“'Illegal' aliens aren't immigrants, they are criminals.”

  1. Quilligrapher profile image85
    Quilligrapherposted 24 months ago

    The title of this thread is a quote taken from a post in the HubPages»Topical Forums»Health»Mental Health»Anger Management forum in what appears to be an attempt to hijack another person’s thread. It deserves a reply but, obviously, that forum was not the appropriate place for it. {1}

    “Illegal alien” has no judicial meaning. It is a pejorative term used by anti-immigration activists who are trying to portray all unauthorized immigrants as criminals.  Merely being in the country without complying with immigration laws is not, by itself, a criminal act. “The term ‘illegal alien,’ which may suggest a criminal violation, is inaccurate or misleading,” the ACLU wrote in an ISSUE BRIEF concerning Criminalizing Undocumented Immigrants. {2}

    Nearly half of the estimated 12 million undocumented immigrants have entered the U.S. legally, stayed beyond the specified limits of their visas or work permits, dropped out of school, or violated their entry conditions in some other way. {3}

    Immigrants in this class who have not otherwise violated state or federal laws are NOT criminals!

    Just being in the U.S. without proper documents is only a criminal act when an immigrant returns without permission after having been previously, as well as formally, deported. {4} “Any individual previously ‘deported or removed’ who ‘enters, attempts to enter, or is at any time found in’ the United States without authorization may be
    punished by imprisonment up to two years.”

    Are immigrants who sneak across the border criminals? No. Just bypassing immigration check points to enter the country is a civil offense and not a crime.

    “(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."
    [Bold emphasis added for educational purposes.] {5}

    Therefore, for the benefit of those who continually post false statements because they do not fact check their prejudices or who may intentionally do so to pursue an anti-immigration agenda: “Mere undocumented presence in the United States alone, however, in the absence of a previous removal order and unauthorized reentry, is not a crime under federal law.” {1}
    {1} http://hubpages.com/forum/post/2811388
    {2} https://www.aclu.org/files/assets/FINAL … ERSION.pdf
    {3} http://www.pewhispanic.org/2006/05/22/m … opulation/
    {4} 8 U.S.C. § 1326
    {5} https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/8/1325