On April 6, 2018, U.S. Attorney General issued a memorandum to all U.S. Attorney’s offices along the South Border, announcing a new “Zero-Tolerance Policy” for offenses under 8 U.S.C. § 1325(a).
According to ‘Zero-Tolerance Policy” an alien who illegally enters or attempts to enter into the U.S. will be criminally persecuted. An alien who commits such offense for the first time, will be fined or imprisoned not for more than 6 months or both, and for a subsequent commission of such offense, will be fined or imprisoned for not more than 2 years or both.
8 U.S.C. § 1325(a) states that “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.“
A new Zero-Tolerance policy further directs each U.S. Attorney’s Office along the Southwest Border for Southern District of California, for District of Arizona, for District of New Mexico, for Western District of Texas, and for the Southern District of Texas to adopt a policy to prosecute all Department of Homeland Security referrals of section 1325(a) violations, to the extent practicable.