DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano said during a CNN interview, "crossing the border is not a crime per se." But the secretary was wrong because it is a criminal misdemeanor. 8 USC Sec. 1325(a) says that crossing the border illegally is punishable by up to six months in prison for the first offense. Ranking Member of the Senate Judiciary Committee Jeff Sessions is demanding a public correction of her statement.
"It is breathtaking that a cabinet secretary, bestowed by the public with the responsibility to protect our nation’s borders, could be ignorant of the undisputable fact that it is a violation of the criminal code to enter our country illegally. 8 U.S.C. 1325(a), which has been in effect for decades and codified in its current form since 1991, is unambiguous that doing so is a crime. This is one of the most baffling statements from a high government official I have ever heard. ...
... Sec. Napolitano must swiftly, clearly, and unambiguously correct her comments on this matter to set the record straight. "
During the April 19 airing of "State of the Union" on CNN, show host John King asked Napolitano to comment on Maricopa, Ariz. County Sheriff Joe Arpaio who has come under fire for his treatment of accused illegal aliens. Sheriff Joe said he's just enforcing the law, and Napolitano responded with... Well, you know, Sheriff Joe, he is being very political in that statement, because he knows that there aren’t enough law enforcement officers, courtrooms or jail cells in the world to do what he is saying.
What we have to do is target the real evil-doers in this business, the employers who consistently hire illegal labor, the human traffickers who are exploiting human misery.
And yes, when we find illegal workers, yes, appropriate action, some of which is criminal, most of that is civil, because crossing the border is not a crime per se. It is civil. But anyway, going after those as well.
Well, she is just wrong and clearly doesn't know what the law is and if she did, she wouldn't really enforce it. That is apparent. 8 U.S.C. 1325(a) states...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.
You can read Sen. Session's statement in its entirety at his website.
SEND A FAX to Secretary Napolitano blasting her for her statement.