Decriminalizing Border Crossings

01 Jan 2010

An international border crosser should only be deemed a criminal if the United States government can prove that, with requisite criminal intent, she engaged in an act aside from crossing the border that would constitute a crime. No longer should crossing the border be a strict liability criminal offense. Doing so will restore balance to the civil immigration system, conserve scarce enforcement resources to target truly criminal behavior, enhance our standing abroad, and help heal our racially-polarized discourse on immigration policy.