Illegal Entry Prosecutions Including Use of False Documents

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BROWNSVILLE - Prosecution of people who enter the country illegally has diminished in recent weeks, as a result of a current influx in the Rio Grande Valley.

A different kind of charge for illegal entry is surfacing. 

The Zero Tolerance Policy required people coming through the ports of entry over the summer go from the border to the federal courthouse on charges of illegal entry.

Despite the dip in those kinds of prosecutions, another kind is appearing on the Brownsville Federal Court docket.

Immigration attorney Jaime Diez explains, "Most of these cases involve people who try to use somebody else's visa to enter, or somebody else's passport, or legal permanent resident card or permit to travel when you're in the process of immigrating to the United States." 

People are charged with illegal entry for using false documents like a passport or a birth certificate that doesn't belong to them. 

In the past, Diez tells us the government would take away the false document and remove that person from the port of entry, it was uncomplicated. 

"Which is called an expedited with a five year punishment, like people say. but now what we are seeing is not only that they are doing that, but they are also bringing criminal charges," Diez said. 

CHANNEL FIVE NEWS found 15 of these cases in Brownsville's Federal Courthouse since the start of the year. All of them were given to Mexican nationals. The consequence for this charge lasts a lifetime. 

"Our immigration system has zero tolerance when it comes to second chances. So, someone with a false claim will be forever ineligible to immigrate and that is for anyone who did it after 1996," added Diez.

Diez believes this kind of charge might be more visible now since other kinds of illegal entry charges are being pushed aside.


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