Federal immigration convictions are on the rise

Most people are charged with a federal immigration crime after being stopped for another offense. For example, a driver may be stopped at a license checkpoint and found to have no valid license. The arresting officer then discovers that the driver is also in violation of immigration laws and holds the driver on charges of committing a federal crime. A person can also be arrested for a federal immigration crime related to assisting others, including smuggling and forging documents.

Immigration crimes of re-entry, committed by people who have entered or attempted to enter the U.S. illegally more than once, or who have attempted to re-enter after being officially deported, are on the rise. The Pew Research Center has found that the number of unlawful re-entry convictions in federal courts grew 28-fold between 1992 and 2012, from 690 cases to 19,463.

The U.S. Department of Justice lists statistics from 2010 (the latest available) that show that 81% of those charged with an immigration offense were charged with illegal re-entry. Other immigration crimes reported by the DOJ include alien smuggling (12%), misuse of visas (6%) and illegal entry (1%).

Penalties for committing federal immigration crimes can include fines, imprisonment, and deportation. Prison terms can be severe, particularly if there are other crimes involved.

Should you be charged with any type of federal immigration crime, call Attorney Michael Berg.  Michael is a Certified Specialist in Criminal Law, certified by the State Bar of California, Board of Legal Specialization.