630 Sansome was a standard-issue office building that was in no way intended to house hundreds of long-term detainees, but administrators agreed it would have to suffice. Immigration officials detained women on one floor of the building and men on another, separating Leong and her son.

A few weeks after Leong’s arrival, the U.S. Attorney General publicly condemned the INS’ handling of war brides in San Francisco, following reports that American husbands were not allowed to communicate with their wives or children. The immigration service had “surreptitiously reestablished a barbaric practice in handling immigrants seeking admission to this country,” Attorney General Tom Clark declared, further demanding that a “humanitarian system of examination and detention...be established.” The Truman administration appeared eager to dissociate itself from the horrifying stories coming out of San Francisco, painting these choices as a bureaucracy run amok rather than a Presidential directive.

Finally, in September, after three months of personnel shortages and delays, Leong received her official interview. Immigration officials interrogated her about everything from her family, to her relationship with her spouse, to her political views, searching for even the smallest inconsistency in her story. Some interviews with immigration officials lasted over seven hours, and few immigrants left these hearings feeling confident they had convinced authorities.

The night after her immigration interview, having spent three months in an office building separated from her husband and her son, Leong Bick Ha hung herself in a shower stall on the 13th floor of 630 Sansome Street.