A ‘Renewed Commitment’ to Criminial Immigration Enforcement

With the directive being aimed at prosecutors throughout the nation, it is likely that we will see more immigration-related prosecutions in Colorado than in previous years.

Following a tour of our Southern border and an animated speech encouraging increased immigration enforcement, Attorney General Jeff Sessions issued a memo asking U.S. Attorneys to intensify efforts in criminally prosecuting immigration violations.
In a memo released April 11, Sessions, focusing largely on non-violent crimes, reaffirmed the commitment to enforcing criminal laws at the border and highlighted five specific areas where “consistent and vigorous enforcement” were warranted. These areas are:
Alien Harboring under 8 U.S.C. § 1324: This statute is very broadly drafted, and the memo emphasizes that it includes both concealing and transporting undocumented immigrants. The memo encourages prosecutions of individuals bringing in three or more individuals or in cases with aggravating factors such as injury or sex assault. This statute can also be used to prosecute employers that knowingly hire undocumented immigrant workers.
Felony re-entry under 8 U.S.C. § 1325: Individuals with two or more previous misdemeanor re-entry cases under the same section will be targeted for felony prosecution. This particularly applies to individuals who have aggravating factors such as previous criminal convictions or suspected gang ties. This section will also be used to prosecute people who marry for the purposes of evading immigration laws.

To read this story and other complete articles featured in the April 24, 2017 print edition of Law Week Colorado, copies are available for purchase online.