Illegal Immigration is a Crime

Under Title 8 Section 1325 of the U.S. Code, "Improper Entry by Alien," any citizen of any country other than the United States who:

has committed a federal crime.

Violations are punishable by criminal fines and imprisonment for up to six months. Repeat offenses can bring up to two years in prison. Additional civil fines may be imposed at the discretion of immigration judges, but civil fines do not negate the criminal sanctions or nature of the offense.

Red DotSee: Unlawful entry a crime since '29 - Rocky Mountain News -- June 11, 2006 AP Internal Use Only

Red DotAlso see the following...........



Illegal Immigration is a Crime


Each year the Border Patrol is making more than a million apprehensions of people who flagrantly violate our nation's laws by unlawfully crossing U.S. borders to work and to receive publicly-funded services, often with the aid of fraudulent documents. Such entry is a misdemeanor and, if repeated, becomes punishable as a felony. Over eight million illegal immigrants live in the United States -- some estimate even more.

In addition to sneaking into the country in violation of the immigration law that requires that aliens be documented for legal entry (referred to as "entry without inspection -- EWI"), others enter with legal documentation and then violate the terms on which they have been admitted by taking jobs that are not authorized or overstaying the authorized period of stay in the country. The INS estimated in 1996 that about 60 percent of the then estimated five million illegal immigrants were EWI and 40 percent were overstayers. Both types of illegal immigrants are deportable under Immigration and Nationality Act Section 237 (a)(1)(B) which says:
"Any alien who is present in the United States in violation of this Act or any other law of the United States is deportable."

ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION IS NOT A VICTIMLESS CRIME
Apologists for illegal immigration like to paint it as a victimless crime.  But in fact, illegal immigration causes substantial harm to American citizens and legal immigrants, particularly those in the most vulnerable sectors of our population--the poor, minorities, and children.

Illegal immigration causes an enormous drain on public funds.  The seminal study of the costs of immigration by the National Academy of Sciences found that the taxes paid by immigrants do not cover the cost of services received by them. We cannot provide high quality education, health care, and retirement security for our own people if we continue to bring in endless numbers of poor, unskilled immigrants. 

Additionally, job competition by waves of illegal immigrants willing to work at substandard wages and working conditions depresses the wages of American workers, hitting hardest at minority workers and those without high school degrees. Ý

Illegal immigration also contributes to the dramatic population growth overwhelming communities across America--crowding school classrooms, consuming already limited affordable housing, and straining precious natural resources like water, energy, and forestland.

BORDER PATROL: NECESSARY BUT NOT SUFFICIENT
The Border Patrol plays a crucial role in combatting illegal immigration, but illegal immigration cannot be controlled solely at the border. About half of the illegal alien population is comprised of visa overstayers--people who entered the country legally, but became illegal aliens by their failure to leave the U.S. upon expiration of their visa. Once entry occurs, there is little chance of detection and virtually no chance of deportation, except for convicted criminals.

WHAT CAN WE DO?
We need a comprehensive program to end illegal immigration; that means ensuring that people who enter illegally or overstay their lawful status will not be able to obtain employment, public assistance benefits, public education, public housing, or any other taxpayer-funded benefit without detection.

The three major components of immigration control--deterrence, apprehension and removal--need to be strengthened by Congress and the Executive Branch if effective control is ever to be reestablished. Controlling illegal immigration requires a balanced approach with a full range of enforcement improvements that go far beyond the border. These include many procedural reforms, beefed up investigation capacity, asylum reform, documents improvements, major improvements in INS detention and deportation procedures, limitations on judicial review, improved intelligence capacity, greatly improved state/federal cooperation, and added resources.  See How to Combat Illegal Immigration.

WHAT ABOUT THE COSTS?
Effective control and management of the laws against illegal immigration require adequate resources. But those costs will be more than offset by savings to states, counties, communities, and school districts across the nation.

FAIR, 3/03

Also see: Federal Immigration and Nationality Act Section 8 USC 1324(a)(1)(A)(iv)(b)(iii)
and.... 1996 Brief: 'Illegal Immigration is a Crime'


| | |