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Violating U.S. immigration laws constitutes a federal crime with penalties which may include imprisonment, fines, and possible deportation. Our experienced federal criminal attorneys defend people charged with violating U.S. immigration laws on a regular basis. Our lawyers represent clients regularly in the Southern District of New York, the Eastern District of New York, and the Northern District of New York. We represent clients charged with all immigration crimes including Federal Alien Smuggling (8 U.S.C. § 1324) and Illegal Reentry (8 U.S.C. § 1326).
8 U.S.C. § 1324(a), makes it a federal criminal offense for a person to bring an alien into the United States, to transport or harbor an alien, to encourage an alien to enter the United States, or to engage in a conspiracy to commit any such acts. Each of these offenses are separate and distinct offenses which carry serious penalties.
A person can face federal criminal charges for knowingly bringing, or attempting to bring, an alien into the country at a non-designated place of entry, even if the alien has received “prior official authorization to come to, enter, or reside in the United States and regardless of any future official action which may be taken with respect to such alien.”
It is also illegal for a person who, knowing or with a reckless disregard for the fact that an alien is in the United States illegally, “transports, or moves or attempts to transport or move such alien within the United States by means of transportation or otherwise, in furtherance of such violation of law.”
8 U.S.C. § 1324(a)(1)(A)(iii) makes it a federal crime for “any person who knowing or in reckless disregard of the fact that an alien has come to, entered, or remains in the United States in violation of law, conceals, harbors, or shields from detection, or attempts to conceal, harbor or shield from detection, such alien in any place, including any building or any means of transportation.” Similar to smuggling and transporting aliens, the penalties for harboring an alien can be severe and include fines and imprisonment.
8 U.S.C. § 1324a(a)(1)(A) makes it a federal criminal offense for any person or entity to “to hire, or to recruit or refer for a fee, for employment in the United States an alien knowing the alien is an unauthorized alien with respect to such employment.” This section places the burden of complying with U.S. immigration laws squarely on the employer, though both the employee and the employer are part of the employment eligibility verification process. It is a federal crime for a person or entity to hire an individual without first completing Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification Form.
An employer with a “pattern or practice” of hiring, recruiting, or referring for a fee or continuing to employ aliens, knowing that the aliens are unauthorized to work in the United States can potentially face serious penalties for each illegal worker hired, including serious fines and imprisonment.
Please call our top ranked federal criminal lawyers today for a free consultation if you have been charged, or believe that you could be charged, with an immigration offense. Our skilled federal criminal lawyers can prepare a sound strategy to defend you and to ensure that your rights are protected at all stages of the federal criminal process.