Argyle R. Mackey

Commissioner of Immigration and Naturalization, April 23, 1951 - May 23, 1954

Born in Rock Hill, Virginia in 1898, Argyle Mackey was educated in the Virginia public schools, Holy Trinity Parochial School in Washington, D.C., and Leonard Hall in Leonardtown, Maryland. He earned his law degree from the Law School of the National University in Washington, D.C. (now known has The George Washington Law School) in 1923.

A career federal civil servant, Mackey began his government service in 1918 as an assistant to land surveying teams working in Nebraska. After a number of years with the General Accounting Office, Mackey joined Naturalization Service in 1930. He began as a naturalization examiner and later served as an immigration inspector after the Bureau of Naturalization became a component of the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS). While in these posts, he worked in Detroit, New York City, Los Angeles, and San Diego. Mackey also held several posts in the INS Central Office, including Senior Attorney of the Legal Branch, Chief of the Exclusion and Expulsion Section, Chief of the Inspection and Examination Section, and Deputy Commissioner. Mackey was serving as Acting Commissioner when President Truman nominated him to be Commissioner in 1950. His nomination was approved and Mackey was sworn in as Commissioner on April 23, 1951.

In May of 1954 Mackey became the final Truman appointee in the Justice Department to be replaced by President Eisenhower, who appointed Lt. General Joseph M. Swing as Mackey’s successor. Mackey then briefly served as Deputy Commissioner of Immigration and Naturalization and resigned from the Service in 1955. Mackey died on July 1, 1968, at the age of 70.

Compiled from the following Sources:
“Argyle Mackey Sr., Long in U.S. Posts,” New York Times, Jul 2, 1968: 41; “Argyle R. Mackey Named Commissioner of Immigration,” INS Monthly Review, Vol. IIV no. 11 (May 1951): 142.

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