Nishimura Ekiu (plaintiff), a Japanese citizen, arrived in the United States by boat. Ekiu told the immigration officer that her husband was living in the United States and would meet her at a hotel. The immigration officer did not believe Ekiu and denied her entry into the country on the ground that she was likely to become a public charge; that is, dependent on the government for support. Ekiu applied for habeas corpus. The circuit court denied her relief on the ground that courts did not have the right to reexamine administrative findings of fact, such as those made by immigration officials. Ekiu appealed, arguing that this interpretation of the statute denied her due process of law.