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First-Time Immigration Violators Face Criminal Charges

Release Date: 
November 2, 2017

TUCSON, Ariz. – To deter illicit and dangerous human smuggling attempts, the Tucson Sector Border Patrol is focusing on presenting illegal aliens to the United States Attorney’s office for criminal prosecution of first-time illegal border crossers apprehended in Nogales, Arizona.

In October alone, more than 200 people arrested in the Nogales corridor, many of whom were first-time offenders, were found amenable for prosecution. Prosecution for illegally crossing one time results in a misdemeanor charge, with multiple crossings amounting to a felony. Additional penalties include a 5-year ban from the United States, with subsequent entries increasing it to 20 years and then a lifetime ban.

This criminal prosecution program is intended to discourage illegal entry and prevent injury and death to illegal immigrants within the Tucson Sector’s area of operations, specifically Nogales. Similar programs have reduced the number of recidivism in neighboring sectors.

Last modified: 
February 3, 2021