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Renewed Commitment to Criminal Immigration Enforcement, Office of the Attorney General, 2017

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11 , 2017




Renewed Commitme nt to Crim ina l Immigration Enfo rce ment

Charging Practice s

It is a high prio rity of the Department of Justice to establis h lawfuln ess in our
immig ration system. Whi le dramatic progress has been made at the border in recent month s,
muc h remains to be done. It is cr itical that ou r work focus on crimina l cases that wi ll furt her
reduce illega lity . Co nsistent and vigo rous enfo rcemen t of key laws wi ll di srupt organizations
and deter un lawful co nd uct. I ask that yo u increase you r efforts in this area making the
following immigration offenses higher pri orities. Furth er guidance and suppo rt of executi ng thi s
pri or ity- including an upd ated memora ndum on c harg ing fo r a ll crimin al cases - w ill be
8 U.S.C. § 1324 (" [b]r inging in and harboring certa in aliens") and related offenses: Eac h
District shall co nsider for pro sec ut ion any case invo lving the un lawfu l transportation or
harbor ing of aliens, or any o ther co ndu ct prosc ribed pursuant to 8 U.S.C. § 1324. Ifa
dete rmin ation mu st be made reg ardi ng use of finit e reso urces, a priority sho uld be given to tho se
w ho are brin g ing in three o r more aliens into the U nited Sta tes and those w ho are transportin g or
ha rbor ing three or more al iens, as well as offenses whe re the re are aggravati ng circumstances ,
such as tho se involving se rio us bodil y injur y, physica l or sex ual assau lt, or the deat h of any
person. Priority shou ld also be given to pro sec uting any offenses unde r sec tion 1327 ("ai ding or
ass ist ing crimin a l aliens to enter ") and sec tion 1328 ("impor tat ion of aliens for immoral
purposes ").
8 U.S.C. § 1325 Crilmprope r entry by alien "): Each Di st rict shall conside r for felo ny
prosecution und er 8 U.S.C. § 1325 any case whe re a defenda n t ha s two or mo re prio r
mi sd emeano r imp roper ent ry co nv ict io ns or o ne o r more prior m isdemeano r imp roper entr y
convict ions with aggrava tin g circum stance s, such as a fe lony criminal hi story, ga ng member ship
or affil iation , mu ltip le pr ior volun tary returns , pr ior remova l, deportat ion or exclusion, or other
aggravating circum stances. Eac h Distr ict shall also co nside r for fe lony pro sec ution und er 8
U.S.C. § 1325 any case whe re a defendant knowing ly ente rs into a marriage for the purpo se of
evading any provi sion of the immi gra tion laws .
Regarding mi sdemea no r v io latio ns of 8 U.S.C. § 1325, I ask that each U.S. Attorney ' s
Office on the Sout hwes t Bo rder ( i.e., Di strict of A rizo na, Di strict of New Mexico , So uthe rn

Memora ndum from the At torney Genera l
Subject: Renewe d Commitment to Crimin al Immi gration Enfo rcement

Page 2

Di strict of Ca liforni a, So uthern District of Tex as, and Wes tern Di strict of Texas) work w ith the
U.S. Departm ent of Home land Security and a ny other appropr iate age ncy to deve lop a set of
guidelines for pr osec uting such violation s. These guidelines shou ld a im to accomplish the goa l
of deterrin g first-tim e improper entrants. Each District shou ld submit its gu ide lines to the Office
of the Deput y Atto rney General by Ap ril 24, 20 17.
8 U.S.C. § 1326 ("[r]ee ntry of removed aliens"): Eac h Di strict shall consider prosecu tion
of 8 U.S.C. § 1326 for eac h illega l reen trant. Priority, howeve r, mu st be given to defendants
who have been conv icted of a n aggrava ted felony, have any pri or crimin al history indicating the
defe ndant poses a dange r to publi c safety, have one or more adm inistrative or crimin al
immi gra tion violation s, ga ng memb ership or affi liation, or where other aggrava tin g
circum stanc es are prese nt.
18 U.S.C. § I 028A (" [a]ggravated identit y theft") & 18 U.S.C . § 1546 ("[Draud and
misuse of visas. permit s. and other doc uments" ): Eac h Di strict shall consider, to the ex tent
pra cticab le, pr osec ution of bot h agg rava ted identit y theft und er Sec tion 1028A and document
fraud und er Sect ion I 546 in re lation to the immi gration offenses listed above.
18 U.S.C . § I I I (" [a]ssa ultin g. resi stin g, or impeding " office rs): Each Di strict shall
consider, to the ex tent practicab le, prosec ution of assa ult , res istin g, or impedin g officer s under
Section I 11, while they are engag ing in the perform ance of their of ficial du ties in the
admini strative and crimin a l immi gration co ntex t. Mor e information on thi s will fo llow.

Sente ncing Practice s
At the se ntencing phase of eac h federal case, pro sec utors shou ld see k, to the extent
prac tica ble, jud icial orders of remo val and a term of superv ised release that is consiste nt with the
factors set fort h in 18 U.S.C. § 3553(a) . I know many of yo u are already seeking these meas ures
from District Co urts, and I ask that yo u co ntinu e thi s eff 0 11 to achieve the result s consistent wi th
this guidance .

Border Sec urity Coor dinator s
In furth erance of these obj ectives , I also dir ect eve ry Di st rict to des ignate a Border
Sec urit y Coor din ator ("Coo rdin ator ") by close of business on April 18, 20 17. Th ese
Coo rdin ators will be responsible for:

overseeing the inves tigation and prosec ution of the offenses listed above;
attendin g trainin g program s with other Coo rdin ators rega rding these offe nses;
prov iding lega l adv ice and training to AUSA s rega rdin g these offe nses; and
maintainin g and routin ely reportin g pro sec ution stati stics related to these offenses.

Eac h Coord inator will be responsible for convenin g mee tings with rep resentatives from
the Department of Home land Sec urit y- includin g Immi gra tion and Customs Enfor ce ment,
Home land Sec urit y Inves tigations, U.S. Custom s and Borde r Protection, and U nited States

Memorandum from the Attorney General
Subject: Renewed Commitment to Criminal Immigration Enforcement

Page 3

Citizenship and Immigration Services as well as other law enforcement partners deemed
necessary to accomp lish this criminal immigration enforceme nt effort. The Coordinator will
work with this group to (I) coordinate specific immigration enforcement initiatives, emphasizing
those initiatives that will have the greatest impact on public safety; (2) initiate training programs;
and (3) facilitate information sharing.