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Matthew Kolken on Deportation And Removal

Attorney General Announces Zero Tolerance Policy for Criminal Illegal Entry

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Department of Justice
Office of Public Affairs

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, April 6, 2018



Attorney General Announces Zero-Tolerance Policy for Criminal Illegal Entry

Attorney General Jeff Sessions today notified all U.S. Attorney’s Offices along the Southwest Border of a new “zero-tolerance policy” for offenses under 8 U.S.C. § 1325(a), which prohibits both attempted illegal entry and illegal entry into the United States by an alien. The implementation of the Attorney General’s zero-tolerance policy comes as the Department of Homeland Security reported a 203 percent increase in illegal border crossings from March 2017 to March 2018, and a 37 percent increase from February 2018 to March 2018—the largest month-to-month increase since 2011.

“The situation at our Southwest Border is unacceptable. Congress has failed to pass effective legislation that serves the national interest—that closes dangerous loopholes and fully funds a wall along our southern border. As a result, a crisis has erupted at our Southwest Border that necessitates an escalated effort to prosecute those who choose to illegally cross our border,” said Attorney General Jeff Sessions. “To those who wish to challenge the Trump Administration’s commitment to public safety, national security, and the rule of law, I warn you: illegally entering this country will not be rewarded, but will instead be met with the full prosecutorial powers of the Department of Justice. To the Department’s prosecutors, I urge you: promoting and enforcing the rule of law is vital to protecting a nation, its borders, and its citizens. You play a critical part in fulfilling these goals, and I thank you for your continued efforts in seeing to it that our laws—and as a result, our nation—are respected.”

On April 11, 2017, Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced a renewed commitment to criminal immigration enforcement. As part of that announcement, the Attorney General issued a memorandum to all federal prosecutors and directed them to prioritize the prosecution of certain criminal immigration offenses.

Today’s zero-tolerance policy further directs each U.S. Attorney’s Office along the Southwest Border (i.e., Southern District of California, District of Arizona, District of New Mexico, Western District of Texas, and the Southern District of Texas) to adopt a policy to prosecute all Department of Homeland Security referrals of section 1325(a) violations, to the extent practicable.


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  1. ImmigrationLawBlogs's Avatar
    Matthew,

    I know most of the ILW.com readers will view this as another outrageous attempt to persecute undocumented aliens. In fact though, Congress made it a serious criminal offense with the following INA provisions, which, incidentally, were enacted long before Trump became a politician. Nolan Rappaport

    8 U.S. Code § 1325 - Improper entry by alien




    (a)Improper time or place; avoidance of examination or inspection; misrepresentation and concealment of factsAny alien who (1) enters or attempts to enter the United States at any time or place other than as designated by immigration officers, or (2) eludes examination or inspection by immigration officers, or (3) attempts to enter or obtains entry to the United States by a willfully false or misleading representation or the willful concealment of a material fact, shall, for the first commission of any such offense, be fined under title 18 or imprisoned not more than 6 months, or both, and, for a subsequent commission of any such offense, be fined under title 18, or imprisoned not more than 2 years, or both.


    (b)Improper time or place; civil penaltiesAny alien who is apprehended while entering (or attempting to enter) the United States at a time or place other than as designated by immigration officers shall be subject to a civil penalty of—(1)at least $50 and not more than $250 for each such entry (or attempted entry); or

    (2)twice the amount specified in paragraph (1) in the case of an alien who has been previously subject to a civil penalty under this subsection.

    Civil penalties under this subsection are in addition to, and not in lieu of, any criminal or other civil penalties that may be imposed.

    (c)Marriage fraudAny individual who knowingly enters into a marriage for the purpose of evading any provision of the immigration laws shall be imprisoned for not more than 5 years, or fined not more than $250,000, or both.


    (d)Immigration-related entrepreneurship fraudAny individual who knowingly establishes a commercial enterprise for the purpose of evading any provision of the immigration laws shall be imprisoned for not more than 5 years, fined in accordance with title 18, or both.










  2. MKolken's Avatar
    This really isn't anything new. 52% of ALL federal criminal prosecutions under Obama were immigration related crimes.
  3. ImmigrationLawBlogs's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by MKolken
    This really isn't anything new. 52% of ALL federal criminal prosecutions under Obama were immigration related crimes.
    It's not new to you or to me, but I don't think many people realize that entry without inspection is a crime and that two or more entries make it a felony.

    If Trump plans to prosecute first time entries, which are only a misdemeanor, he is likely to incarcerate the aliens found guilty at military bases. That apparently is his plan to be able to provide the additional bed space needed to end catch and release.

    If Trump gets serious about enforcement, we will see much greater military involvement for detention as well as to assist CBP at the border. As Dylan said, "The times, they are a changing."

    Nolan Rappaport
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