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Old 05-06-2009, 11:58 AM
 
Location: Ann Arbor, MI
804 posts, read 828,302 times
Reputation: 136

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I keep hearing the term criminal being equated to the term illegal alien, but the term criminal is reserved for people who has broken a criminal law.

Now, illegal immigration is a Civil matter, which means it's ruled by Civil Law not Criminal Law. Immigration cases are heard in front of an administrative law judge for the BCIS not a criminal judge.

So, yes, an illegal alien has broken a law, but a civil one, not a criminal law therefore is not a criminal per se.

Now, I asked on the spot one of my friends who is law school student (via text) and she told me that one could argue that the illegal alien is actually a victim of the U.S. system because by categorizing illegal immigration as civil matter the individual is actually denied the protections of process that are exclusively given to people in the criminal justice system.

Now if you do not agree with my definition of the word criminal to be limited to "Criminal Law" then you trivialize the word and anyone, including people who got a parking ticket, or at any time got an speeding ticket would be a criminal.


The only source that I could find regarding illegal immigration could be considered criminal is U.S. Code, Title 8, Section 1325 Improper entry by an alien. But it's scope is limited and if it applies, it only applies to:
"Any 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, ..."

United States Code - TITLE 8 - ALIENS AND NATIONALITY - CHAPTER 12 - IMMIGRATION AND NATIONALITY - SUBCHAPTER II - IMMIGRATION - PART VIII - GENERAL PENALTY PROVISIONS - section 1325

But then people who entered the U.S. legally and then overstayed ( about 45% of the illegal aliens as of 2006 according to NPR) (Nearly Half of Illegal Immigrants Overstay Visas : NPR) would not be a criminal.

Also, now thanks to the decision by the Supreme Court stating that (http://www.nytimes.com/2009/05/05/us/05immig.html) "federal identity-theft law may not be used against many illegal workers who used false Social Security numbers to get jobs." even further reduces the amount of illegal aliens who are accurately called criminals.

I have no formal law training, but I would definitely like to see the lawyers that are members of this forum or any other person who knows the law leave a more informed opinion on the matter.

Please if I have missed it at any point for the purpose of this post, define illegal immigrant as equivalent to illegal alien for any of my writing, I tried to change as much as I saw needed. Thanks Bostonian123

-Kellem

Last edited by Kellem; 05-06-2009 at 01:13 PM.. Reason: Edited to correct, as per Bostonian123 recommendations
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Old 05-06-2009, 12:57 PM
 
Location: Where laws can be ignored due to political correctness
1,111 posts, read 1,111,808 times
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Section 1325. Improper entry by alien

(a) Improper time or place; avoidance of examination or inspection; misrepresentation and concealment of facts
Any 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 penalties Any 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 fraud Any 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 fraud Any 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.
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Old 05-06-2009, 01:00 PM
 
2,088 posts, read 1,431,440 times
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Illegal immigrant is not a valid term according to US law. The government recognizes only aliens and immigrants. A non-immigrant who is in the US without permission is an illegal alien. Please use the correct term.
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Old 05-06-2009, 01:16 PM
 
Location: Ann Arbor, MI
804 posts, read 828,302 times
Reputation: 136
anti-reconquista,

Yes, that is where the link on the main post directs to, and that is also where I copied the excerpt from for my post, but that section seems to have limited scope.

Bostonian123,

Thanks, I have edited my post to reflect the correct term.
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Old 05-06-2009, 01:43 PM
 
Location: Mesa, Az
21,157 posts, read 26,339,212 times
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If caught a second here illegally in the USA---------that alone is a Felony making said illegal alien a criminal. First offence is merely civil.
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Old 05-06-2009, 01:49 PM
 
Location: Ann Arbor, MI
804 posts, read 828,302 times
Reputation: 136
Quote:
Originally Posted by ArizonaBear View Post
If caught a second here illegally in the USA---------that alone is a Felony making said illegal alien a criminal. First offence is merely civil.
That would mean that illegal aliens, are not criminals until caught for the second time and convicted, is that correct ArizonaBear.

Then to immediately assume that any illegal alien is a criminal is incorrect, as many posts in this forum seem to point out.
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Old 05-06-2009, 01:50 PM
 
Location: San Diego
17,290 posts, read 13,769,074 times
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How about Illegal Trespassing Alien? Sounds rather odd.


illegally trespassing Alien................nope

No use trying to rewrite history.
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Old 05-06-2009, 01:55 PM
 
Location: southern california
49,726 posts, read 46,804,402 times
Reputation: 40956
low level crime, definitely like any non violent crime-- certainly no more worse than the employers that rip off american workers by encouraging mexican people to come here illegally.
but then again employers feel they must entice mexican workers to come here because we already exploit forced chinese prison labor to supply walmart-- competition. so its all part of a larger picture and that picture is anti labor
and americans hate labor unions.

Last edited by Huckleberry3911948; 05-06-2009 at 02:22 PM..
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Old 05-06-2009, 02:06 PM
 
Location: The Wine Country, CA
807 posts, read 773,946 times
Reputation: 297
Frame it whatever way you want, Civil or Criminal, the act of illegally crossing the border MAY be a Civil Matter in the FIRST offense, but what about the actions AFTER they have crossed the border? The identity theft?, etc..

It is still ILLEGAL for them to be here regardless of how it is spun..
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Old 05-06-2009, 02:20 PM
 
Location: Ann Arbor, MI
804 posts, read 828,302 times
Reputation: 136
Quote:
Originally Posted by bipolarpunk View Post
Frame it whatever way you want, Civil or Criminal, the act of illegally crossing the border MAY be a Civil Matter in the FIRST offense, but what about the actions AFTER they have crossed the border? The identity theft?, etc..

It is still ILLEGAL for them to be here regardless of how it is spun..
It's illegal, just like when you drive over the speed limit and get a ticket for it. Does it make you a criminal, no.

And as discussed in the other thread I.D. theft got legislated from the bench by the Supreme Court. What other offence is perpetrated by illegal aliens that is criminal, that is representative enough that would entitle you to call them all criminals.
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