San Diego Law Review

From Mezei to Jean: Toward the Exit of the Entry Doctrine

Library of Congress Authority File


Document Type



This Comment examines the issues of whether non-entrant aliens possess rights under the Fifth Amendment to the Constitution. The author reviews the legal developments surrounding the admission of aliens and analyzes the doctrinal underpinning of the governmental power to exclude aliens. The author then examines the delegation of discretionary power to the executive branch under the Immigration and Naturalization Act and argues that this delegation of power runs afoul of Constitutional limitations. The author examines the recent decision in Jean v. Nelson and analyzes how the court could have reached a more just result. The author concludes that the traditional analysis of the rights of non-entrant aliens in detention cases, as embodied in the entry doctrine fiction, is in desperate need of an overhaul.

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