Chew (plaintiff) was a Chinese seaman who came to the United States in 1945. He married an American citizen and purchased a home in New York. He later received a suspension of deportation and then permanent resident status in 1949. He served in the Merchant Marine in World War II and served on a merchant vessel of American registry after the war. He passed the Coast Guard’s screening procedures before he started work on the merchant vessel. When he tried to leave the vessel in San Francisco, the immigration inspector said he was “temporarily excluded” under 8 C.F.R. Section 175.77 because his entry was prejudicial to the public interest. After also being barred from entering New York, Chew filed for a writ of habeas corpus in federal district court. The Attorney General made Chew’s exclusion permanent, denied him a hearing and refused to give any evidence supporting his exclusion. The district court dismissed the writ and the Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit affirmed the dismissal. The Supreme Court granted certiorari on Chew’s appeal.