Title 8 of the US Code is Aliens and Nationality, and § 1324 is Bringing in and Harboring Certain Aliens. This is more commonly known as alien smuggling and is being aggressively investigated by Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE), Border Patrol and the Department of Homeland Security. After the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, prosecutors from the Department of Justice have been taking these cases more and more seriously. Because these crimes often involve terrible conditions for the aliens being smuggled, ICE agents often take a personal interest into each investigation. The media frequently uses terms like “modern slavery” to describe the conditions that impoverished aliens are subjected to and prosecutors often times try to enhance penalties by alluding to the general dangers of alien smuggling, including the most extreme cases where alien smugglers have no regard for the health and safety of the illegal aliens, various forms of exploitation are not uncommon, women that are forced into prostitution upon their arrival in the United States, among other rare cases.
The problem is that penalties barely distinguish between the extreme cases and the case of a driver of an air conditioned, normally occupied van with passenger who are undocumented immigrants. The law makes little distinction between the person who smuggles people across the border, the person who hides or transports them within the US, or even the person who markets the services of the smugglers. Despite that, over the last 10-20 years many people have realized there is a significant chance for an illegitimate profit by helping aliens into this country.
The minimum sentences for these charges range start at five years per offense, and a van full of illegal aliens hidden in a warehouse could potentially lead to many years in prison. Obviously, an allegation like this is not something to be taken lightly. When facing an investigation or serious charges of this nature, it is in your best interest to hire an attorney immediately. Tim Bower Rodriguez understands how these crimes are prosecuted, and knows how to defend someone against them.
8 USC § 1324 says:
Any person who knowing that a person is an alien, brings to or attempts to bring to the United States in any manner whatsoever such person at a place other than a designated port of entry or place other than as designated by the Commissioner, regardless of whether such alien has received prior official authorization to come to, enter, or reside in the United States and regardless of any future official action which may be taken with respect to such alien; or
Any person who knowing or in reckless disregard of the fact that an alien has come to, entered, or remains in the United States in violation of law, transports, or moves or attempts to transport or move such alien within the United States by means of transportation or otherwise, in furtherance of such violation of law; or
Any person who knowing or in reckless disregard of the fact that an alien has come to, entered, or remains in the United States in violation of law, conceals, harbors, or shields from detection, or attempts to conceal, harbor, or shield from detection, such alien in any place, including any building or any means of transportation; or
Any person who encourages or induces 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; or
Any person who engages in any conspiracy to commit any of the preceding acts, or aids or abets the commission of any of the preceding acts shall be imprisoned.