Crossing the U.S. Border: The Facts of the Matter

Before you read further, please know that I cannot and will not comment on border and political issues. I can’t offer insight or opinion because I am not there, have not seen anything first-hand, and I definitely believe absolutely nothing I read in the media or see and hear on “news” programming. It’s disheartening and extremely frustrating to read three or four news articles from various sources with all having different things to say about a current event, something that actually happened, not fiction, and many of what’s supposed to be news articles are merely the opinions of the “reporter.” And for goodness sake, some of the stuff I read on social media is so incredibly outlandish that it, too, is beyond belief.

I try to sift through the nonsense to get at the real meat of the matter. But until I know the facts, I try to hold my tongue. Speculation and opinion are fuel for fires. However, what I can do is to present the law, the stuff that’s passed by our elected officials and in turn enforced by law enforcement. I know, what a shock, right? Cops do not make the laws. Who knew …

Okay, here’s the reality of arrests and/or detention – short and sweet.

When someone breaks the law—felony or misdemeanor—they are typically arrested and held in jail until they post bond or until a hearing where a judge then releases the subject or holds them until trial.

During the time the person is incarcerated, they are totally separated from family members, unless, of course, there’s a family member already in lockup. If the person has a child with them at the time of the arrest, the child is placed either with responsible family members or, if no family is available, in the care of the government. Sometimes this involves a secure facility until other arrangements are made (foster care, family member offers to take the child, etc.).

This not something new!

Every person who’s in jail is separated from their children, if, of course, they have any. Every single time. Kids are not permitted to live in jail alongside their incarcerated or detained parents.

This is not something new, nor should it be a surprise.The folks who choose to illegally cross over into the United States are committing a crime. It’s a simple as that, according to the law.

Yes, they’re breaking the law; therefore, law enforcement is obligated to arrest and detain. Unfortunately, the children accompanying them are caught up in the mess.

Again, when it comes to what’s written in black and white, it is not the job of law enforcement to determine who they may release and who they may hold, nor is it permitted that they act as prosecutors, judges, and as members of a jury.

Once officers have made an arrest, they are not allowed to “un-arrest.” The case is, at that point, out of their hands. It is then time for the prosecutor and courts to handle things from there.

Speaking of what’s written in black and white, here is the federal law that officers are, by law, required to enforce. (The solution is to fix/change the law, not blame the cops for doing a job that’s often unpleasant).

Crossing the U.S. border illegally is a crime – 

8 U.S. Code § 1325 – Improper entry by alien

(a)Improper time or place; avoidance of examination or inspection; misrepresentation and concealment of facts

Any alien who (1) enters or attempts to enter the United States at any time or place other than as designated by immigration officers, or (2) eludes examination or inspection by immigration officers, or (3) attempts to enter or obtains entry to the United States by a willfully false or misleading representation or the willful concealment of a material fact, shall, for the first commission of any such offense, be fined under title 18 or imprisoned not more than 6 months, or both, and, for a subsequent commission of any such offense, be fined under title 18, or imprisoned not more than 2 years, or both.

(b)Improper time or place; civil penalties. Any alien who is apprehended while entering (or attempting to enter) the United States at a time or place other than as designated by immigration officers shall be subject to a civil penalty of—

  • at least $50 and not more than $250 for each such entry (or attempted entry); or
  • twice the amount specified in paragraph (1) in the case of an alien who has been previously subject to a civil penalty under this subsection.
  • Civil penalties under this subsection are in addition to, and not in lieu of, any criminal or other civil penalties that may be imposed.

c)Marriage fraud

Any individual who knowingly enters into a marriage for the purpose of evading any provision of the immigration laws shall be imprisoned for not more than 5 years, or fined not more than $250,000, or both.

(d)Immigration-related entrepreneurship fraud

Any individual who knowingly establishes a commercial enterprise for the purpose of evading any provision of the immigration laws shall be imprisoned for not more than 5 years, fined in accordance with title 18, or both.

(June 27, 1952, ch. 477, title II, ch. 8, § 275, 66 Stat. 229Pub. L. 99–639, § 2(d), Nov. 10, 1986, 100 Stat. 3542Pub. L. 101–649, title I, § 121(b)(3), title V, § 543(b)(2), Nov. 29, 1990, 104 Stat. 4994, 5059; Pub. L. 102–232, title III, § 306(c)(3), Dec. 12, 1991, 105 Stat. 1752Pub. L. 104–208, div. C, title I, § 105(a), Sept. 30, 1996, 110 Stat. 3009–556.)


*I’m trying this once again – PLEASE do not turn this into a political discussion. I’m merely presenting the law as it’s written. Anything beyond that is for your personal sites. Keep in mind that this is a factual piece. There’s nothing hidden between the lines. Nothing. Nada.