We truly live in a lawless nation. According to federal law, it is illegal to encourage or induce illegal immigrants to enter the United States, and it is also illegal to either be engaged in or aiding and abetting the “domestic transportation” or “harboring” of illegal immigrants. In other words, many of our top politicians and a whole host of federal officials should be going to prison. The following comes directly from the Justice Department…
Title 8, U.S.C. § 1324(a) defines several distinct offenses related to aliens. Subsection 1324(a)(1)(i)-(v) prohibits alien smuggling, domestic transportation of unauthorized aliens, concealing or harboring unauthorized aliens, encouraging or inducing unauthorized aliens to enter the United States, and engaging in a conspiracy or aiding and abetting any of the preceding acts. Subsection 1324(a)(2) prohibits bringing or attempting to bring unauthorized aliens to the United States in any manner whatsoever, even at a designated port of entry. Subsection 1324(a)(3).
Alien Smuggling — Subsection 1324(a)(1)(A)(i) makes it an offense for any person who — knowing that a person is an alien, to bring to or attempts to bring to the United States in any manner whatsoever such person at a place other than a designated port of entry or place other than as designated by the Commissioner, regardless of whether such alien has received prior official authorization to come to, enter, or reside in the United States and regardless of any future official action which may be taken with respect to such alien.
Domestic Transporting — Subsection 1324(a)(1)(A)(ii) makes it an offense for any person who — knowing or in reckless disregard of the fact that an alien has come to, entered, or remains in the United States in violation of law, transports, or moves or attempts to transport or move such alien within the United States by means of transportation or otherwise, in furtherance of such violation of law.
Harboring — Subsection 1324(a)(1)(A)(iii) makes it an offense for any person who — knowing or in reckless disregard of the fact that an alien has come to, entered, or remains in the United States in violation of law, conceals harbors, or shields from detection, or attempts to conceal, harbor, or shield from detection, such alien in any place, including any building or any means of transportation.
Encouraging/Inducing — Subsection 1324(a)(1)(A)(iv) makes it an offense for any person who — encourages or induces an alien to come to, enter, or reside in the United States, knowing or in reckless disregard of the fact that such coming to, entry, or residence is or will be in violation of law.
Conspiracy/Aiding or Abetting — Subsection 1324(a)(1)(A)(v) expressly makes it an offense to engage in a conspiracy to commit or aid or abet the commission of the foregoing offenses.
Bringing Aliens to the United States — Subsection 1324(a)(2) makes it an offense for any person who — knowing or in reckless disregard of the fact that an alien has not received prior authorization to come to, enter, or reside in the United States, to bring to or attempts to bring to the United States in any manner whatsoever, such alien, regardless of any official action which may later be taken with respect to such alien.
The Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act (IIRIRA), enacted on September 30, 1996, added a new 8 U.S.C. § 1324(a)(3)(A) which makes it an offense for any person, during any 12-month period, to knowingly hire at least 10 individuals with actual knowledge that these individuals are unauthorized aliens. See this Manual at 1908 (unlawful employment of aliens).
Unit of Prosecution — With regard to offenses defined in subsections 1324(a)(1)(A)(i)-(v), (alien smuggling, domestic transporting, harboring, encouraging/inducing, or conspiracy/aiding or abetting) each alien with respect to whom a violation occurs constitutes a unit of prosecution. Prior to enactment of the IIRIRA, the unit of prosecution for violations of 8 U.S.C. § 1324(a)(2) was each transaction, regardless of the number of aliens involved. However, the unit of prosecution is now based on each alien in respect to whom a violation occurs.
Knowledge — Prosecutions for alien smuggling, 8 U.S.C. § 1324(a)(1)(A)(i) require proof that defendant knew that the person brought to the United States was an alien. With regard to the other violations in 8 U.S.C. § 1324(a), proof of knowledge or reckless disregard of alienage is sufficient.
Penalties — The basic statutory maximum penalty for violating 8 U.S.C. § 1324(a)(1)(i) and (v)(I) (alien smuggling and conspiracy) is a fine under title 18, imprisonment for not more than 10 years, or both. With regard to violations of 8 U.S.C. § 1324(a)(1)(ii)-(iv) and (v)(ii), domestic transportation, harboring, encouraging/inducing, or aiding/abetting, the basic statutory maximum term of imprisonment is 5 years, unless the offense was committed for commercial advantage or private financial gain, in which case the maximum term of imprisonment is 10 years. In addition, significant enhanced penalties are provided for in violations of 8 U.S.C. § 1324(a)(1) involving serious bodily injury or placing life in jeopardy. Moreover, if the violation results in the death of any person, the defendant may be punished by death or by imprisonment for any term of years. The basic penalty for a violation of subsection 1324(a)(2) is a fine under title 18, imprisonment for not more than one year, or both, 8 U.S.C. § 1324(a)(2)(A). Enhanced penalties are provided for violations involving bringing in criminal aliens, 8 U.S.C. § 1324(a)(2)(B)(i), offenses done for commercial advantage or private financial gain, 8 U.S.C. § 1324(a)(2)(B)(ii), and violations where the alien is not presented to an immigration officer immediately upon arrival, 8 U.S.C. § 1324(a)(2)(B)(iii). A mandatory minimum three year term of imprisonment applies to first or second violations of § 1324(a)(2)(B)(i) or (B)(ii). Further enhanced punishment is provided for third or subsequent offenses.
Federal Immigration and Nationality Act
Section 8 USC 1324(a)(1)(A)(iv)(b)(iii)“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
It is unlawful to hire an alien, to recruit an alien, or to refer an alien for a fee, knowing the alien is unauthorized to work in the United States. It is equally unlawful to continue to employ an alien knowing that the alien is unauthorized to work. Employers may give preference in recruitment and hiring to a U.S. citizen over an alien with work authorization only where the U.S. citizen is equally or better qualified. It is unlawful to hire an individual for employment in the United States without complying with employment eligibility verification requirements. Requirements include examination of identity documents and completion of Form I-9 for every employee hired. Employers must retain all I-9s, and, with three days’ advance notice, the forms must be made available for inspection. Employment includes any service or labor performed for any type of remuneration within the United States, with the exception of sporadic domestic service by an individual in a private home. Day laborers or other casual workers engaged in any compensated activity (with the above exception) are employees for purposes of immigration law. An employer includes an agent or anyone acting directly or indirectly in the interest of the employer. For purposes of verfication of authorization to work, employer also means an independent contractor, or a contractor other than the person using the alien labor. The use of temporary or short-term contracts cannot be used to circumvent the employment authorization verification requirements. If employment is to be for less than the usual three days allowed for completing the I-9 Form requirement, the form must be completed immediately at the time of hire.
An employer has constructive knowledge that an employee is an illegal unauthorized worker if a reasonable person would infer it from the facts. Constructive knowledge constituting a violation of federal law has been found where (1) the I-9 employment eligibility form has not been properly completed, including supporting documentation, (2) the employer has learned from other individuals, media reports, or any source of information available to the employer that the alien is unauthorized to work, or (3) the employer acts with reckless disregard for the legal consequences of permitting a third party to provide or introduce an illegal alien into the employer’s work force. Knowledge cannot be inferred solely on the basis of an individual’s accent or foreign appearance.
Actual specific knowledge is not required. For example, a newspaper article stating that ballrooms depend on an illegal alien work force of dance hostesses was held by the courts to be a reasonable ground for suspicion that unlawful conduct had occurred.
IT IS ILLEGAL FOR NONPROFIT OR RELIGIOUS ORGANIZATIONS to knowingly assist an employer to violate employment sanctions, REGARDLESS OF CLAIMS THAT THEIR CONVICTIONS REQUIRE THEM TO ASSIST ALIENS. Harboring or aiding illegal aliens is not protected by the First Amendment. It is a felony to establish a commercial enterprise for the purpose of evading any provision of federal immigration law. Violators may be fined or imprisoned for up to five years.
Encouraging and Harboring Illegal Aliens
It is a violation of law for any person to conceal, harbor, or shield from detection in any place, including any building or means of transportation, any alien who is in the United States in violation of law. HARBORING MEANS ANY CONDUCT THAT TENDS TO SUBSTANTIALLY FACILITATE AN ALIEN TO REMAIN IN THE U.S. ILLEGALLY. The sheltering need not be clandestine, and harboring covers aliens arrested outdoors, as well as in a building. This provision includes harboring an alien who entered the U.S. legally but has since lost his legal status.
An employer can be convicted of the felony of harboring illegal aliens who are his employees if he takes actions in reckless disregard of their illegal status, such as ordering them to obtain false documents, altering records, obstructing INS inspections, or taking other actions that facilitate the alien’s illegal employment. Any person who within any 12-month period hires ten or more individuals with actual knowledge that they are illegal aliens or unauthorized workers is guilty of felony harboring. It is also a felony to encourage or induce an alien to come to or reside in the U.S. knowing or recklessly disregarding the fact that the alien’s entry or residence is in violation of the law. This crime applies to any person, rather than just employers of illegal aliens. Courts have ruled that “encouraging” includes counseling illegal aliens to continue working in the U.S. or assisting them to complete applications with false statements or obvious errors. The fact that the alien is a refugee fleeing persecution is not a defense to this felony, since U.S. law and the UN Protocol on Refugees both require that a refugee must report to immigration authorities without delay upon entry to the U.S.
The penalty for felony harboring is a fine and imprisonment for up to five years. The penalty for felony alien smuggling is a fine and up to ten years’ imprisonment. Where the crime causes serious bodily injury or places the life of any person in jeopardy, the penalty is a fine and up to twenty years’ imprisonment. If the criminal smuggling or harboring results in the death of any person, the penalty can include life imprisonment. Convictions for aiding, abetting, or conspiracy to commit alien smuggling or harboring, carry the same penalties. Courts can impose consecutive prison sentences for each alien smuggled or harbored. A court may order a convicted smuggler to pay restitution if the alien smuggled qualifies as a victim under the Victim and Witness Protection Act. Conspiracy to commit crimes of sheltering, harboring, or employing illegal aliens is a separate federal offense punishable by a fine of up to $10,000 or five years’ imprisonment.
A person or entity having knowledge of a violation or potential violation of employer sanctions provisions may submit a signed written complaint to the INS office with jurisdiction over the business or residence of the potential violator, whether an employer, employee, or agent. The complaint must include the names and addresses of both the complainant and the violator, and detailed factual allegations, including date, time, and place of the potential violation, and the specific conduct alleged to be a violation of employer sanctions. By regulation, the INS will only investigate third-party complaints that have a reasonable probability of validity. Designated INS officers and employees, and all other officers whose duty it is to enforce criminal laws, may make an arrest for violation of smuggling or harboring illegal aliens.
State and local law enforcement officials have the general power to investigate and arrest violators of federal immigration statutes without prior INS knowledge or approval, as long as they are authorized to do so by state law. There is no extant federal limitation on this authority. The 1996 immigration control legislation passed by Congress was intended to encourage states and local agencies to participate in the process of enforcing federal immigration laws. Immigration officers and local law enforcement officers may detain an individual for a brief warrantless interrogation where circumstances create a reasonable suspicion that the individual is illegally present in the U.S. Specific facts constituting a reasonable suspicion include evasive, nervous, or erratic behavior; dress or speech indicating foreign citizenship; and presence in an area known to contain a concentration of illegal aliens. Hispanic appearance alone is not sufficient. Immigration officers and police must have a valid warrant or valid employer’s consent to enter workplaces or residences. Any vehicle used to transport or harbor illegal aliens, or used as a substantial part of an activity that encourages illegal aliens to come to or reside in the U.S. may be seized by an immigration officer and is subject to forfeiture. The forfeiture power covers any conveyances used within the U.S.
RICO — Citizen Recourse
Private persons and entities may initiate civil suits to obtain injunctions and treble damages against enterprises that conspire to or actually violate federal alien smuggling, harboring, or document fraud statutes, under the Racketeer-Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO). The pattern of racketeering activity is defined as commission of two or more of the listed crimes. A RICO enterprise can be any individual legal entity, or a group of individuals who are not a legal entity but are associated in fact, AND CAN INCLUDE NONPROFIT ASSOCIATIONS.
Employers who aid or abet the preparation of false tax returns by failing to pay income or Social Security taxes for illegal alien employees, or who knowingly make payments using false names or Social Security numbers, are subject to IRS criminal and civil sanctions. U.S. nationals who have suffered intentional discrimination because of citizenship or national origin by an employer with more than three employees may file a complaint within 180 days of the discriminatory act with the Special Counsel for Immigration-Related Unfair Employment Practices, U.S. Department of Justice. In additon to the federal statutes summarized, state laws and local ordinances controlling fair labor practices, workers compensation, zoning, safe housing and rental property, nuisance, licensing, street vending, and solicitations by contractors may also apply to activities that involve illegal aliens.