Wednesday, May 13, 2020
Supreme Court rules it's a crime to encourage illegal aliens to stay in the US. 5/7/2020
UNITED STATES v. SINENENG-SMITH
CERTIORARI TO THE UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR
THE NINTH CIRCUIT
No. 19–67. Argued February 25, 2020—Decided May 7, 2020
Respondent Evelyn Sineneng-Smith operated an immigration consulting
firm in San Jose, California. She assisted clients working without authorization in the United States to file applications for a labor certification program that once provided a path for aliens to adjust to lawful
permanent resident status. Sineneng-Smith knew that her clients
could not meet the long-passed statutory application-filing deadline,
but she nonetheless charged each client over $6,000, netting more than
Sineneng-Smith was indicted for multiple violations of 8 U. S. C.
§1324(a)(1)(A)(iv) and (B)(i). Those provisions make it a federal felony
to “encourag[e] or induc[e] an alien to come to, enter, or reside in the
United States, knowing or in reckless disregard of the fact that such
coming to, entry, or residence is or will be in violation of law,”
§1324(a)(1)(A)(iv), and impose an enhanced penalty if the crime is
“done for the purpose of commercial advantage or private financial
gain,” §1324(a)(1)(B)(i). In the District Court, she urged that the provisions did not cover her conduct, and if they did, they violated the
Petition and Free Speech Clauses of the First Amendment as applied.
The District Court rejected her arguments and she was convicted, as
relevant here, on two counts under §1324(a)(1)(A)(iv) and (B)(i).