There are a lot of opinions out there concerning illegal immigration. I do not believe there is anything such as, “illegal” immigration. There is only immigration and illegal entry. To call an illegal entrant into this country an immigrant is to denigrate the immigrants that do the right thing by waiting their turn, paying their dues and, after receiving their documents, enter this country legally. You can say there is illegal migration, but not illegal immigration.
Also known as an “Undocumented Alien,” is an alien who has entered the United States illegally and is deportable if apprehended, or an alien who entered the United States legally but who has fallen “out of status” and is deportable.
An undocumented or “illegal alien” is an alien who entered the United States illegally without the proper authorization and documents, or is an alien who once entered the United States legally and has since violated the terms of the status in which he entered the United States or has overstayed the time limits of his original status. None of these people can be considered immigrants as they have not gone through the required protocol necessary to enter into the United States.
A non-immigrant visa allows a non-immigrant to enter the United States in one of several different categories, which correspond to the purpose for which the non-immigrant is being admitted to the United States. For example, a foreign student will usually enter the United States on an F-1 visa, a visitor for business on a B-1 visa, an exchange visitor (including students, teachers, researchers, trainees, alien physicians, au pairs, and others) on a J-1 visa, a diplomat on an A or G visa, etc. The categories of non-immigrant visas correspond exactly to the “non-immigrant status” assigned to each non-immigrant upon his arrival, based on the purpose for which the non-immigrant was admitted to the United States. For example, a foreign student who enters the United States on an F-1 visa is considered to be in F-1 student status after he enters the United States; and he will remain in that status until he violates the conditions prescribed for that status, or until he changes to another non-immigrant or immigrant status with USCIS permission, or until he leaves the United States.
Approximately 95% of the foreign academic students in the United States have entered the country on F-1 (student) or J-1 (Exchange Visitor) visas. Foreign vocational students usually enter the United States on M-1 visas. Foreign students and faculty members might also enter the United States on Q (Cultural Exchange Visitor) visas; however, the number who do so is small. A large number of foreign teachers and researchers have entered the United States on J-1 (Exchange Visitor) visas; but a great many of the foreign faculty members have also entered the United States on H-1b visas (Specialty Occupation), O-1 visas (Alien with Extraordinary Ability), and TN visas (NAFTA Professional from Canada or Mexico).
Most students in F-1 or J-1 status have no specific time limits imposed on their stay in the United States (evidenced by the notation D/S (Duration of Status) on their immigration Form I-94), while aliens in most other nonimmigrant statuses have various time limits imposed on their stay in the United States. Aliens in some nonimmigrant statuses are allowed to be employed in the United States, while nonimmigrants in other statuses are not. Non-immigrants who are allowed to be employed in the United States can usually get a United States social security number.
Earlier this year, the president signed an order to spare nearly 1 million young illegal migrants (“brought to the United States through no fault of their own as children”) from deportation. Last year the administration halted the deportation of hundreds of thousands of illegal migrants with no criminal records.
That does not mean they are not involved in continued criminal activity once they get here. Many believe that once they get here, crossing the border illegally is the only crime they commit. That is not true for a great majority of them. After they arrive, the first thing many do is obtain a false I.D. card, a false Social Security Card and a false Drivers license, all illegal activity.
Because there are a wide range of crimes that can result if you carry, make, or use a fake ID, there are also a wide range of possible penalties associated with that activity. In most situations where a person uses a fake ID, the crime is charged as a misdemeanor offense. However, false IDs can also result in felony charges depending on the situation and the state, such as if you use a fake ID to purchase a firearm or if you have a fake driver’s license and use it to apply for state or federal benefits, apply for a loan, etc. In some states, possessing any forged government identification is a felony offense.
“Any person who encourages or induces an alien to reside knowing or in reckless disregard of the fact that such residence is in violation of law, shall be punished as provided for each alien in respect to whom such a violation occurs fined under title 18 imprisoned not more than 5 years, or both.”
Section 274 felonies under the federal Immigration and Nationality Act, INA 274A(a)(1)(A):
A person (including a group of persons, business, organization, or local government) commits a federal felony when she or he:
* assists an alien s/he should reasonably know is illegally in the U.S. or who lacks employment authorization, by transporting, sheltering, or assisting him or her to obtain employment, or
* encourages that alien to remain in the U.S. by referring him or her to an employer or by acting as employer or agent for an employer in any way, or
* knowingly assists illegal aliens due to personal convictions.
Penalties upon conviction include criminal fines, imprisonment, and forfeiture of vehicles and real property used to commit the crime. Anyone employing or contracting with an illegal alien without verifying his or her work authorization status is guilty of a misdemeanor. Aliens and employers violating immigration laws are subject to arrest, detention, and seizure of their vehicles or property. In addition, individuals or entities who engage in racketeering enterprises that commit (or conspire to commit) immigration-related felonies are subject to private civil suits for treble damages and injunctive relief.
Recruitment and Employment of Illegal Aliens
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:
- Enters or attempts to enter the United States at any time or place other than as designated by immigration officers; or
- Eludes examination or inspection by immigration officers; or
- 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;
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.
The Immigration and Nationality Act of 1952 (INA), also known as the McCarran-Walter Act, eliminated all race-based quotas, replacing them with purely nationality-based quotas. The INA continues to influence the field of American immigration law. To enforce the quotas, the INA created the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS). The INS served as the federal agency that enforced these caps for remainder of the 20th century.
States have limited legislative authority regarding immigration, and 28 U.S.C. § 1251 details the full extent of state jurisdiction. Generally, 28 U.S.C. § 994 details the federal sentencing guidelines for illegal entry into the country.
What say you on this issue? Are you fer it or agin it? Leave your thoughts.