Reply To: Surge of Migrants Heading North Has Chicago, New York at a ‘Breaking Point’

  • outdoorsguy

    January 8, 2024 at 8:02 am

    Simply being in this country without documentation is not a crime”

    Being in the U.S. without documentation is considered a civil matter, said Nancy Morawetz, professor of clinical law at New York University School of Law.

    “Being present in the U.S., that status, is not a crime,” Morawetz said.

    That doesn’t mean undocumented immigrants can live in the U.S. without consequence, said Rick Su, a professor at the University at Buffalo School of Law. Federal authorities can deport them.

    “Congress can decide what they want to make a crime and what they want to make a civil violation,” Su said. “What they’ve decided is that immigration violations by themselves are civil violations.”

    The Supreme Court confirmed that decision in Arizona v. United States.

    “What the Supreme Court said in Arizona v. U.S. is that generally being unlawfully present in the U.S. is not a crime, and that’s definitely true,” Su said. “What the court did, is say Congress had made these civil violations and Arizona is trying to make them criminal violations.”