A new report from the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS), provided exclusively to Breitbart News ahead of its release, seeks to counter the talking point that America’s at least 11 million illegal immigrants are “otherwise law-abiding.”
The 21-page report, titled “The Myth of the ‘Otherwise Law-Abiding’ Illegal Alien,” analyzes which key laws the authors allege illegal immigrants regularly break and other illegal activity they purportedly engage in on a frequent basis.
“For years advocates of amnesty and high levels of immigration have described the illegal alien population as one made up of ‘otherwise law-abiding’ people who have committed no violation other than the simple act of crossing a border illegally or overstaying a visa,” report author Jon Feere writes in the introduction.
“Journalists routinely invoke this language when writing about amnesty, conspicuously avoiding any discussion of the various crimes the average working illegal alien commits. Many politicians have also embraced the myth of the otherwise law-abiding illegal alien in an effort to promote amnesty, arguing that illegal aliens are no threat to the United States.”
Specifically, this new CIS report details how illegal aliens regularly engage in violations of laws regarding identities and Social Security numbers. What Feere describes as “examples of oft-violated but under-enforced laws” include the “False Personification of a U.S. Citizen,” a violation of 18 U.S.C. § 911, “Fraud and False Statements,” a violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1001, and “Social Security Fraud,” a violation of 42 U.S.C. § 408.
When describing the how illegal immigrants often illegally falsely personify a U.S. citizen, Feere notes that they frequently “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.”
“It is common for illegal aliens to make false statements to the government or on official documents,” Feere added when describing how illegal immigrants often engage in activity that involves fraud and false statements. “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.”
Regarding Social Security fraud, Feere writes that illegal immigrants will often have “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,” Feere writes. “The court can also require violators to provide restitution to the victims.”
This new report does not get into crimes that some illegal immigrants commit, like gang activity, murders, and drug-related offenses. It focuses solely on the series of laws they break just by entering the country illegally. The report is divided into four sections detailing all the laws illegal aliens break frequently just entering America illegally.
The first report section deals with how illegal immigrants break laws “involving entry [to the United States], presence [in the country], and travel [throughout].” Violations of U.S. Code frequently committed by such persons include, according to Feere, “improper entry by alien” a violation of 8 U.S.C. § 1325, “registration of aliens,” a violation of 8 U.S.C. § 1302, “high speed flight from immigration checkpoint,” a violation of 18 U.S.C. § 758, “unlawful bringing of aliens into United States,” a violation of 8 U.S.C. § 1323, “overstaying duration of stay,” a violation of 8 U.S.C. § 1227(a)(1)(B) & (C)(i), “reentry of removed aliens,” a violation of 8 U.S.C. § 1326, “willful failure or refusal to depart,” a violation of 8 U.S.C. § 1253, “civil penalties for failure to depart,” relating to 8 U.S.C. § 1324d, “failure to comply with terms of release under supervision,” a violation of 8 U.S.C. § 1253(b), “bringing in and harboring certain aliens,” a violation of 8 U.S.C. § 1324, aiding or assisting certain aliens to enter,” a violation of 8 U.S.C. § 1327, and “civil penalty for failure to depart under voluntary departure,” relating to 8 U.S.C. § 1229c(d).” This section of the report also details how illegal aliens frequently engage in activity that constitutes violation of state and local laws, like “driving without license,” “driving without insurance,” “driving without a valid vehicle registration,” and giving “false statement[s] to law enforcement.”
The second section of the report details the workplace statutes these individuals violate, as well. According to Feere, they include: “False Personation of a U.S. Citizen,” a violation of 18 U.S.C. § 911, “Fraud and False Statements,” a violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1001, “Falsely claiming citizenship,” a violation of both 8 U.S.C. § 1182(a)(6)(C)(ii) and § 1227(a)(3)(D), “fraud and misuse of visas, permits, and other documents,” a violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1546, “penalties for document fraud,” relating to 8 U.S.C. § 1324c, “penalties for Social Security fraud,” relating to 42 U.S.C. § 408, “aggravated identity theft,” a violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1028A, and “willful failure to file return, supply information, or pay tax,” a violation of 26 U.S.C. § 7203.
The third section of the report details how illegal immigrants frequently break “other document laws,” as well. According to the report, such laws include: “misuse of evidence of citizenship or naturalization,” a violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1423, “procurement of citizenship or naturalization unlawfully,” a violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1425, “reproduction of naturalization or citizenship papers,” a violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1426, “sale of naturalization or citizenship papers,” a violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1427, “naturalization, citizenship, or alien registry,” a violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1015, “fraud and related activity in connection with identification documents, authentication features, and information,” a violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1028, “possession of false papers to defraud the United States,” a violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1002, “false statement in application and use of passport,” a violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1542, “forgery or false use of passport,” a violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1543, and “misuse of passport,” a violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1544.
The fourth section of Feere’s report deals with various other “additional laws” that illegal immigrants frequently break. According to the report, they frequently violation “Selective Service registration” laws, engage in “voting by aliens,” a violation of 18 U.S.C. § 611, and in “violations of state laws” like “identity theft, forgery, and tax laws.”
The report notes that a lot of these laws are not enforced due to President Barack Obama’s “administrative amnesty.”
“According to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), the agency ‘prioritizes the removal of criminal aliens, those who pose a threat to public safety, and repeat immigration violators,’” Feere wrote.
Although low-level illegal aliens engaged in basic identity theft do pose a threat to the public, the Obama administration has directed ICE to ignore such criminality and to focus on the “worst of the worst.” Often called the White House’s “administrative amnesty,” the immigration agenda pursued by the Obama administration is often referred to as a “prioritization” scheme, but it is largely a decision to not deport illegal aliens unless or until a crime of violence has occurred. The policy came into shape through what are known as the “Morton Memos,” a series of directives from former ICE director John Morton. The directives resulted in the union for ICE agents taking a vote of “no confidence” against Morton in June 2011.
Morton resigned this year, after Senate Budget Committee ranking member Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL) called for his resignation over those very “Morton Memos.”
Finally, if Congress does end up granting amnesty, or legal status, to illegal immigrants, Feere’s report notes those illegal immigrants will likely get a pass on many of these other laws they have broken, too.
“As written, violation of any of the dozens of laws listed below, such as those involving identity theft, could result in an illegal alien being deported after paying a fine or serving time in jail for the violation,” Feere states.
However, proposed amnesties have been written so as to not render an applicant ineligible even if he has violated certain statutes and committed some misdemeanors. And due to political priorities in the Obama administration, many of the laws listed below are not being enforced anyhow. Taken together, these policy prescriptions make the concept of conducting background checks on illegal aliens applying for amnesty somewhat absurd. Nevertheless, some of these crimes currently being committed by illegal aliens can amount to aggravated felonies and would prevent an alien from having “good moral character,” permanently barring them from naturalization under existing immigration law.