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Illegal Reentry

The failing immigration policies have led to a stop-gap push to prosecute immigrants who are in the United States illegally.   This has led to a record breaking number of prosecutions for illegal reentry, which makes it a federal crime for an alien to reenter the United States after having been legally removed.  In fiscal year 2008, approximately 34,000 people were arrested for illegally reentering the United States. 

Under Title 8 U.S.C. 1326, it is a crime to reenter the country after having been:

  • Denied admission to the U.S.;

  • Excluded from the U.S.;

  • Deported from the U.S.;

  • Removed from the U.S.; or

  • Departed from the U.S. while an order of exclusion, deportation, or removal is outstanding.

The penalties for illegal reentry depend on whether the person illegally reentered the country after certain previous criminal convictions and can range from imprisonment for not more than two years, 10 years or 20 years, depending on the type and number of prior criminal convictions.

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