False Personation of a U.S. Citizen (18 U.S.C. § 911). Illegal aliens often present themselves as U.S. citizens, an act punishable by up to five years in jail, a felony. This law is often cited in immigration prosecutions and may involve, for example, an alien claiming U.S. citizenship to his employer.
Fraud and False Statements (18 U.S.C. § 1001). It is common for illegal aliens to make false statements to the government or on official documents. An illegal alien violates this law when claiming to be a U.S. citizen on an I-9 Employment Eligibility form and faces a fine and up to five years imprisonment.
Social Security Fraud (42 U.S.C. § 408). This statute has been invoked where an illegal alien provided a false Social Security number for the purpose of acquiring a job, where an illegal alien used a fraudulent Social Security number for the purpose of acquiring a driver's license, and when an illegal alien used a Social Security card belonging to a citizen in order to obtain Section 8 housing, for example. Violation of this statute can result in a fine and/or imprisonment up to five years. The court can also require violators to provide restitution to the victims.
Registration of Aliens (8 U.S.C. § 1302). Advocates of amnesty often argue that a mass legalization program is necessary so that we can determine the identities of illegal aliens in the country. But federal law already requires all aliens, even those in the country illegally, to register their presence if they remain in the United States for 30 days or longer. Specifically,
It shall be the duty of every alien...in the United States, who (1) is fourteen years of age or older, (2) has not been registered and fingerprinted [during the visa process], and (3) remains in the United States for thirty days or longer, to apply for registration and to be fingerprinted before the expiration of such thirty days.
Aliens under the age of 14 are not exempt from registration, but the duty to make sure it happens falls on the parent or guardian:
It shall be the duty of every parent or legal guardian of any alien now or hereafter in the United States, who (1) is less than fourteen years of age, (2) has not been registered [during the visa process], and (3) remains in the United States for thirty days or longer, to apply for the registration of such alien before the expiration of such thirty days.
Reporting Requirements for Individuals (19 U.S.C. § 1459). Any illegal alien who has walked across the U.S. border and entered illegally at a location that is not a designated crossing point has violated this statute. The statute requires those “individuals arriving in the United States other than by vessel, vehicle, or aircraft” to “enter the United States only at a border crossing point” and “immediately… report the arrival, and… present themselves, and all articles accompanying them for inspection” to a customs officer.
High Speed Flight from Immigration Checkpoint (18 U.S.C. § 758). Depending on how an illegal alien enters the United States, if he came across the border and evaded law enforcement at a checkpoint, he may have violated this statute. To violate this statute, the alien must be in a motor vehicle traveling in excess of the legal speed limit and must be fleeing federal, state, or local law enforcement officers. Such offense is punishable by a fine and/or imprisonment of up to five years.
Unlawful Bringing of Aliens into United States (8 U.S.C. § 1323). Oftentimes illegal aliens will enter the United States with other illegal aliens, and if the alien was involved in helping to bring in other aliens, he has violated this law. Put simply, it is unlawful for an illegal alien to bring to the United States from any place outside of the country any alien without valid travel documents. The government can levy a fine of $3,300 for each unlawful alien brought into the country.
Reentry of Removed Aliens (8 U.S.C. § 1326). Many illegal aliens in the United States have either been previously deported or at least denied admission. This statute addresses the alien who has reentered, or attempted to reenter, the United States after having been previously denied admission, excluded, deported, or removed. It is also aimed at the alien who has reentered, or attempted to reenter, after earlier departing the United States while an order of exclusion, deportation, or removal was outstanding. An alien who violates this statute faces a fine and/or imprisonment up to two years. If the deportation was the result of certain criminal convictions, the alien faces imprisonment up to 20 years.
Willful Failure or Refusal to Depart (8 U.S.C. § 1253). Many illegal aliens have already been ordered to leave the country by immigration authorities, and they have 90 days to do so from the final removal order. If an alien has had a final order of removal issued against him and he either willfully fails or refuses to depart from the United States, make timely application in good faith for necessary travel documents, or takes any action designed to prevent or hamper his departure, he faces a fine and/or imprisonment up to four years. The alien faces the same penalties for willfully failing or refusing to present himself for removal at the time and place required by the government. If the alien is involved in smuggling, high-speed flight from a checkpoint, or other serious crimes outlined in the statute, the alien faces up to 10 years imprisonment. It is incorrect to refer to an alien in the United States 90 days after a removal order as “law-abiding.”
Civil Penalties for Failure to Depart (8 U.S.C. § 1324d). Any alien subject to a final order of removal who “willfully fails or refuses” to depart from the United States pursuant to the order, make timely application for travel or other documents necessary for departure, or present themselves for removal at the time and place required by the government, is required to pay a civil penalty up to $500 for each day he is in violation of this statute. The same penalty applies for an alien who conspires to or takes any action designed to prevent or hamper his own departure. Over the course of a year, an illegal alien could rack up a fine of up to $182,500. As of March 2013, ICE estimates that over 851,000 illegal aliens who have been ordered removed are still living in the United States. The Senate amnesty bill (S.744) would effectively waive these penalties and replace them with a waiverable fine of only $500 for provisional legal status.
Failure to Comply with Terms of Release under Supervision (8 U.S.C. § 1253(b)). In some instances, an illegal alien ordered deported is not repatriated due to unique circumstances. For example, some countries refuse to take back their nationals. If the alien does not leave or is not removed within the removal period, the alien, pending removal, is to be subject to supervision under regulations prescribed by the DHS secretary. The regulations can include, for example, a requirement that the alien not commit any crimes. The regulations “shall” include provisions requiring the alien to appear before an immigration officer periodically for identification; to submit, if necessary, to a medical and psychiatric examination at the expense of the United States government; to give information under oath about the alien’s nationality, circumstances, habits, associations, and activities, and other information the secretary considers appropriate; and to obey reasonable written restrictions on the alien’s conduct or activities that the secretary prescribes for the alien.
An alien who willfully fails to comply with the regulations or requirements issued pursuant to the supervised release or knowingly gives false information in response to an inquiry under this release, shall be fined not more than $1,000 or imprisoned for not more than one year, or both.
The list is endless.