Open Data

Pursuading Sanctuary Cites to uphold Immigration Detainers and Pay for a Wall

Observing current decisions by Federal Judges has compelled me to offer the following suggestion.


Sanctuary cities refuse to honor administrative detainers and many politicians believe that illegal entry is not a crime. There is a solution that both proves the point and drives it home that there are consequences to thwarting the Federal Laws of the United States. Utilizing 8 USC 1325 would be a good way to compel local jails to honor a “Criminal Detainer” and would help educate those who wish to thumb their noses at Federal Law that there are real consequences. The public line could go something like this. “We seek to enforce the laws of the United States of America. When local politicians seek to thwart those efforts, we must take action. Where once we sought to only Remove illegal aliens and not to punish them, the local politicians have forced us to seek prison time for the Federal Crime of illegal entry and to ensure that illegal aliens are not released from local custody and allowed back into our cities.”


Also there is a mechanism within the law to raise the needed funds to build a wall to keep out the flow of illegal aliens through our land borders. 8 USC 1325 also allows the implementation of a civil penalty for illegal entry or attempted entry of up to $250 dollars. These funds could be used to build the wall and in a way, have Mexico pay for it.


A strategy such as this would require that the United States Attorney’s in the relevant jurisdictions would be on board with the strategy and prosecute aliens found in their jurisdiction. The Executive Branch of the government appoints these individuals and their priorities should be in line with the executive branch. Their failure to do so should have direct and immediate consequences.


If a policy were to be instituted there should be a streamlining of the process for presenting large numbers of illegal aliens for prosecution. Some thought as to how to make the process uniform and consistent should be completed before the implementation of the strategy. Such a strategy will place some strain on the United States Attorney’s Office as they must provide Assistant United States Attorneys to present these cases for prosecution. There are ICE attorneys already assigned to the United States Attorney’s Office that can process these cases. A streamlined uniform system could help to alleviate the time burden on these attorneys.


It will also place a large burden on the Federal Public Defender’s Office as they seek to represent a large number of defendants. If they choose to go to trial, their burden grows. They may choose to plea bargain many defendants or they may choose to clog the system and have every case go to trial. The governments bargaining chip is simply to gain compliance of local jurisdictions in respecting ICE detainers.


If there is any interest in such a strategy, I would be available for further consultation. It may also help to use the term “Deportation” instead of “Removal”. I am not sure how this came about under the previous administration but the term “Deportation” should have consequences attached. If you return to the United States after being Removed or Deported, an alien should be prosecuted for Reentry after Deportation 8 USC 1326. But that is a separate part of the puzzle. Today let’s just deal with the Federal Crime of Improper Entry by an Alien.


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


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.



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—


at least $50 and not more than $250 for each such entry (or attempted entry); or


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.


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Idea No. 293