Immigration Consequences and Criminal & Civil Penalties of Illegal Entry into the U.S.

What Does it Mean to Enter the U.S. Illegally?

The term “improper entry” is used in U.S. Immigration law, this term has a broad meaning and can be described as the following:

  • Entering or attempting to enter the U.S. at any other place other than a border inspection or port of entry guarded by U.S. immigration officers.
  • Avoiding any kind of inspection done by U.S. immigration officers that would result in being caught in illegal entry
  • Attempting to enter the U.S. by providing false or misleading information, such as purchasing a false green card or providing misinformation on a visa application.  

Criminal Penalties for Illegal Entry

First improper entry offense: an individual may be fined, imprisoned for up to six months, or both.

Subsequent offense: an individual may fined, imprisoned for up to two years, or both.

Penalties for reentry may be added if an individual has been convicted of various kinds of crimes and is deported from the United States as a result:

  1. Individuals removed from the U.S. for a conviction of three or more misdemeanors that involve drugs, crime against another person, a felony, will be fined, imprisoned for up to ten years, or both.
  2. Individuals removed from the U.S. for a conviction of any aggravated felony will be fined, imprisoned for up to 20 years, or both.
  3. Individuals removed from the U.S. for various security reasons will be fined, imprisoned for up to ten years. In this case, the sentence would not be concurrent with any other sentence, as it is its own.
  4. Nonviolent offenders removed from the U.S. prior to the prison sentence being finished, will be fined, imprisoned for up to ten years, or both.

Civil Penalties for Unlawful Entry

There is a minimum $50 and maximum $250 penalty for each entry or attempted entry, however the amount would be doubled if the individual has been fined of the same violation previously.

Immigration Consequences of Illegal Entry   

An individual who enters the United States without permission is “inadmissible.” This means that if they were potentially eligible for a green card for example, they would be unable to adjust their immigration status within the United States. However, by applying abroad, the problem of inadmissibility would be solved unless they have already stayed within the United States for six months or more while being inadmissible.

Kennedy Law LC has experience guiding clients through all stages of the immigration process. We understand that the immigration process can be quite complicated, this is why we advise you to seek legal guidance from our office today as we strive to help guide you with your specific case no matter how complex or complicated.

Attorney Ramona Kennedy cares about your case and will fight for you.

You can contact attorney Ramona Kennedy Law Offices (Kennedy Law LC) for an initial consultation and case evaluation. The first consultation is free of charge. 

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