Drawing on a case file created on an immigrant inspector accused of sexual misconduct by an alien prostitute facing deportation in Detroit, this article traces the thorough investigation the US Immigration Service pursued when a serious allegation was made against one of its own. It presents the twists and turns of the investigation, reading transcripts of testimonies and internal correspondence between Detroit, Montréal, and Washington both along and against the grain. It argues that the case sheds critical light on how the Immigration Service understood respectable masculinity and the proper exercise of authority in the early 1920s. Due to the nature of their work, especially cases involving alleged “immoral” women and prostitutes, immigrant inspectors were supposed to embody the ideals of respectable middle-class masculinity, including order, moderation, and self-restraint. Improper sexual relations was a serious charge that challenged not only the reputation of the immigrant inspector, but also the Immigration Service more broadly.

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