conclude that the word "country" as used in § 243(a) is not limited to national sovereignties in the traditional diplomatic sense, see United States ex rel. Moon v. Shaughnessy, 2 Cir., 1954, 218 F.2d 316, the possibilities of foreign affairs embarrassment which the District Court feared do not arise. Nor does this construction involve judicial intervention into political matters entrusted to the Executive and Legislative Branches. The judgment is accordingly reversed and the case is remanded to the District Court with directions to grant summary judgment for the appellant.
APPELLATE PANEL: FOOTNOTES
* Sitting by designation pursuant to § 294 (a), ...